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"A film that instead of making sense is sense."

Jamestown Baloos (1957) [SLYT] by Robert Breer [PDF] (previously) "is a frenetic, three-part stop-motion animation that features an army of everyday forms and figures — geometric shapes, a piece of string, newspaper clips, a pin-up girl, even Napoleon Bonaparte — flashing across the screen. Placed in increasingly compromised situations and choreographed to a jingoistic tune, the figures essentially become puppets of their former selves. Such unrelenting visuals recall not only Fernand Léger’s early experimental film, Ballet Mécanique (1924), as Breer himself has mentioned, but also early twentieth-century Dadaist collage. Dada artists like Kurt Schwitters and Hannah Höch created witty, unapologetic works that reflected the chaos and violence of modern existence. Jamestown Baloos serves, as their works did, as a pointed indictment on the absurdity of war."
posted by Room 641-A on Mar 8, 2014 - 2 comments

"I guess I’m an artist. That’s my super power."

A short and sweet 10-minute documentary on musician and artist Daniel Johnston. [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Mar 6, 2014 - 14 comments

Walking City

Walking City - "Referencing the utopian visions of 1960’s architecture practice Archigram, Walking City is a slowly evolving video sculpture. The language of materials and patterns seen in radical architecture transform as the nomadic city walks endlessly, adapting to the environments she encounters."
posted by codacorolla on Feb 9, 2014 - 5 comments

La-La Land

Vintage Los Angeles is Alison Martino's YouTube channel featuring a look back at Los Angeles during the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. There's an accompanying blog and a facebook page, too.
posted by Room 641-A on Feb 5, 2014 - 10 comments

oh, what a nice drug

"Everything is fine and the world is beautiful. It's raining, it's dark, I woke up at 5:30AM, I'm commuting in traffic. I would have had a headache, I would have been miserable, I would have wondered how my life took me to this point. This point I'm at right now. But no, no, everything is fine. Life is beautiful. The rain drops are just falling and in each one I see the reflection of every persons life around me. Humanity is beautiful. In this still frame shot of traffic on this crowded bus I just found love and peace. Heroin is a wonder drug. Heroin is better than everything else. Heroin makes me who I wish I was. Heroin makes life worth living. Heroin is better than everything else." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 4, 2014 - 106 comments

Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny

This documentary pokes fun at the ways in which Inuit people have been treated as “exotic” documentary subjects by turning the lens onto the strange behaviours of Qallunaat (the Inuit word for white people). The term refers less to skin colour than to a certain state of mind: Qallunaat greet each other with inane salutations, repress natural bodily functions, complain about being cold, and want to dominate the world. Their odd dating habits, unsuccessful attempts at Arctic exploration, overbearing bureaucrats and police, and obsession with owning property are curious indeed. A collaboration between filmmaker Mark Sandiford and Inuit writer and satirist Zebedee Nungak, Qallunaat! brings the documentary form to an unexpected place in which oppression, history, and comedy collide.
Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny
posted by Rumple on Jan 30, 2014 - 40 comments

Landmark Protect Protocol

Our Drone Future — A short film by Alex Cornell. "Created with DJI Phantom Drones, After Effects, Premier, Logic, GoPro, and a liberal interpretation of FAA regulations". If not actually the future of domestically deployed drones, it's probably the future of sub-$2K filmmaking hardware (if you don't include the software licenses and, um, FAA fines).
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich on Dec 13, 2013 - 31 comments

"Death-haunted meditations on identity and memory"

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky proposes that today’s best action directors aren’t working in Hollywood, but in direct-to-video. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Oct 18, 2013 - 18 comments

The New Canon

Media Studies professor Anne Helen Petersen writes about the dominant role of Netflix in her students’ film and television consumption, and its effect on the lasting influence of works that are — or are not — available there:
Through this reliance on Netflix, I’ve seen a new television pantheon begin to take form: there’s what’s streaming on Netflix, and then there’s everything else…
[more inside]
posted by mbrubeck on Oct 7, 2013 - 173 comments

Feminist Video/Film Artists

ROSLER, Martha: Martha Rosler Reads Vogue (1983) and Born to be Sold: Martha Rosler Reads The Strange Case of Baby S/M (1988) are accessible works of video art created by Martha Rosler in association with Paper Tiger Television to illustrate basic issues in feminist thought. Rosler is also well-known for her video performance piece, Semiotics of the Kitchen (1975), which continues to inspire new work. Her Vital Statistics of a Citizen, Simply Obtained (1977) has a similar take on the measurement of a woman's body. KREISINGER, Elisa: Pop Culture Pirate is the home of remix artist Elisa Kreisinger's feminist utopian works, including videos related to Mad Men: Set Me Free (2012); Don Loves Roger (2012); and The Evolution of Peggy Olson (2013). But also Queer Housewives of NYC (2009): One & Two. Queer Carrie (2009-2010): One, Two, & Three. The Real Feminists of Beverly Hills (2011). The Real House Husbands of New Jersey (2012). Ann Romney Loves Women (Remix) (2012). And For Your Consideration: Oscars 2011 (2012). That's two ... [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Oct 2, 2013 - 13 comments

There's a reason stock video doesn't have sound

Getty Dubs (SLYT) (previous)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 21, 2013 - 6 comments

After the rain....

