Episode 14: Leigh Singer (April 29, 2020)
The show welcomes journalist, programmer, and video essayist Leigh Singer. We discuss his most recent essay, “The Movies Behind Your Favorite GIFS” and kogonada’s 2014 video essay, “Linklater // On Cinema & Time.” Listeners are also given their next homework assignment: videographic epigraphs.
Will sits down with Scout Tafoya, aka Honors Zombie. Scout is a prolific video essayist and critic, who regularly contributes to RogerEbert.com among other publications. We dive deep into 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 Ebert.
Episode 12: Liz Greene (February 19, 2020)
Liz Greene is a scholar, sound professional, and video essayist. On today’s show, she and Will discuss her essay, “Do it for Van Gogh: Detecting and Perverting the Audience Position in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet.” They also discuss Tracy Cox-Stanton’s recently released video essay, “Gesture in A Woman Under the Influence.”
Episode 11: The 2019 Sight & Sound Poll (January 31, 2020)
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.
Episode 10: Charlie Shackleton (January 16, 2020)
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.
Episode 9: Johannes Binotto (December 23, 2019)
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).
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.
Episode 7: Jennifer Proctor (October 31, 2019)
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.
Episode 6: Adrian Martin (October 13, 2019)
Will DiGravio sits down with Adrian Martin, who discusses his video essays made in collaboration with Cristina Álvarez López, what it is like to be both a prolific writer and videographic film critic, and the way Robert Mitchum walks . The two discuss Adrian and Cristina’s essay, “Only Free Gestures,” and Rafael Guilhem’s “Traspasos.”
Episode 5: Jacob Swinney (September 29, 2019)
Jacob Swinney comes on the show to discuss his work at Fandor, his popular Twitter account First & Final Frames, how he built a large following on Vimeo, and what it’s like to have Paul Schrader share your work. He and host Will DiGravio also discuss Jake’s essay “First and Final Frames,” and the video essay “The Art of Overanalyzing Movies” by Now You See It.
Episode 4: Grace Lee (What’s So Great About That?) (September 5, 2019)
This week’s guest is Grace Lee, who operates the popular video essay channel, What’s So Great About That? on YouTube. Grace and host Will DiGravio talk about how Grace’s fine art background influences her video essays, what it is like having one’s video essay go viral, how to please the YouTube algorithm, and discuss her essay, “Feathered Foes: Birds in Horror.” They also discuss the desktop documentary “Reading//Binging//Benning” by Chloé Galibert-Laîné and Kevin B. Lee.
Episode 3: Philip Brubaker (August 23, 2019)
Will DiGravio sits down with Philip Brubaker, formerly one of the principal video essayists at FandorThe two talk about Philip’s introduction to video essays, the rise and fall of Fandor, why Philip does not consider himself a critic, and his latest work, Abandoned Movie, an essay film. They also discuss Vicotira Oliver Farner’s video essay, “Peripheral Attention.”
Episode 2: Catherine Grant (August 1, 2019)
In the first true episode of the show, Will sits down with Catherine Grant, one of the leading video essay makers working today. In the episode, the two talk about Katie’s first introduction to the form, her philosophy when it comes to making video essays, and her latest video essay, “The Haunting of The Headless Woman.” They also discuss “Cotton – The Fabric of Genocide,” an essay by Cydnii Harris.
Episode 1: Pilot (July 28, 2019)
In the pilot for “The Video Essay Podcast,” host Will DiGravio discusses the show’s origins, his background, the format of the podcast, and previews the next episode, which will feature an interview with Catherine Grant.