Simply Beautiful
November 10, 2011 9:53 PM   Subscribe

 
:'-)
That was quite moving. Thank you.
posted by erasorhed at 10:05 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nice. Very nice
posted by lampshade at 10:07 PM on November 10, 2011


oh god I've got to book my holiday travel home RIGHT NOW
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:23 PM on November 10, 2011


I feel like such a cynic. During the last few shots, when the guy was skateboarding around, I was waiting to see who this was a commercial for.
posted by egypturnash at 11:12 PM on November 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wow, that made me tear up. Very straight forward and he will carry the best of his mother around with him for the rest of his life. She must have been an amazing person.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 11:14 PM on November 10, 2011


Fun fact: he's riding Angel's Flight, the world's shortest railway, at the beginning of the film.
posted by ancillary at 11:47 PM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Some of these kids today are just so wonderful! It's great to see what kind of person he's becoming.
posted by Anitanola at 12:27 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Treatment for cardiac arrest involves breaking every bone in the body? Wait what?

Sure sometimes emergency treatment involves breaking the sternum during CPR, or breaking open the rib cage during open heart surgery, but these procedures aren't agonized over and presented to the family as some kind of extraordinary measure. They're a matter of course.

Sorry, but it's bullshit and I'm calling it.
posted by clarknova at 5:43 AM on November 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


Says it all. Simply inspiring.
posted by iqternet at 5:52 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


i thought that was a bit odd, too, clarknova, but the single tear running down the left side of his face overcame my cynicism.

the whole thing was made even more poignant for me by this comment from the filmmaker:
Jason was so brave to open up to me and my camera after knowing me for no longer than fifteen minutes.
posted by msconduct at 6:15 AM on November 11, 2011


Sorry, but it's bullshit and I'm calling it.

IANAD, but maybe there are other medical factors here we're not aware of? Osteoporosis or bone cancer or something? We don't know how old she was.
posted by HeroZero at 6:16 AM on November 11, 2011


I feel like such a cynic. During the last few shots, when the guy was skateboarding around, I was waiting to see who this was a commercial for.

Right there with ya. As soon as I saw the close-up of the Nike shoes on the skateboard, I was thinking: oh HELL no they didn't!
posted by ShutterBun at 6:17 AM on November 11, 2011


Lovely, thanks.
posted by tr33hggr at 6:22 AM on November 11, 2011


whether the video is fake or not, the sentiment is true and good. Most of the internet is crap, but some of it is a mirror. Some of it is cats. That's my favorite parts
posted by Redhush at 6:27 AM on November 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Him talking to the camera was good, but the music and the rest of the footage were artificial and seemed manipulative.
posted by Jpfed at 6:39 AM on November 11, 2011


Can we agree not to post these during the workday? My coworkers are becoming concerned about my allergy problem.
posted by schmod at 8:17 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


To his credit, I guess it's true that those Nike workers are simply living.
posted by cmoj at 8:28 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think they did, ShutterBun. Tight shot of the shoes at 2:03. Slick. And only cynics would criticize this, right?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:43 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


And only cynics would criticize this, right?

Nope. Not a good post.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:09 AM on November 11, 2011


Nope. Not a good post.

Do you just drive-by troll all day? I mean seriously?
posted by Avenger50 at 11:26 AM on November 11, 2011


Do you just drive-by troll all day? I mean seriously?

Not a troll. Honest. Just trying to present a likely unpopular but also likely common opinion that won't get expressed here.

I didn't find it a very good video and there's not much to talk about to talk about..

We don't tell our parents how much we love them enough until it's too late? Too true. Some moms are great? OK. Modern medicine forces us to make impossible choices? OK.

I, mean, if you want an honest opinion, I found it pretty trite. Are we not allowed to dissent here?

Also, I think "mystery meat" links stink. So I'm likely prejudiced there because I had no idea what I was watching and then I didn't like it all.

I'm not saying Jason's speech isn't touching, or that his relationship with his mom wasn't special. I just think it's a weak post and I didn't like the video.

