No one needs to be reminded of how much hand-wringing there’s been in the past decade over questions on literature’s place in the 21st century. Philip Roth or some other old white dude predicts the death of the novel almost as frequently as radio evangelists predict the apocalypse.
Israeli writer Etgar Keret, however, sees changes in our culture as exciting creative opportunities, not causes for dismay. He’s teamed up with Dov Alfon, former editor-in-chief of Israel’s leading English-language newspaper, to create Story Vid, a cultural initiative that incorporates video and audio to bring the short story to a new online setting.
“In this project, [we’re] trying to do something that’s supposed to be the literary version of the music video,” Keret told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “Basically we’re trying to get filmmakers to express reading. We believe that it’s a new kind of storytelling that can bring people who are not natural readers closer to literature, and advance the idea that stories are there, waiting to be read, and don’t necessarily have to be threatening.”
The first installment of Story Vid, called “What Do We Have in Our Pockets?” is based on a story by Keret and was directed by Croatian filmmaker Goran Dukić. It recently premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The pair previously collaborated on 2006’s Wristcutters: A Love Story, which was based on a short story by Keret and was written and directed by Dukić.
Watch “What Do We Have in Our Pockets?” below.