"New Beginnings" (slyt) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 19, 2013 - 2 comments

Susie Sie

Susie Sie is a film artist who eschews computer effects and 3D modeling for capturing the dreamlike beauty of real objects. CYMATICS is her latest work, using lycopodium powder, a speaker, and macro photography. Other works include SILK, BLACK, Ampersand and EMERGENCE. Recommended with headphones and in full-screen mode.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 12, 2013 - 6 comments

The 1960s experimental collaborations of Raymond Scott and Jim Henson

"Gentlemen: I have a story that may be of interest to you. It is not widely known who invented the circuitry concept for the automatic sequential performance of musical pitches - now well known as a sequencer. I, however, do know who the inventor was - for it was I who first conceived and built the sequencer." This is the opening to an undated, unaddressed letter, found in Raymond Scott's personal papers (yes, the same fellow whose kooky soundtracks scored everything from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies to Ren & Stimpy, The Simpson, and Animaniacs). You can read the rest of Scott's letter, along with Bob Moog's recollections of visiting Raymond's electronics laboratory in the mid-1950s. Or you could jump ahead to the mid-1960s, when Jim Henson was in his late 20s to early 30s, and he was working on a variety of odd projects after a successful run with Sam and Friends, but before he it it big with Sesame Street. It was at this point that he teamed up with Scott on a few short, experimental films. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 12, 2013 - 11 comments

THE END IS EXTREMELY FUCKING NIGH

It's debatable whether the troubled World War Z signals the end of the ongoing zombie craze, but the film that started it all is much more clear: Danny Boyle's bleak, artful cult horror-drama 28 Days Later, which saw its US premiere ten years ago this weekend. From its iconic opening shots of an eerily abandoned London (set to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's brooding post-rock epic "East Hastings") to the frenzied chaos of its climax, Boyle's film -- a dark yet humanist tale of a world eviscerated by a frighteningly contagious epidemic of murderous rage -- reinvented and reinvigorated the genre that Romero built (though many insist its rabid, sprinting berserkers don't really count). And while sequel 28 Weeks Later with its heavyhanded Iraq War allusions failed to live up to the original (despite boasting one of the most viscerally terrifying opening sequences in modern horror), and 28 Months looks increasingly unlikely, there remains a small universe of side content from the film, including music, short films, comics, and inspired-by games. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 28, 2013 - 90 comments

Focusing on the process

Tiger in a Jar is a film production company run by husband and wife team Matt and Julie Walker, located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Their work is inspired by everyday life and the joy found in simple but meaningful activities.
[more inside]
posted by jammy on Jun 28, 2013 - 3 comments

The Monster of Colors Doesn't Have a Mouth

"One day I dreamed that my parents, my brothers and I went to visit three islands and I jumped into the water without protection," she wrote in her diary. "I felt like I could be in the water and not drown. I was curious and I swam into the deep water and then I saw my skeleton with my name written on it." Roger Omar collects children's dreams, and asks artists to illustrate them. [more inside]
posted by taz on Jun 9, 2013 - 18 comments

Color Footage Of NYC In 1939

An amateur film shot in 1939 by French tourist Jean Vivier documents a trip to New York City, in color.
posted by The Whelk on May 31, 2013 - 44 comments

Another Stupid Newsreel! I Hate The News.

We visited Weirdo Video back in 07 for propaganda films, but the YouTube channel has been steadily updating with yesterday's ephemera. Why not enjoy some vintage newsreels about STRIKES! SULTANS! SUEZ! SAN FRANSISCO! or some FITNESS FADS!
posted by The Whelk on May 16, 2013 - 2 comments

Persistence of Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema

2013 Jefferson Lecture with Martin Scorsese (text) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 9, 2013 - 3 comments

Photography as Technology

The George Eastman House is producing a series of nicely produced videos, each about 10 minutes long, demonstrating every major technological development in photographic process with guidance from historians, curators, and artists and illustrated by objects from their collection. There are more to come, but you can start now with The Dageurrotype, The Collodion Process, The Albumen Print, The Woodburytype, The Platium Print, and The Gelatin Silver Print.
posted by Miko on May 5, 2013 - 12 comments