Feel free to continue the echo chamber ...
posted by mrgrimm at 12:27 PM on November 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


Sometimes an echo, when it resonates with something deeply within me, is one I don't mind hearing, over and over and...
posted by stroke_count at 2:18 PM on November 11, 2011


Put away the Kleenex. This is a very clever viral ad. The camera work pretends to be amateur, but in fact is extremely professional--the muted colors, the cuts, the points of view, the long shots, the tight shots, the way the focus changes. At 2:02 he passes a guy stopped on a bike who is wearing Nikes. Then there is the closeup of Nikes on the skateboard. Then, at 2:07 (after the flying birds) there is another closeup of his Nike shoes (note how they swoop into sharp focus), then a street scene with a shoe store and signs: Adidas, Nike, Puma, Converse, and Reebok. Then a closeup of the Nike shoes on the skateboard again. And then, at 2:12, his skateboard passes another guy wearing white Nikes. Of course you are allowed to become emotionally involved, as you would be watching a movie, but maybe consider that you are being manipulated.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:46 PM on November 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


Oh, and if you want to get really paranoid, at 0:08 check out the swooshy shape of the neck of the white T-shirt under his hoodie.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:53 PM on November 11, 2011


I chuckled. Great conspiracy theories everyone. What was the filmmaker supposed to do, ask him to duct tape over his shoes?

I'm not saying you folks are paranoid (who knows, maybe you're right, this is an ultra secret viral campaign 11 months in the making, nice), but c'mon. Be critical, yes, but not cynical.

Thanks for the post.
posted by jng at 7:09 PM on November 11, 2011


SAVE THE CAT CLAWS
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 5:30 AM on November 12, 2011


What was the filmmaker supposed to do, ask him to duct tape over his shoes?

If the message and tagline of the film is, "Live simply so that others can simply live," then you might avoid the tight shot of the logo of a company known for exploiting sweatshop labor.
posted by cmoj at 9:07 AM on November 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Him talking to the camera was good, but the music and the rest of the footage were artificial and seemed manipulative.

I'm not saying Jason's speech isn't touching, or that his relationship with his mom wasn't special. I just think it's a weak post and I didn't like the video.


It's the piano that kills it for me, then the plaintive vocal. Once I hear those two laying down their heavy hand, it's almost immaterial that it might be viral, because it's definitely empathy-porn either way. Sorry for saying it so bluntly, but that's emphatically how I feel about such slick, manipulative movie making that goes so ruthlessly for my emotions.

I don't trust it.

Which gets us to the viral point. Call me cynical, but if this was a democracy, I'd vote that it is. And even if it isn't deliberate, it just becomes an argument that Nike is winning a much bigger, more subtle war for our hearts/minds/attention-spans. That is, here's this everyday guy moving casually through the hip urban scene advertising product and he's not even getting paid for it. And, carrying the innocence notion through, neither is the movie maker.

the bad guys are winning.
posted by philip-random at 10:36 AM on November 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


logo of a company known for exploiting sweatshop labor.

Not to mention the irony that overpriced branded shoes like that are the exact antithesis of Simple Living principles. Anybody actually practicing living simply wouldn't be paying over for a logo, but getting whatever does the job sufficiently OK for the lowest price (like some Dunlop Volleys), or a second hand pair from a thrift store, especially if it's a style that's repairable, and/or sturdy enough to last for many years.

Or, if you follow more the "so others can simply live", you'd go for something produced in equitable, fair trade factories instead of sweatshops.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:00 PM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


MetaTalk
posted by deborah at 3:42 PM on November 12, 2011


The Meta is now closed. So, uh, nevermind.
posted by deborah at 3:47 PM on November 12, 2011


I don't think anyone here takes issue with the sentiments expressed in the story. Nobody is being cynical about that. It's the possibility that we are being gamed that is interesting. It doesn't offend me; it intrigues me. I think we are seeing the ad of the future. Here are the poster's comments on Vimeo:

I want to personally thank you all for watching. Jason was so brave to open up to me and my camera after knowing me for no longer than fifteen minutes.

