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recycling of Hollywood classics, and Internet short f i lmmaking—is similarly articulated through densely interwoven discursive networks. Along with the notion of social mediation, I have stressed the extensive evaluative and interpretive dimensions of home film exhibition and recep- tion. In home film cultures, these dimensions are most evident in relation to technologies with digital affiliations, such as home theater and DVD. An engagement with the digital world of cinema confers, to paraphrase Bour- dieu, titles of cultural nobility on those viewers most immersed

reviews and encyclopedias have always operated as “metadata.” As a peripheral discourse to media, metadata in any form marks the contours of movie culture in any given moment. Previously, when printed video guides were the norm, they marked the abundant choices of tangible videos and Americans’ concomi- tant desire for choice. Now that this metadata largely occurs in a digital world the where the “metatext” is part of the same apparatus as the text, it provides both the literal and figurative gateway through which Americans find and select their movies.1 from

—but they’re certainly not necessary.” The add-on and helper volumes appeared steadily through 2003, and the series wound up in July 2004. Decipher’s TCG was far more lucrative than the RPG books, and there are apparently plans to issue new packs of cards until at least the middle of 2007. At the end of January 2004, the firm moved into the digital world by oªering the option of an online trading-card game. The Internet would seem less suited to RPGs, but in October and November 2005, Decipher began selling expanded versions of two of its out-of-print add-on volumes, Isen

, including fi lm, in the digital world. In the context of these invocations, the essay has not become any less problematic than when it was fi rst written, nor has it always acquired new meanings. “Benjamin is enjoying a boom, but does he still have actuality?”1 Th is question is inevitable at a time when our political, social, and personal lives seem more than ever to be driven by developments in media technology, and thus by an accelerated transformation, disintegration, and reconfi guration of the structures of experience. Indeed, if we pose the question of

absorption into the everyday rehearsals of ballet dancers; the rou- tine practices of aspiring boxers; the encounters among staff, visitors, and art at England’s National Gallery; and the vast array of interactions and political tensions swirling through a highly diverse section of New York City. Clearly, it could be otherwise, but these films reverberate with the voices of those who encounter others who fascinate and inspire them. What common qualities emerge from how filmmakers engage with this twenty-first-century digital world and adopt the technologies now availa