Back in 2006, Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales was positioned by the director as perhaps the first of a wave of movies that could be improved by watching with access to external info sources. The ideal way to make sense of that messy, troubled movie is to have the connected graphic novels and related website handy, and to cross-reference between them as the film runs. Not a traditional viewing experience, by any means, but it doesn’t really want to be a traditional movie.

Things didn’t really work out for Southland Tales, and the traditional movie experience has mostly remained the dominant one.

Producers of a Dutch thriller, however, are looking to play with the model of film consumption even as they directly confront (whether intentionally or not) the demonization of using phones in the movie theater. A film called APP, which began shooting this week, will “synchronize a parallel storyline via app content to be accessed while in the movie theater.” Presumably, this won’t end up playing at the Alamo Drafthouse, home of the famously strict policy on in-theater phone use. Read More »

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