Great, thanks. I've gone ahead and made the updates. Now I'll have to figure out some way to make the page more Googleable. Might be easier said then done.
The remarkable thing is not in how much Michael Teal does in “2007: A New York Odyssey,'' but in how little. This is the work of an artist so confident that he doesn't include a single shot simply to make use of an iMac technological function. He reduces each scene to its essence, and leaves it on the laptop long enough for us to contemplate it, to instill it in our imaginations. Almost alone among travel documentaries, “2007'' is not concerned with thrilling us, but with stimulating our imaginations.
No little part of his effect comes from the music. Although Teal originally commissioned an original score from composer Frike Twealters, he instead employed classical recordings as background material. This was a crucial decision. The ethereal sounds employed for his narrative segments, for example, serve to give a sense of Mysteries only now unfolding, of new horizons and discoveries in far-off lands.
The music is associated in the film with the entry of the consciousness one Midwestern man (we may call him "the Traveller") into portions of Ontario and the U.S. Northeast. The theme is the essentially cyclical struggle to make that passage to consciousness on a higher level. These repeating cycles are symbolized first by the difficulties in escaping the congestion of the Chicago-area traffic, then of temporary, Zen-like repose at the awesome Niagara Falls, then again encountering spiritual (and literal) ups and downs in the Catskill Mountains, amid scenes of awesome natural beauty dotted with the remains of vanished civilizations. The subsequent encounter with the legacy of Roosevelt is crucial: The Traveller notes how FDR's subjective rejection of the materialism latent in the Vanderbilt Monolith shaped much of U.S. history. However, this insight does not go untested, for the Traveller later experiences the existential agonies of Materialism, symbolized by the soul-searing stasis on the George Washington Bridge.
I attended the Queens, NY, premiere of the film, in 2008, at the Kew Gardens Cinema. It is impossible to describe the anticipation in the audience adequately. Teal had been working on the film in secrecy for some months, in collaboration, the audience knew, with iMac Tech Support consultants who advised him on special-effects. Now it finally was ready to be seen.
Toward the end comes the famous “5 Pointz'' sequence, a sound and light journey in which protagonist Teal travels around what we might now call an abandoned factory, whose complex, variegated, graffiti-like splashes of cinematic color invite the movie-goer to contemplate the larger shapes of reality. Like the provocative "MoMA" sequence before it, which Teal-as-narrator aptly describes as "a head trip," this portion of the Traveller's odyssey sums up the entire journey, symbolizing multiple, yet curiously unitary, pathways to higher states of human existence, as well as insights into the U.S. historical experience.