First there was the French New Wave — an attempt by filmmakers to retake control of cinema from the commercial or state-sponsored studios and get back to basics.

Now there's the American Micro Wave, which is basically the same thing, necessary because the eruption of cinematic invention sparked by the young directors of the New Wave has been smothered once again in corporate standardization and dehumanization.

The Micro Wave is about micro movies.  This is nothing new.  Micro movies dominated the early years of cinema exhibition, and micro movies dominate the Internet.  The question is, can modern micro movies on the Internet get more sophisticated than cute clips from home videos, or pseudo-narratives designed to show off the filmmakers' technical skills, basically just self-generated commercials?

In short, can modern micro movies learn to tell real stories, just as directors of the nickelodeon era learned to tell real stories?

Finally, is this new Micro Wave really a wave?  Too soon to tell, unless you're in the water.  You can't see a wave coming until the sea-swells meet the curve of the seabed running up to the beach, lifting a crest so high that it breaks on the sand.  But you can feel it if you're out swimming in it.

All I can say is, “Come on in — the water's fine!”

[“Mermaid” illustration by D. S. Walker, with thanks as so often to Golden Age Comic Book Stories, where wonders never cease.]

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