Anyone who has an Internet connection and wants to expand their understanding of cinema can behold the remarkable abundance of analytical video essays on the web. Proliferated in just the last five years, these meticulous readings of title sequences, thorough investigations of film style and montage decisions, dialogic inquiries of acting or mise en scene have created a genre in its own right. They can be found on websites like IndieWire's Press Play, Fandor (http://fandor.com), Moving Image Source and Audiovisualcy, on the last of which curator Catherine Grant has categorized these works under the term "videographic film studies." The essays are expressions of a cinephilia 2.0, fueled by weblogs, internet-journals and streaming platforms, produced from DVDs and digital media, laptops and DIY editing software.
Details on Episode 1 are below.
Episode 1, 16 March: Four Approaches
To begin the series, here is an initial sampling of exemplary works from the emerging genre of online video essays on cinema. Combined they cover a wide range of subject matter (a genre, a sequence in a film, a cinematic motif, a director's body of work). They demonstrate a variety of stylistic approaches to the video essay form, using an array of techniques: montage and rhythm, split screens, narration, creative use of on-screen text, etc. These works, some of them conceived as multi-part series, are made typically on computers with consumer-grade editing software, but they display an ingenuity that is comparable to that of the films they explore.
"Diary on David Holzman Part 1: The Sons and Daughters of David" [pictured]
Kevin B. Lee (2011)
"The Substance of Style, Pt 5: The prologue to The Royal Tenenbaums, annotated"
Matt Zoller Seitz (2009)
"Falling. The Architecture of Gravity"
Jim Emerson (2009)
Michael Baute (2010)