New documentary ‘Eno’ tells a different story of the man every time it’s screened

The 2024 Sundance Film Festival (18-28 January) hosted the premiere of Eno, a new documentary charting the career of one of the music industry’s greatest living innovators. The film, by Gary Hustwit and generative AI specialist Brendan Dawes, is unusual in that a new version is created every time it is watched, using the amusingly anagrammatic metadata-driven Brain One as its task and content source.

“It’s kind of a modular approach. You can learn different facts about that person at different times in the film. In the end, you make the connections as a viewer.”

Gary Hustwit
Gary Hustwit (left) and Brian Eno

Using hundreds of hours of footage, as with Eno’s experimental musical work involving generative AI, rules and processes rather than creative impulses forge the narrative. Oblique Strategiesthe box of cards featuring epigrammatic commands used to stimulate creative thought, that Eno created with Peter Schmidt in the 1970s, is also referenced. Some elements of the 85 minute film are “pinned” to give it structure. The rest is freeform, served up as it sees fit by the artificial intelligence in charge of content curation. There’s even talk of doing all of this ‘live’ in front of an audience.

Source: Forbes