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Cine-Bonanza! New Online Channel for Video Essays

The online video essay is a unique form of movie criticism that’s emerged over the past few years – now there’s one place to find them.

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.

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  • Michael Guillen says:

    Kevin: Great piece. And I would vote for Vimeo. I met some of their reps at SF’s recent Disposable Film Festival, Andrea Allen in particular, and I have to say that I was much impressed with the quality of the community they are building over there plus the many tutorials and key guidance they provide in facilitating participation. I think the quality of films that Fandor offers would be more appreciated at Vimeo than YouTube. Contact Andrea, I’m sure she’d be happy to help Fandor get set up over there.

  • Kevin, thanks for your words about, and kind support for, Audiovisualcy. This forum would not exist were it not for your own inspirational, brilliant and pioneering work on online video essays, originally at Shooting down Pictures and now here. You and Matt Zoller Seitz are the daddies when it comes to this form, as far as I’m concerned! I’m delighted that we have been able to add three of your own essays to the channel so far. It would be awesome if more could find their way to being shared at Vimeo, which is a very beautiful and cinephile friendly host.

  • alsolikelife says:

    Thanks Michael and Catherine. Keyframe will be making a point to spotlight video essays that we find at AudioVisualcy on an ongoing basis – perhaps a weekly column is in order!

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