2014

Details for Fitz

I first learned about fitz while browsing the forums of a bittorrent tracker.

This tracker is used to share independent, foreign, experimental, and other non-mainstream film and video. It has members from all around the world, and, like other private trackers, has a very strong community with a forum and a chat channel. In addition to uploading and seeding, members also contribute by translating or creating subtitles, or, if they have access to originals, encode higher-quality rips to trump something of lower-quality. Some members are filmmakers themselves, and they share their own work.

In the forums, there is a topic named 'fitz'. The first post reads:

Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:54 AM

It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you all of the passing of our brother, Jorge (fitz).

How do you sum up in a few words what someone means to you? We never met, yet we all considered him our friend and brother. Jorge was the kind of guy you could have drink with and shoot the shit with all day and night. You could talk with him about anything - films, politics, women, life. He always had a kind word to say and was always there when you were going through tough times.

Our little baker will be missed.

The forum subject continues with posts remembering fitz. Several pages in, one member wrote:

Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:11 PM

Fitz was one of the world's foremost experts in experimental cinema. He was also the village baker in a small Portugese village.

It's such a beautiful and unlikely story someone should make a novel out of it. By day, he was an incredibly hard-working man doing tough and taxing manual labor but happy to do it as he was really proud of his bread. By night, he explored films with an open mind and an open heart that go far beyond anything most people have ever seen. He was and always will remain an Internet legend and I feel it is the duty of those of us who knew him a bit to make sure his story passes on in Internet folklore.

Fitz was the shining example of an amazing, highly intelligent autodidact, something so unfairly dismissed by a society bound to a hierarchy of grades and degrees. His vast knowledge of cinema developed out of pure passion and curiosity. He wrote directly to and in this way befriended many experimental filmmakers, who in turn sent him copies of their films. He traded by mail with people from all over the world and he shared with us in various Internet communities. He introduced many of us, including me, to experimental films. His message was simple: Just watch and feel. Don't intellectualize, rationalize or judge. Just watch and feel.
Recently he got into collecting vinyl and appreciating all kinds of wonderful almost-forgotten music. I had dabbled in that area before but literally within months he already had explored it deeper than I ever had and was recommending me things. That's fitz - whatever he touched or put his mind to, he mastered it to perfection.

He steadfastly kept us company on IRC with his incredible kindness and open-mindedness, making the dreary everyday life among the close-minded more tolerable.

I wish he could have had the time to finish those short films he was working on. I wish he could have had a chance to travel the world and experience the power of some of those places seen in movies for himself. I wish he could have introduced so many more people around the world to his passion. Those of us who he did reach, we will appreciate it forever.

This work serves as a memorial to fitz. All of fitz's 182 contributions have been downloaded to a small netbook running linux, and remain seeding.

Update, 2018: This work now exists "in the cloud" on a server set up as a seedbox.