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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich!

The point of today's post isn't to tell you about a strange movie. I'm opening with writing about a strange movie merely as a base to help you understand what watching a presentation on the latest computer technology actually did to my brain. Stick with me through the movie explanation to get the full-bang-for-your-buck pay off at the end!

Being John Malkovich, 1999

The movie Being John Malkovich was one of those borderline art films that people either loved or loathed. In case you've never seen it, here is a very brief intro to what the movie is about:

One day, file clerk Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) accidentally discovers a hidden door behind a filing cabinet that leads down a dank tunnel. This tunnel, in actuality, is a birth canal-like portal into the head of actor John Malkovich. Whoever crawls into this portal gets to experience 15 minutes of living inside the body of the famed actor.

Schwartz’s co-worker, Maxine (Catherine Keener), turns this discovery into a capitalist venture and begins charging people $200 a pop to experience life through the Malkovich-cam. Malkovich (playing himself in the movie) uncovers this "amusement ride" enterprise and demands they cease operation and close up the portal. Malkovich decides to enter the portal himself to see what the draw is, and things quickly go haywire from there.

I'm a big fan of art and independent films, but I didn't like it at all, with the exception of these 2 things that made me LOVE it:

1). Until seeing that movie, I was in disbelief that it was possible to ugly-up Cameron Diaz to a completely unrecognizable degree, which gave me the kind of sick satisfaction that only people who aren't naturally 99% legs and teeth can relate to--and for the record, that is most of the people in the universe, besides the aforementioned Cameron Diaz and her equally blond & leggy counterpart in the Screen Actor's Guild, Charlize Theron.

I bet at first glance you didn't even recognize this as Cameron Diaz from her role in Being John Malkovich. Even now, I'm still sickly satisfied with her looking like this.

It should be noted that I feel ok writing about this because after we saw the movie together, my friend Steve told me in a completely serious way that sometimes he secretly wished Brad Pitt would, "get into a mildly disfiguring car accident because his flawless beauty was too much to be of this earth, and it could not, under any circumstances, be trusted. It's true that we were in a dimly-lit booth in one of our favorite Greenwich Village bars, enjoying tropical drinks and sing-along show tunes when he confessed such a thing, but no matter. The point is that I totally get what Steve was saying.

2). The only other thing that made me really love the movie (and what has most to do with the rest of this post, so pay attention here, people!) is the scene when John Malkovich decides to enter the portal to HIS OWN HEAD. The scene is only one minute long, but has remained possibly the strangest thing I've ever seen on film or in life. It is both disturbing and fascinating (kind of like Brad Pitt's looks, according to Steve!):

"Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich!" Because, see, he took a portal to the inside of his OWN head. Based on these results, I suggest you steer clear of this kind of thing if given the chance.

So now that you have that background information, you will understand exactly what I felt like when I watched the following T.E.D. presentation, and how I suddenly felt the need to say, "Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich". This level of technology is the definition of mindblowing, and will I think, excite everyone who sees it because it makes clear that the computer masterminds of the world are working to make this available to the masses.

I'm no fool and realize that you're going to hesitate before deciding whether or not to click the play button on this, but I must insist because if this presentation could make an audience full of genius programmers gasp out loud and give a standing ovation, it will surely impress the cynic in you. I was amazed from the very start, but at around 4 minutes into this presentation, with the introduction of Photosynth? THAT IS WHERE MY BRAIN CRACKED WIDE OPEN. This whole thing so cool that I won't even bother trying to describe it any further, just click play and watch for yourself:


Melisa said...

WOW. So mindboggling, and very "Jetson's-ish".

I can't even wrap my mind about how this could be possible.

Kat said...

OMG this is so familiar. I have just been to a company meeting quite like this. Fascinating yet so mind-boggeling. Your Malkovich comparison was great though.

Jules said...

@Missy: Jetson's-ish! Yes, totally!

@Kat: You just had a company meeting like this? How cool! What do you do for work?

Cha said...

I loved that movie!!