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Last Night

Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Orpheum Theatre - 10-10-11

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Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 9:06 AM

click to enlarge Joseph Gordon Levitt discussing the nature of love with Neil Patrick Harris - TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
  • Joseph Gordon Levitt discussing the nature of love with Neil Patrick Harris
Joseph Gordon-Levitt

hitRECord Fall Formal

The Orpheum Theatre

October 10, 2011

See also: Our slideshow of the performance.

No one was really quite sure how this was going to work. All people could be sure of was that Joseph-Gordon Levitt had built a production company around a beautiful idea. Harnessing the power of the internet, hitRECord brought artists from all over the world together to work on each other's projects.

For example if you wanted to submit a short story, someone from Sweden who liked your work could illustrate it, and then another person from Brazil could animate it, and another person could write music, and lo and behold it could turn into a short film. In less than two years the project had grown to include thousands of artists and a couple weeks ago it released its first album/DVD/graphic novel set. In honor of this release, Gordon-Levitt decided to put on a show at the Orpheum Theatre last night.

click to enlarge Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gary Oldman read some tiny stories aloud - TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gary Oldman read some tiny stories aloud
Pulling his favorite pieces from the site, he put together an evening of music, short stories, short films, and interviews. The performers included hitRECord artists, Gordon-Levitt's celebrity chums, and people from the audience.

Everyone was encouraged to film the performance and post it on the internet, making the evening itself an art project. The question was...would all of these elaborate collaborations produce inspiring art or would they just be a mishmash of good intentions?

click to enlarge Joseph Gordon Levitt, The Metafictionist, and Anne Hathaway singing in French - TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
  • Joseph Gordon Levitt, The Metafictionist, and Anne Hathaway singing in French
The answer was both. The evening was a patchwork quilt of ideas that were harmonious half of the time and a complete mess the other half. Even within one short film, the music might be superb but the dialogue overworked; the animation might be delightful, but the acting trite. Or sometimes all of the elements would come together in perfect harmony as if all of the artists were telepathic.

Gordon-Levitt's outfit reflected the nature of his site -- a striped suit, plaid shirt and polka dot tie. The crowd had similarly gotten all gussied up in their best gowns and snazziest suits.

Screaming in delight whenever Gordon-Levitt took the stage, it felt like half the crowd was there to see some art and the other half would have been perfectly content to watch him chew gum for three hours.

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