Watching video like this is tantalizing, making me yearn for a high-dollar cable package in which I can become immersed in a scene. Visuals like this envelop you. Here, screen size and resolution really do matter. The pictures are more vibrant, richer in meaning. What Discovery HD Theater is producing for television looks incredible; I only wish I could see their new series Lightscapes this evening.

The first episode captures artist Akira Hasegawa digitally painting the Grand Ise Shrine, a 2000-year-old mystical Shinto site in Japan, and the Uji Bridge during Bunka no hi, Japan’s national holiday celebrating culture and the arts. Hasegawa bases his kaleidoscopic, abstract projections on “the Shinto principles of the connectedness of nature, the spiritual, the universe, and the ephemeral.” The images move slowly but are never static. The colors morph synchronously with a rhythmic beating that enchants and beguiles, calms and propels.

Lightscapes_IseWeb-19If you have a half hour tonight, check it out at 7:30 pm Eastern and let me know what you thought of this experiential television. And, if you’re left with only your broadband, check out these fantastic live video shots from Iceland. You won’t regret it!

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I envy those of you who can see this in its entirety, especially those few people fortunate enough to experience the whole thing with the actual night sky over head and a breeze on the face. The play of lights over that bridge makes me smile big time. It makes me feel like a kid. I love it when artists do things like this. If I were standing in front of that bridge in real life, my bet is I'd experience a sense of joy of such magnitude I'd have a hard time not laughing.

Just as an aside, if you happen to have a blu-ray player, and a few spare shekels, the HD version of Ron Fricke's film "Baraka" (see ) is also filled with some fairly impressive images, having some spiritual force, like a monk hovering over a bed of flickering candle flames, dozens of flickering flames with yet another flame in hand lighting yet more candles. Here's a fine trailer for any of you who might be interested:

Thanks for the reminder, Scott. I've had the best of intentions about viewing that film but have to put it aside for animated features at this stage in my parenting life. But, now that the boys are asleep...