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The nineteenth century postcard was a greeting to a single reader. The YouTube video is a digital postcard sent by someone, potentially, to everyone.
We're hurtling under the boulevards of Paris. We're a mile and a half distant from the Boulevard des Capucines where the Lumière brothers rented the basement of the Grand Café to exhibit movies before paying customers. It's 110 years later, December 8, 2006.
Naturally 7, a New York a cappella group, perform "Feel It (In the Air Tonight)" on a Paris metro train. From the original hundred or so hushed, then befuddled, then enthralled metro riders that morning, listeners have swelled in four years to five hundred million three hundred thousand. You can visit the original YouTube posting here.
The image pixilates and the camera jiggles, but the video captures a moment of joy in a train as it hurtles through a tunnel. Not quite "nature caught in the act"—Naturally 7's Parisian representative suggested the stunt the previous day—the video shows real people behaving without guile.
This is the documentary movie in 2013. We end where we begun. Make film history.