"It's impossible to keep up with them all, and that's a good thing."
January 7, 2017 5:32 AM   Subscribe

I'm totally addicted to this things and Fandor does a great job with these compilations. I love to see essays made by people who've actually seen a movie made before 2000 and know about a few more directors than just Fincher, Nolan and the Andersons.
posted by octothorpe at 6:01 AM on January 7, 2017

Metafilter: [boredom]
posted by univac at 6:50 AM on January 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

C'mon, guys! I got stuff to do this weekend!
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 8:33 AM on January 7, 2017

Oh man, that Keaton one (The Elevator), distills "The Goat" down one of its best parts. He should do that with the rest of Keaton's long features.
posted by Modest House at 10:03 AM on January 7, 2017

Screw the serious stuff, that Cameron Carpenter kid needs more views
posted by gusandrews at 11:32 AM on January 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

Oh my god yes, thank you for introducing me to Cameron Carpenter's videos. They are amazing. His video on women in cinema is A++ scathing satire.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 1:32 PM on January 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

Yeah - I enjoy Every Frame a Painting, but Cameron Carpenter is the real discovery here!

“If a movie stars Jackie Chan and the other Asian, it will not work for the white eyes which can only absorb true art.”
posted by adrianhon at 3:14 PM on January 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

These sort of video essays are such a marvelous resource for learning about film and other visual media that I'm a little jealous I'm still stuck in a print and picture way of talking about it. I'd really love to get more acquainted with how one makes these essays personally, but that's moving off the point. The linked choices of videos are mostly solid, with a good mix of different ways to approach the form represented.

The response to The Marvel Symphonic Universe, A Theory of Film Music, is indeed a better way to think about the subject, though it doesn't reach the sort of completeness on the that one might expect to fit its title, nonetheless it's a fine starting point for further thought.

When Words Fail in Movies was okay. Not all that insightful, more just a compilation for the sake of it using some fun little scenes on its claimed subject. It's not something I'd refer to again.

The Revenant by Tarkovsky is a nice example of a simple concept that tells a good deal about influence and borrowing in film without needing to be all that impressive a work in itself, other than in accumulating the seeming inspirations. It's a helpful tool once someone notices the connections, but much more than that, not that it need be.

A contrasting example of clip collection is Honolulu Mon Amour, compiling clips from Magnum PI o a split screen against a sort of essay like dialogue that works with and against the images and our knowledge of their origin to suggest more than either words or images could possibly do on their own. It's a form that Godard uses, with different references and aim of course, and it relies heavily on not only cross-pollination of ideas in the video, but associations from those watching it. An impressive effort that actually does warrant a second viewing to better take it all in and get a better grip on any suggestions that may arise from it.

Fritz Lang is engaging enough, and a clever enough idea, but it seems to exhaust itself on one viewing as a clever assemblage more than anything else.

The Elevator is fun and a good example of what can be done with these sorts of video essays, but it isn't bringing a lot extra in terms of seeing the original work, more in getting people people to find interest in that work than expanding on it. Nothing wrong with that and it is nifty, but I've also seen some better uses of the techniques.

The Dark Knight piece was, let's say not for me. It is, I suppose, true enough as a script writing gambit if one wants to write Hollywood action type movies, so it might have some practical merit for some, but beyond that, it makes a lot of questionable assertions and takes bland screenwriting claims as more valuable than I'd have them, but, again, I guess it wasn't aimed at someone like myself anyway.

The Homeless Ghost though was quite lovely with some excellent choices in early cinema to back up its claims. It is well researched and both useful and a pleasure in its own right. It's an excellent example of the kind of essay that can go beyond informing to being suggestive of something even more than it says directly.

Screenwriters! Do the Best Words Now! Amused and is, indirectly, true enough, but the video linked in the comments, on women in film is even better. It's the kind of thing that seems like it can become a bit much if done in excess, but as just two isolated examples they're quite enjoyable.
posted by gusottertrout at 4:49 PM on January 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Why Is Cinema has had me laughing all day!
posted by Anonymous at 7:39 PM on January 7, 2017

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