Cinema Year Zero: Tik Tok and the Grammar of Silent Film

Cinema Year Zero: Tik Tok and the Grammar of Silent Film
Hosting moving images that are brief, breezy, and infinitely consumable, Tik Tok—the social media juggernaut built on an expanding user base of short form video-makers—is poised to become the nickelodeon of our still-young century. For the low, low price of one’s attention and personal data, users can journey through an infinite scroll of synchronized dances, tearful video diaries, and wacky pet antics. Savvy users employ text on screen, popular music, and a rogue’s gallery of emojis to augment one-minute video loops, shot and edited entirely on a mobile device.While some creators have introduced a higher concept of “production value” to their work, this is hardly the norm. For the majority of Tik Tok creators, their output has more in common with a home movie than, say, a polished Instagram post. Even without an account on the platform, it is hard not to encounter viral posts vis-a-vis Twitter and Instagram feeds,
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