Selections from the BFI's collection of early cinema

The British Film Institute's YouTube channels offer a staggering amount (previously) of content on historical cinema, shorts, and discussion. Some short selections from the early and silent period of note - The Sick Kitten (1903) - How Percy Won The Beauty Competition (1909) - Tilly The Tomboy Visits The Poor (1910) - Suffragette Riot In Trafalgar Square (1913) - The Fugitive Futurist, in which a man on the run shows a device that can see far into the future (1924) - Vaudevillian legend Billy Merson Singing 'Desdemona'. Widely considered Britain's first sound film - (1927) Charley In New Town - part of an animated series from the Central Office, this one explaining the need for "New Towns." (1948) - Growing Girls, a filmstrip guide to puberty for young women (1951).
posted by The Whelk on May 2, 2013 - 5 comments

Leo just kept ingesting sweet crap

Dan Goodbaum edits together selected excerpts from Elvis Mitchell's interview with Quentin Tarantino about the role of food as a indicator of power in his movies (full interview here). Grantland's 20 Best Tarantino Food Scenes
posted by The Whelk on Apr 21, 2013 - 13 comments

"a spontaneous ballet"

James Nares' new exhibition 'Street' is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in NYC. It is an HD video of pedestrians in Manhattan, slowed way, way down. Watch 2:17 of the 61 minute piece here, and another 2:01 clip here. Villlage Voice, New York Times, Vogue, and an interview with Nares in Interview. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 13, 2013 - 7 comments

Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker!

"Everybody Wants to Kill Bruce" - One action sequence compiled from 39 movies. NSFW. Via.
posted by brundlefly on Mar 27, 2013 - 45 comments

Masters of making you cry

The Chopsticks Brothers (筷子兄弟) [Google translated bio] are Xiao Yang and Wang Taili, Chinese indie musician/filmmakers making internet short films which generally function as extended music videos for their original songs. Old Boys (42 min, english sub) October 2010 [Youku copy] - over 52 million views Short video on YouTube, english subtitles [more inside]
posted by ctmf on Mar 10, 2013 - 0 comments

[{-_-}]

Crutchnap by Harmony Korine [SLYT]
posted by Fizz on Mar 7, 2013 - 29 comments

My Strange Grandfather

My Strange Grandfather. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Feb 15, 2013 - 8 comments

The boundaries separating humans and animals disappears

Ashes and Snow [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 13, 2013 - 7 comments

Helping you maintain

High maintenance: a nameless cannabis delivery guy delivers his much-needed medication to stressed-out New Yorkers in this character-driven web series.
posted by matthewr on Jan 13, 2013 - 46 comments

Nothing Else Matters

Kathryn Bigelow's striking bin Laden manhunt thriller Zero Dark Thirty arrives in wide release tonight on the heels of a final artful trailer -- one with oddly familiar musical accompaniment. The funereal hymn, a cover of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" (lyrics), deftly recasts the 90s power ballad as a haunting dirge of quiet grief, shattered ideals, and a singleminded focus on revenge, a perfect distillation of the film's profoundly grim thesis. But while the song may be fitting, it wasn't composed for the project -- it's just the latest success story from Belgian women's choir Scala & Kolacny Brothers, whose mournful reinterpretations of classic and modern rock -- catapulted by their rendition of "Creep" in The Social Network -- have made them famous around the world, with star turns in the likes of Homeland ("Every Breath You Take") and Downton Abbey ("With or Without You"). Cover comparison site WhoSampled offers a list of YouTube comparisons between the covers and the originals; look inside for more of their work in movies and television. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jan 11, 2013 - 46 comments

La Madonna Inn E Mobile

Aria was an art movie/promotional stunt put out by Virgin Media in 1987 with famous directors providing a music-video take on various opera pieces. ( A full review by That Opera Chick). Of particular note is Julien Temple's (Of Earth Girls Are Easy fame) adaptation of Verdi's Rigoletto as a zany, cartoonish, ecstasy-fueled and very 80s farce set at the infamous Madonna Inn. Watch the whole delirious sequence here.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 31, 2012 - 14 comments

For SCIENCE!

Decay is a free, downloadable zombie film set entirely at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 22, 2012 - 15 comments

Computer Boy & Abe Forsythe

Computer Boy! (also available here): Abe Forsythe made the movie Computer Boy when he was just 18. It's a 50 min. spoof of The Matrix that was filmed in less than two weeks at actual Matrix shooting locations in Australia and cost just over $2000 to make.* It became a cult hit when it was released online in 2000 & was one of the first internet films to hit 500,000 views.* (wikipedia, imdb) [more inside]
posted by flex on Dec 21, 2012 - 11 comments

Led Zeppelin - Royal Albert Hall, January 9, 1970

Led Zeppelin - Royal Albert Hall, January 9, 1970 (previously) [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Dec 3, 2012 - 18 comments

Planet Toronto

Planet Toronto - a timelapse video. After catching the attention of Toronto's tourist board through selfmade "video love letters to Toronto" uploaded to Vimeo, Ryan Emond was given a budget and access to more locations to create a longer version.
posted by modernnomad on Nov 8, 2012 - 19 comments

"Things that were once completely normal now seem totally surreal."

