The online video essay is a unique form of movie criticism that’s emerged over the past few years. While it hasn’t been as widespread a phenomenon as its close cousin, the mash-up, it has opened a new dimension for the field of serious movie study, enabling critics and scholars to refer directly and immediately to the movies under discussion. We here at Keyframe are among the biggest advocates of the video essay as you’ll find anywhere, with our own YouTube channel of videos that we’ll be adding to on a regular basis.
However, a couple of recent developments has us wondering if Vimeo is the place where these videos have the best chance to thrive. First, we discovered, to our dismay, that YouTube disabled the audio track for one of our videos, claiming that a third party claimed a violation of copyright over the video’s use of music. (The video can now be accessed with its audio intact over at Vimeo.) But a more upbeat and exciting reason is the launch of a new channel on Vimeo that is dedicated to compiling video essays into a single location.
The channel is called Audiovisualcy and is the brainchild of Catherine Grant, who already runs Film Studies for Free, a content-rich site that no doubt has been a godsend for many a film student. It was at Film Studies for Free that Grant made this announcement last week: “Audiovisualcy is a group page at Vimeo which gathers together in one handy and easy to find place, the numerous video essays about films, film studies and film theory already posted at that video hosting site by individual users.”
Several dozen videos have already been posted in the past week. It appears that the videos have to be posted on Vimeo to be included in the channel, which means that Keyframe will be looking into migrating all of its video criticism content to Vimeo in the near future. In the meantime, there’s plenty to watch there to keep busy. We recommend this video essay that explores the artistic vision of Wong Kar Wai. Produced by a film studies student at UCLA, the video intersperses clips with interview footage of the enigmatic Hong Kong master. And, to get a full sense of what the video explores, you can watch a couple of Wong’s films here at Fandor.
Decoding Wong Kar-wai from Soraya Sélène on Vimeo.
Watch films by Wong Kar Wai at Fandor.