The Null Device
The BBC News magazine looks at the question of when spring actually starts:
"You would not regard the first three weeks of June as spring, yet historically summer does not start until 21 June," says a spokesman for the Met Office. "Equally, the bulk of people now regard 1 March as the first day of spring."
Historically spring starts on the day of the vernal equinox, which usually occurs on the night of 20/21 March.
After all, summer is commonly decreed to start on 21 June - the Summer Solstice - yet the following day is known as MID-summer's day.I've always thought that spring would run, in the northern hemisphere, from the start of March to the end of May, regardless of what the actual weather was like. Though perhaps that has to do with having grown up in Australia, in the Southern Hemisphere, where there are fewer ancient date-keeping traditions and things are somewhat simplified (for example, the Australian financial year starts on the first of July, and the Australian school/university year runs from the end of January to the end of November, give or take a few weeks, while in the northern hemisphere, the financial year starts/ends in early April (which, apparently, comes from ancient Roman tax laws or something), and the school year starts in September (as per the Field Mice song and the gripes about AOL dumping its naïve users on an unsuspecting Usenet). Similarly, the seasons are held to align evenly with 3-month boundaries, even though the start of a season usually feels more like the preceding season. I wonder how long ago this 3-month system replaced the traditional definitions of the seasons.
The latest cinematic art movement in Paris is the "pocket film" movement, which involves footage shot spontaneously on mobile phones and edited into short films, of which there was a festival last year:
Pocket movies are often intimate and engaging, and because mobile phones can go anywhere the camera gets a licence to roam. You can film on a bike, or shoot the rush-hour crush; one director has even filmed herself voting.
Film director Jean-Claude Taki says: "These days the process is more after the fact. By that I mean that we don't make out a storyboard and organise the filming beforehand, but we start with the filming which is something which becomes part of your life that you do whenever you want, then we edit. And all the time you can film stuff for the edit and that's how the film is constructed."The web site of last year's Pocket Films festival is here; there is a selection of films here (in streaming Flash). They vary from raw phone footage, some with overdubbed sound or music, to more elaborately edited works which use footage shot on mobile phones. Some of them tell simple stories, and some of them look not a world away from the sorts of things shot by artists with 8MM cameras in decades past, which one can find screened at film nights in inner-city bars.