Innovative and extraordinarily talented British animator Run Wrake is perhaps best known for the short films Rabbit (previously, details) and The Control Master (previously). Run passed away suddenly just a few weeks ago, less than a year after having been diagnosed with cancer. He was 47. Here is an interview with Run from APEngine. [more inside]
posted by oulipian on Nov 8, 2012 - 11 comments

analog beauty in a digital world

This video on the beauty and fascination of analog media is from the PBS Arts tmblr OffBook
posted by Isadorady on Nov 7, 2012 - 15 comments

Let There Be Light

"A post-World War II documentary, banned by the military in 1946 but lately released online, is one of the earliest depictions of psychotherapy." Let There Be Light, a film by John Huston. [more inside]
posted by bluefly on Aug 20, 2012 - 9 comments

WIGS

In May, YouTube announced they would be hosting a lineup of original video channels, in a possible attempt to compete with network and cable television. Among the new offerings was WIGS, the (NSFW) brainchild of director/producer/writers Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia, of original, scripted dramatic series and short films exploring female characters. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 27, 2012 - 14 comments

Juxtaposition - Two New Short Films

Gymnast: In Motion — The elegant movements and athletic prowess of five twirling trampolinists are captured in photographer Steve Harries’ new short film. Performing up to 7.5 meters in the air—shot from a tall camera tower beneath a rig suspending the set, mirrors and lights from the ceiling—bodies were broken up into fragmented forms and motions by a bank of six mirrors. Contrast that with No Church in the Wild, the Jay Z & Kanye West collaboration filmed by Romain Gavras. A message of hope to anyone who feels society needs to change direction, or a furious extended urban battle scene?
posted by netbros on May 30, 2012 - 9 comments

I just wanted us to be safe

Spoiler.

The zombie apocalypse happened -- and we won.

But though society has recovered, the threat of infection is always there -- and Los Angeles coroner Tommy Rossman is the man they call when things go wrong.
posted by Drexen on May 27, 2012 - 44 comments

20 short films, each made in 48 hours for Sci-Fi-London 2012

Sci-Fi-London put on another 48 hour film challenge this year, challenging film teams to make a short based around a given title, a snippet of dialogue, a short list of props, and an optional "scientific" theme. After two days in April, over 380 shorts had been made, and the winners have now been announced and and their short films posted on Sci-Fi-London's Vimeo account. 17 more shorts below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 23, 2012 - 7 comments

But it has some nudes/ So if that does it for you

The art house review/criticism series Brows Held High decided to tackle Nicolas Roeg/David Bowie's 1976 The Man Who Fell To Earth by reviewing it as a karaoke medley of Bowie's greatest hits.
posted by The Whelk on May 21, 2012 - 12 comments

"I always thought that board games were things that adults didn't play."

The Politics of Competitive Board Gaming Amongst Friends is a short documentary by Jay Cheel whose subject is summed up by its title. You can see other short films by Cheel at his website. The main protagonist of the doc, Gerry Eng, a.k.a. Reed Farrington, has been the subject of many Cheel films, such as Cooking with Gerry, Cooking with Gerry #2, Poutine, A Very Gerry X-Mas and Reed's House.
posted by Kattullus on May 10, 2012 - 84 comments

"A montage of unique dolly shots from the films of Spike Lee."

Spike Lee: The Dolly Shot (SLVimeo) Compiled by Richard Cruz, featuring "Bra" by Cymande.
posted by beaucoupkevin on Apr 30, 2012 - 13 comments

Network Awesome

Network Awesome mines the resources of YouTube to bring you treasures vast and plentiful, packaged and gift-wrapped in an easier-to-watch format. Since it launched in January 2011, it's expanded a bit with a corollary animated GIF site and an online magazine. (previously; 2) [more inside]
posted by mrgrimm on Apr 27, 2012 - 4 comments

The Logical Extension Of Business Is Murder

The extended trailer for David Cronenberg's adaptation of Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis has hit the internet.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 21, 2012 - 62 comments

2012 just got R.Kelly-fied

32 all new episodes of: Trapped. In. The. Closet. (The Alien is back and It has brought friends along.)
posted by 0bvious on Mar 21, 2012 - 36 comments

Prison animation

Animated shorts made by California prisoners in the early 90s. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Feb 29, 2012 - 6 comments

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