Scout Tafoya will join us on the next episode of the podcast. Scout is a filmmaker, video essayist, contributor at RogerEbert.com and elsewhere. Learn more about him here. We will discuss his essay film Beata Virgo Viscera and “Deep Focus: Mike Figgis’ STORMY MONDAY, as reviewed by Roger Ebert,” a video essay edited by Matt Zoller Seitz, narrated by Kim Morgan, and based on a review by, of course, Roger Ebert.
Host Will DiGravio is joined by his fellow co-editors of the 2019 Sight & Sound magazine poll of the best video essays of the year, Grace Lee (What’s So Great About That?) and Ariel Avissar. They discuss what it was like editing the poll, what changed about the poll this year, how they’d like to see the poll evolve in the future, and how they made their own selections. The second half of the show features commentary from nine contributors to this year’s poll: Chloé Galibert-Laîné, Scout Tafoya, Jason Mittell, Philip Brubaker, Andrea Moran (on behalf of FILMADRID), Shannon Strucci, Ian Garwood, Oswald Iten, and Johannes Binotto.
Filmmaker and critic Charlie Shackleton joins the show to discuss his background, philosophy when it comes to making videographic work, and his most recent essay, “Criticism in the Age of TikTok.” In a first for the show, Charlie and Will also discuss a performance piece by Zia Anger, My First Film.
On the next episode, Will is joined by his co-editors of the annual Sight and Sound magazine poll of the best video essays of the year, Ariel Avissar and Grace Lee. The three will discuss what it was like to edit the poll, the results, and how this year’s poll differs from years past. They will also be joined by several of the poll’s contributors, who will offer extended commentaries on their selections. The episode will be released on January 31.
Scholar Johannes Binotto joins the show to discuss his video essays on John Ford’s Stagecoach and François Truffaut. He and Will also discuss Hartmut Bitomsky’s 1991 essay film, Das Kino und der Wind und die Photographie (The Cinema and the Wind and Photography).
Preview to Episode 10 – #DoYourHomework
Our next guest will be Charlie Shackleton, the London-based filmmaker, producer and video essayist. Learn more about Charlie via his website and Twitter.
They will also discuss Zia Anger’s performance piece, My First Film. No video of the performance is available online, but the trailer is below and an article published by Sight and Soundcan be found here, and more about Zia Anger can be found on her website.
News & Notes
The Scholarship in Sound & Image Workshop at Middlebury College is back! Spend two weeks in Vermont learning how to produce videographic criticism. More here. Plus, the workshop conveyers — Christian Keathley, Jason Mittell, and Catherine Grant — have just published a new online book, The Videographic Essay: Practice and Pedagogy. The website collects their previous and new writings about video essays, and also includes examples of videographic exercises from the workshop.
“Thinking Images” at the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival
From Ariel Avissar: “Thinking Images” is a new program launched at The Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival dedicated to video essays and videographic works. The call for entries is now open for submissions by students, teachers, scholars, critics and filmmakers worldwide. They are looking for works that are distinctive, and that use innovative approaches to express their ideas. Works selected for the program will be screened at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque during the upcoming festival, on June 21-27, 2020. The submission deadline is January 30th.
Chloé Galibert-Laîné, one of the leaders in the video essay genre of “desktop documentary” comes on the show to discuss her film, “Watching The Pain of Others.” Chloé and Will also discuss Ross Sutherland’s 2015 film, Stand By for Tape Back-Up.
Learn more about Chloé via her website.
Preview to Episode 8 – #DoYourHomework
Our next guest will be Johannes Binotto, a lecturer in film theory and film history at the Lucerne School of Design + Art and a post-doctoral researcher in the English Department of the University of Zurich. We will discuss two video essays by Johannes:
Will and Johannes will also discuss Hartmut Bitomsky’s 1991 film, Das Kino und der Wind und die Photographie (The Cinema and the Wind and Photography).
Apply to Attend Video Camp!
The Scholarship in Sound & Image Workshop at Middlebury College is back! Spend two weeks in beautiful Vermont learning how to produce videographic criticism. More here.
Jen Proctor is a video essayist, filmmaker, media artist, and professor at the University of Michigan – Dearborn. On this week’s show we discuss the difference between those terms, what a video essay is, and a whole lot more. Jen and Will discuss her found footage film, Nothing a Little Soap and Water Can’t Fix, and Martin Arnold’s 1988 found footage film, Pièce Touchée.
Mash-up by Jen’s student Zahra Cawley mentioned in the piece and on the podcast.
Preview to Episode 8 – #DoYourHomework
Our next guest will be Chloé Galibert-Laîné. Chloé is a filmmaker and academic, who has made video essays for Fandor and is a leader in the video essay genre of desktop documentary. Learn more about Chloé via her website.
We are back! Host Will DiGravio sits down with Adrian Martin, who discusses his video essays made in collaboration with Cristina Álvarez López. The two discuss their essay, “Only Free Gestures,” and Rafael Guilhem’s “Traspasos.”
Update: Check out this blog post Cristina wrote about our conversation! The post is full of links to their work, and includes some thoughts from Cristina on why she decided to have Adrian speak on behalf of their team.
Preview to Episode 7 – #DoYourHomework
Our next guest will be Jennifer Proctor. Jen is a filmmaker, media artist, and associate professor at the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Learn more about Jen via her website. The episode will be released on Thursday, Oct. 31.
We will discuss her piece, “Nothing a Little Soap and Water Can’t Fix.”
In her description of the essay, Jen writes:
“In films, as in life, the bathtub is often considered a private space for women – a place not only to groom, but to relax, to think, to grieve, to be alone, to find sanctuary. For Hollywood, though, it’s also a place of naked vulnerability, where women narratively placed in harm’s way have no escape.Using appropriated movies, this experimental found footage work deconstructs the representations of women in this domestic space as historically framed in popular film.”
Jen will also discuss Martin Arnold’s “Pièce Touchée” (1989).
I had the wonderful opportunity to attend an event previously plugged on the podcast, “Repetition & Variation: Video Essays as Comparative Film and Television Studies Methodologies,” hosted at Birkbeck Cinema by Catherine Grant (our guest on Episode 2!) in London on October 12, 2019.“ I live-tweeted the event here.
The day featured a fantastic selection of videographic work, including essays by Patrick Keating, Chiara Grizzaffi, Kathleen Loock, and Grant. Not all of the video essays are currently available online, but I have listed those that are below!