We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Click here for more information.

Life-Edit: 1.5 Assembly, Modification, Selection

A series of essays on the upended notion of cinema in the streaming era, where past and present meet in the daily experiences of audiences.
Costanza Candeloro
"Life-Edit (A Companion to Streaming and Solitude)" is a text by Costanza Candeloro commissioned by Fondazione Prada. Focused on the individual and collective experience of streaming, this native content accompanies the film project "Perfect Failures" conceived by MUBI and Fondazione Prada and available on the online platform in select countries from April 5, 2020. Every week an illustrated chapter of the text will be published on Fondazione Prada’s website and on the Notebook.  
Above: Carole Roussopoulos filming the demonstration of the LIP company workers in Besançon, September 1973, for her documentary La Marche de Besançon. LIP II (1973). Distribution by Centre audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir, Paris
Movie memory works exactly like editing: it modifies, selects and assembles useful information, relevant images in order to give continuity to a personal bond with video reality. 
Wonderful representations of these processes merge the screen, streaming and the nomadism of multiple platforms with selective taste. Current streaming modes brought to light an active eye process, giving birth to what perfect editing significantly is, since unnoticeable shifts re-building governance over sight. This radically multiplies any movie fragments into an imaginative narrenschiff, mixing images, branded content, news information, collateral native info and other movies, making watching a populated and unregulated editing process. 
Numerous are the levels of reality which intersect in these increasingly widespread scenarios. This perspective makes the process of watching a movie frenetic, an active experience—which can only be interpreted according to an apparent idea of disorder—a visual development with adventure story features, but with characterizing hues built up with solitude.
A viewer only watches by himself as a single, decentralized, sometimes sleepless calculator, assimilating images with specific personal filters and in an unreconstructable disordered manner.1
Solitary viewership (what streaming is) makes movies the absolute editing platform for imaginative processes. A continuous re-writing of the psychological, perceptive and ontological plan a movie defines within user experiences coordinates.
Like a camera, eyes feed on fragments and subjectivity is manifested through assembling.  
Streaming websites injected the personal into cinematography, providing the ground for a ghosted expansion, that gave personal movie-watching unseen hegemony.2 The possibility of using an object/information without downloading—streaming—makes it possible to produce hypertext-driven scenarios, with no forced escape. A movie-theater only allows one action, streaming feeds the viewers’ existence with devious and polymorphic configurations, a set of peculiar narratives about the cognitive life of the onlooker.
Movie-memory is constantly busy assembling and disassembling the endless reportage of what eyes catch, sensitive to hyperbolic associations not forced in an irreversible space-time structure. 
Streaming is the personal unbound, a possible estimate of loneliness.3
Above: Carole Roussopoulos shooting the group of prostitutes that occupied the St. Nizier church in Lyon, June 1975, for her documentary Les prostituées de Lyon parlent (1973). Distribution by Centre audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir, Paris. Image courtesy Alexandra and Géronimo Roussopoulos.

1. At the end of the night, the eye, perhaps half asleep, got me back from suspension. Are you alone? Your chest becomes profoundly oppressed like a brick, your ears are listening to those slightest noises. The flow of images pours over half of your face, the other half is suffocated in the pillow. Are you still awake? Do you want to continue watching?
2. Your job involves long journeys that you mostly make on your own. I backwardly witness the diffusion of your virtual communications, always active, allowing you to feel at ease in attending unknown and highly social contexts, sometimes giving you reason to shelter yourself. That evening you had decided to try a restaurant in the suburbs, here is the number of the taxi that escorted you there. A three-story building without connections gives breath to an imperceptible 4-star recommended entrance. The only perceivable quality of nightlife was a Led-lighted fountain placed in the right corner of the parking lot. Peers and strangers around browse like children. Music is an after-work jumble. The fake blood wine, the drinks with fake alcohol and a bunch of other drinks for you. Such a boredom. In one corner of the club a television was broadcasting a movie with disabled audio, something unbearable. An atmospheric void allowed you to a mid-space seat. An innocuous distance that did not prevent movie images from reaching you. Your mind was finally wandering elsewhere, intercepting the attack of eye-level thrill, wandering and playing another playlist as an antidote for generic content. 
Yes, truly everything can be activated again!
3. Roving video camera. The relationship between transmission and your private sphere is structured in an inescapable way, preventing you from sleeping or vice-versa, acting as a support in case it is impossible for you to do so. You have self-knowledge, like an audio system equipped with a microphone, a fundamental feedback occurs inside you: if you hear what you transmit, you re-transmit what you hear. Stronger and stronger, until something explodes, and your attention is back at it.


Perfect FailuresLife-Edit
Please sign up to add a new comment.


Notebook is a daily, international film publication. Our mission is to guide film lovers searching, lost or adrift in an overwhelming sea of content. We offer text, images, sounds and video as critical maps, passways and illuminations to the worlds of contemporary and classic film. Notebook is a MUBI publication.


If you're interested in contributing to Notebook, please see our pitching guidelines. For all other inquiries, contact the editorial team.