In everything that we do, and in everything we have in life, we always have this special list of favorites. When we talk about our favorites, these are things which have left a mark in our hearts, and are, in some degree, hold significance in our lives. Some people may have their own favorite set of things – may it be in terms of the movies they watch, the music they listen to or even with the books that they read.
Call me a techie nerd or something, but I am not ashamed with the things I really love. I know that you might already have an idea of what these things are since I’ve obviously talked and blabbed about them in almost every article in my blog. Well, folks, as you may all know, I am talking about the video essays in my digital library. I am not only talking about my finished projects, but also about the collective works of other video essayists whom I look up to. And even if it was quite a challenge for me to choose my top favorite videos, I still have to for the sake of writing this article and also for the goal of making you, my beloved readers, see the best video essays out there (for me).
1. Kevin Lee’s The Spielberg Face
“..Eyes open, staring in wordless wonder in a moment where time stands still.”
Kevin Lee’s video essay’s main argument primarily revolves around the famous director Steven Spielberg’s so-called signature stroke called “The Spielberg Face”. According to him, this significant element in each and every film created by the director has inspired many directors in the contemporary times to follow suit. And just when this kind of technique in cinematic films become much a cliché for the taste of the audience, there was also one director who was able to twist it and turn it into something different – Spielberg, himself.
What I like about the video essay created by Lee is the fluidity of his story telling. The remix of his voice and video clips coming from different movies of Spielberg throughout the years captured the thing which he called the “Spielberg Face”. I think that in an essay, it is very important that your message successfully comes across the people watching them. And I, a Spielberg fan myself, can totally relate to the video being presented. In the end of the ten-minute video, there are a series of insights which may or may not have been revealed to us by the director. K. Lee’s interpretation of the “Spielberg Face” is just so difficult to miss.
2. J. Mayer and J. Canino’s Monsters Are A Child’s Best friend
Jed Mayer and Jeffrey Canino takes an interesting turn on how people perceive monsters in their collaborative effort to make and produce a video essay entitled “Monsters Are A Child’s Bestfriend”.
It tells the story of a man who recalls his past childhood experiences when his parents used to leave them in front of the television. But it was a particular drama on Halloween night, 1971 which carved a mark in his memory forever- James Whale’s Frankenstein. It was then he discovered his want to watch more horror movies similar to that of Frankenstein like Nosferatu, Vampyr and other movies from UFA productions.
This is at the top of the list of my favorite video essays because the message is something which you don’t really see in mainstream films. It compels you to rethink your way of thinking towards monsters. It featured how these so called “Universal monsters” depicts a side which is not typically associated with beasts and other destructive beings: attraction. Frankenstein touches the hearts of children because he is a manifestation of how these young people experience joys, torment and tantrums. In the end, maybe monsters are not totally monstrous in its purest essence because in a way, it has helped children to cope with problems with their inner self. You can also look at www.nytimes.com to see good analytical views regarding this video essay of Kevin Lee.
3. John Bresland’s Ode To Everything
John Bresland, as you may all know, is a well-known video essayist of the 21th generation. The video was narrated by Eula Biss’ voice. Contrary to the opinions of many , I actually liked this video a lot. Sometimes, a video essay does not have to portray or use graphics like pictures in a literal manner. The video essay, Ode to Everything, is one of the few which invokes you to listen to every word Ms. Biss is saying. There is something about the video which encourages you to focus and to feel the soothing tone of her voice and to imagine how a mother talks about her baby. It brings back memories from the old times. I miss my mother.