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video essay

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    VIDEO AND TEXT: Nelson Carvajal and Amber Sparks on Guillermo del Toro

    Guillermo del Toro, the man with endless creative ideas, who lives in a mansion he calls Bleak House—filled with monsters, aliens, and comics—seems perhaps more in touch with a pop-culture obsessed public hungry for good horror than any other director since Hitchcock.

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Siding with the Victim, Part I: THE SHINING: Death in the Family

    From the time we are little children we like hearing scary stories. Some psychologists claim it’s because we use these stories to work through our anxieties. Maybe there’s another explanation to why we like scary stories. Perhaps we don’t identify with the victors so much as the victims.

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    VIDEO ESSAY: LIE BACK AND ENJOY IT by Jessica Bardsley

    What does it mean to watch, and to record, daily life? Can plain, simple documentation, which would seem at times to be anti-lyrical, have its own music?

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Directed by De Palma

    It seems that video essayists are emerging every day—and if it isn't a new talent crossing our radar, it's someone whose extraordinary work we've somehow missed. The latter is the case with Joel Bocko, who's been making video essays since 2009.

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Siskel and Ebert: Screen Fighting Men

    Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were journalists, film reviewers, TV personalities and friends. They disliked each other and loved each other. They needled each other on the air and put on a great show, but it was always in the service of film criticism and education, a means of exciting viewers and dra...

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Pacino: Full Roar

    I could not stop laughing as I watched Nelson Carvajal's "Al Pacino: Full Roar"—not just because it's the most entertaining collection of over-the-top moments since Harry Hanrahan's "Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit," but because Pacino is and always has been a theatrical actor, delightfully so.

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Peter Andrews: The Soderbergh Vision

    “My policy is to have my name on a movie only once,” says Steven Soderbergh, so quoted by video essayist Nelson Carvajal. “Having your name once increases the impact of that credit because I think every time you put your name up there, you’re actually diluting it.”

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Gliding Over All: The Cinematography of BREAKING BAD, Season 3

    Dave Bunting Jr.’s video essay on Season 3 of "Breaking Bad" opens with time-lapse landscapes, which are de rigueur establishing shots in TV these days. Here, though, they are uniquely awe-inspiring, in part for their exotic nature, and in part for how they seem to breathe life into everything.

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    VIDEO ESSAY: The End of Violence: The Conclusions of Clint Eastwood

    It took me years to learn how to watch a Clint Eastwood movie. For one thing, I tended to watch them far apart and to rely on memory of earlier films to prepare myself for current ones. But given the gaps in time between viewings, I should have been more suspicious of how I remembered them.

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Breaking the Fourth Wall

    Oh, hello there, reader. I know why you’ve come. You’re here at Press Play to watch Leigh Singer’s awesome supercut of fourth-wall-breaking moments in cinema, aren’t you?

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