Note the way the camera follows him on the skateboard at the end. The videographer keeps up with his pace, first behind him, then alongside, etc. He had to do this in several takes, following behind on another skateboard or bike or car, then beside him on the road, taking closeups, then long shots, etc. But not on a bike or car, because he took the train, right? So he is skateboarding on a busy street while shooting this video? In several takes? Yet his "friend" Jason is a guy he met only 15 minutes prior to taking this video? Why the slick video sequence of pretty ordinary skateboarding with all the Nike placements? Wasn't the sentimental motherhood story with the Ghandi quote the point?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:38 PM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The next Vimeo video posted by Shot at The Dark appears to be "A small edit of my perspective of the DC Shoes commercial starring Chris Cole."
posted by TheCavorter at 6:23 PM on November 12, 2011


Thank god you guys are around to KEEP IT REAL otherwise I would enjoyed this short, well made and affecting personal project by a professional filmmaker. And we wouldn't want that, would we?
posted by Magnakai at 9:13 AM on November 13, 2011


Your dismissal of many strong points made in this post concerning the manipulative nature of the piece (in the name of Nike apparently, or certainly the Image) disturbs me.

To quote the comment above yours ...

I don't think anyone here takes issue with the sentiments expressed in the story. Nobody is being cynical about that. It's the possibility that we are being gamed that is interesting.
posted by philip-random at 11:18 AM on November 13, 2011


Okay:

The camera work pretends to be amateur, but in fact is extremely professional--the muted colors, the cuts, the points of view, the long shots, the tight shots, the way the focus changes:

He makes no pretensions to being an amateur. Look at the rest of his Vimeo channel. What's more, I certainly wouldn't put up anything that I wasn't proud of in some capacity. He spent the time making this short film to his (relatively high) standards. Big whoop.

At 2:02 he passes a guy stopped on a bike who is wearing Nikes.

According to this analysis that I found with a pretty careless google search, Nike have at least 16% of the global footwear market. I expect that to be significantly higher in the US, with a greater proportion in urban areas. This paper suggests that in 1998 it was 44% in the US. To see a guy wearing Nikes in a section of a video filmed at foot level is not exactly notable. There is also a man next to to the cyclist that appears (?) to be wearing Adidas shoes.

Then there is the closeup of Nikes on the skateboard.

Or more precisely, of the skateboard travelling through the city. I'm not sure how you'd film it (without a specialised rig) without getting the skater's feet in the shot.

Then, at 2:07 (after the flying birds) there is another closeup of his Nike shoes (note how they swoop into sharp focus)

This may be a matter of opinion, but the man wearing the shoes is the focus of the film, and his motion/journey is the focus of this little coda. The filmmaker is highlighting the free-flowing, gliding aspect of skateboarding. This resonates with the story of the skater's mothers death, evoking images of her gliding smoothly to a better place (or something.)

, then a street scene with a shoe store and signs: Adidas, Nike, Puma, Converse, and Reebok.
Have you walked down a street recently? There's also a wedding dress shop, and bizarrely, a woman carrying a TV remote. I honestly can't tell which brand of shoe those three guys in front of him are wearing.

Then a closeup of the Nike shoes on the skateboard again. And then, at 2:12, his skateboard passes another guy wearing white Nikes.

Refer to the point made above.

Of course you are allowed to become emotionally involved, as you would be watching a movie, but maybe consider that you are being manipulated.

You're being manipulated by the filmmaker, that's for sure. The music is very emotionally affecting, the scene setting intro evokes a touch of nostalgia with the turnstile, paper ticket, and tram. The skateboarding reminds us of youth, of when our parents were dominant in our lives. It's excellent filmmaking, and emotional manipulation is absolutely a part of that. Empathy-porn is an amazing phrase.

Oh, and if you want to get really paranoid, at 0:08 check out the swooshy shape of the neck of the white T-shirt under his hoodie.

I know that was posted in jest, but it's pretty funny to imagine someone taking that seriously.

[...] it just becomes an argument that Nike is winning a much bigger, more subtle war for our hearts/minds/attention-spans. That is, here's this everyday guy moving casually through the hip urban scene advertising product and he's not even getting paid for it. And, carrying the innocence notion through, neither is the movie maker.

