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VIDEO ESSAY: Wong Kar-Wai's Lust for Life

Wong Kar-Wai, whose long-awaited The Grandmaster opens in August, is not about plot. Wong Kar-wai is about motion and emotion. As my friend Nelson Carvajal's new video suggests, he's about the moment within the moment, the eternal in the now. Beautiful neighbors pass in a stairwell and exchange lingering looks, or talk more softly than they need to so that they can be face-to-face. The camera (usually Chris Doyle's) doesn't merely record or represent: it scopes out, insinuates, measures and caresses. All is texture. Physical texture. Emotional texture. What it feels like. What it really is. What you dream it is. What you dream it was.
  • By Nelson Carvajal and Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • April 25, 2013 2:09 PM
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  • 1 Comment

VIDEO ESSAY: Directed by De Palma

It seems that video essayists are emerging every day—and if it isn't a new talent crossing our radar, it's someone whose extraordinary work we've somehow missed. The latter is the case with Joel Bocko, who's been making video essays since 2009.
  • By Joel Bocko and Kevin B. Lee
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  • April 24, 2013 2:39 PM
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"The First, The Last, My Everything" : Tilda Swinton Dancing to Barry White at EbertFest 2013

Ladies and gentlemen, as far as I'm concerned, this was the emotional highlight of EbertFest 2013.
  • By Luke Boyce and Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • April 24, 2013 1:13 AM
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BADLANDS: Terrence Malick’s “early, funny film”

Malick’s 1973 debut "Badlands" is, thus far, the only film in his oeuvre in which humor is a significant component. If it isn’t a black comedy, then it is a singular and timeless art-house crime drama infused with greyish-brownish comedy.
  • By Lincoln Flynn
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  • April 22, 2013 8:35 AM
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Nobody Gets Out of Life Alive: THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE

Some people find it disturbing that in Coen brothers films, the characters don't often have clear realistic referents and appear at first glance to be stereotypes, playthings created only to be sadistically ground up in the gears of a machine. I've never understood this objection.
  • By Drew Gardner
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  • April 19, 2013 11:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Are Animated Gifs a Type of Cinema?

Well, are they? Elsewhere, I've proposed that cinema be thought of simply as “moving images.” Making that mental leap expands the cinema to include not just feature-length films and shorts, but also television shows, music videos, YouTube videos, video games, flash animations—and animated gifs.
  • By A.D. Jameson
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  • April 17, 2013 8:35 AM
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Raised in Fear: The Self-Help Horror of Todd Haynes’ SAFE

For all its originality, "Safe"'s narrative owes much to the made-for-TV movies that once permeated the airwaves, films like "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble," "The Best Little Girl in the World," and "Brian’s Song" that have been called “disease-of-the-week” movies for their morbid fascination with newsworthy illnesses.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • April 16, 2013 8:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Jed Mayer, Safe

42: A Conversation Between Odie Henderson and Steven Boone

Steven Boone: Odie, among other great things, you invented the term "lookeehere moment." You never gave me a precise definition, just plenty of illustrative anecdotes, but I'll take a crack at it: The lookeehere moment is that instance in which a stressed-out African-American male succumbs to pressures of racism and . . . snaps.
  • By Steven Boone and Odie Henderson
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  • April 12, 2013 10:48 AM
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Sell Out the Hallway—Room 237 and the Stakes of Found Footage

"Room 237" bears a strong anti-intellectual impulse, more geared towards ramping up the spectacular weirdness of its interviewees than towards taking their ideas seriously.
  • By Kevin B. Lee
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  • April 11, 2013 8:35 AM
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Between Fair Use and Infringement: The Perils of the Video Essay Form

During the last couple of years, as I developed my voice as an independent digital filmmaker, a majority of the content in my filmography grew under the direction of appropriation art, and in particular, the video essay form.
  • By Nelson Carvajal
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  • April 10, 2013 8:35 AM
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