Mourning the loss of Steve Jobs has led many of us to look back on how innovation and technology can change attitudes, habits and the way people go about their lives. We know the legacy of Steve Jobs will be related to much more than the use of computers. His genius changed the way we live and interact. Yet, this pioneering spirit can rightly be found in different spheres of life such as medicine, politics, and culture.
Just last week, I was reminded of another, far less known innovator in the world of film, but one who helped change what to expect from entertainment, Norman McLaren. His spirit lives on in many of today's films.
In the spirit of learning more about filmmaking innovation and the subsequent impact on culture, I attended an evening at the Kennedy Center where Montréal-based 4D Art presented a dramatic salute to this former National Film Board president. McLaren, a creative genius who used multimedia technology to innovate and bring modern film and entertainment to new heights.
The 4D Art company, the brainchild of Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, has already graced the Kennedy Arts Center stage four times and thanks to the VP of programming, Alicia Adams, was able to present the production of "Norman" to a stellar audience of patrons, artists and agents. The performance was impressive and appreciated by all.
When you see how film has evolved from the pioneering days of McLaren, one cannot help but acknowledge that the work of one individual can make a difference for all who follow. In the case of Lemieux and Pilon, they have used their four dimensional art to remind us of the genius of a man who influenced much of their own art and that of subsequent generations.
Seeing the reactions of patrons in the Eisenhower theatre, I was reinforced in my profound conviction that Québec culture and artists can make for the best diplomacy and do much to bring people together. This is why Québec, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the creation of its ministry of culture, has made our cultural activity here in the U.S. such an important goal and in itself, contributes to convey our creative spirit.