I think this is spot on. There's a reason that Nike plaster their swoosh everywhere, as do other clothing manufacturers with their emblems. Why do I see so many people here in London with Superdry or Abercrombie & Fitch writ large over their t-shirts, shoes, jackets etc? That logo is comforting, it's normality, it's expected. Buying brand names has, at least in my life time, always been synonymous with a simple, safe honesty. We in our Internet thrones of knowledge might know that Nike Are Evil, that Urban Outfitters Steals etc etc, but how many people know or, honestly, care? I think I do, but I own a pair of semi-expensive Nike running shoes. They're comfortable and light and, when I drag my arse off the couch, I enjoy running in them. I guess I'm part of the problem.
posted by Magnakai at 1:07 PM on November 13, 2011


That logo is comforting, it's normality, it's expected. Buying brand names has, at least in my life time, always been synonymous with a simple, safe honesty.

Wut is this i dont even
posted by davejay at 10:15 PM on November 13, 2011


Well, davejay, as long as I've been aware of my peers having control over their purchasing, I've been aware that buying brand names was The Right Thing to do. Maybe it came more sharply into focus for me, with my single mother scrabbling to make ends meet. Simple luxuries were simply off the cards. But that sentiment still flows today - purchasing the alternative, the unique, the handmade, the vintage - that requires investment. You need to invest time into the research, and often into the purchase. You need to invest a little bit of your social comfort into stepping outside of normality.

It's so convenient to buy from known brands that I struggle to think of an example where it's remotely convenient not to. There's the farmer's market, if you're lucky, and that's been elevated to a luxury. You may even have a general market, with no-name goods being sold cheaply. There are certainly quite a few in most cities in the UK. But, whether or not it's true, these have negative connotations - poverty, lower social strata, poor quality etc.

So what's the alternative?
posted by Magnakai at 1:04 AM on November 14, 2011


Yet his "friend" Jason is a guy he met only 15 minutes prior to taking this video? Why the slick video sequence of pretty ordinary skateboarding with all the Nike placements? Wasn't the sentimental motherhood story with the Ghandi quote the point?

I'm not so cynical to think it's an actual viral commercial. It seems more of like an advertisement for advertisers, i.e. a professional promotional video. Nothing wrong with that. I just didn't like it.

I don't think anyone here takes issue with the sentiments expressed in the story.

I do. I really did think it was trite. "Live simply so that others can live" is meaningless--define "live simply". Answer that and I'll watch the video. Talk is easy.

Thank god you guys are around to KEEP IT REAL otherwise I would enjoyed this short, well made and affecting personal project by a professional filmmaker. And we wouldn't want that, would we?

Enjoy as it as much as you want. Don't let other people define or ruin your personal pleasures. (impossible?)

Well, davejay, as long as I've been aware of my peers having control over their purchasing, I've been aware that buying brand names was The Right Thing to do.

I really need to thank my parents more.

So what's the alternative?

Generic. Home-made. Thift stores. Hand-me-downs. Dollar stores (a US thing, but I can't imagine they're not somewhat universal). ValuCity/LowEndRetailer. Not buying stuff.

I guess I'm part of the problem.

Recognizing it is the first step. I'm not claiming to be any better. I waste far too much energy and water. I use way too much non-recyclable plastic. I'm not nearly as politically active as I easily could be. I get home Internet service from AT&T. I have a long, long list. :\
posted by mrgrimm at 8:04 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I guess I'm part of the problem.

We all are, and we always will be. It seems to be part of the deal ... being human, being social, being imperfect.

I used to say, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."
I then switched to, "You're not part of the solution until you admit you're part of the problem."
But now it's more like, "There is no solution that isn't a huge fucking problem. Fuck solutions. Hitler was big on solutions. Don't solve your problems. Dissolve them."

That last bit is stolen from Henry Miller.
posted by philip-random at 9:44 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not a troll. Honest. Just trying to present a likely unpopular but also likely common opinion that won't get expressed here.

hey, i think it's genuinely awesome you came back in and gave your honest opinion. that's all.
posted by Avenger50 at 4:31 PM on November 17, 2011


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