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VIDEO ESSAY: Siding with the Victim, Part I: THE SHINING

From the time we are little children we like hearing scary stories. Some psychologists claim it’s because we use these stories to work through our anxieties. Maybe there’s another explanation to why we like scary stories. Perhaps we don’t identify with the victors so much as the victims.
  • By Jed Mayer and Ken Cancelosi
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  • July 10, 2013 8:37 AM
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  • 2 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: LIE BACK AND ENJOY IT by Jessica Bardsley

What does it mean to watch, and to record, daily life? Can plain, simple documentation, which would seem at times to be anti-lyrical, have its own music?
  • By Jessica Bardsley
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  • June 28, 2013 12:22 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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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Siskel and Ebert: Screen Fighting Men

Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were journalists, film reviewers, TV personalities and friends. They disliked each other and loved each other. They needled each other on the air and put on a great show, but it was always in the service of film criticism and education, a means of exciting viewers and drawing them in.
  • By Ken Cancelosi
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  • April 5, 2013 12:01 PM
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  • 2 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Pacino: Full Roar

I could not stop laughing as I watched Nelson Carvajal's "Al Pacino: Full Roar"—not just because it's the most entertaining collection of over-the-top moments since Harry Hanrahan's "Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit," but because Pacino is and always has been a theatrical actor, delightfully so.
  • By Nelson Carvajal and Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • March 25, 2013 10:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment

VIDEO ESSAY: Peter Andrews: The Soderbergh Vision

“My policy is to have my name on a movie only once,” says Steven Soderbergh, so quoted by video essayist Nelson Carvajal. “Having your name once increases the impact of that credit because I think every time you put your name up there, you’re actually diluting it.”
  • By Nelson Carvajal and Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • March 21, 2013 8:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Gliding Over All: The Cinematography of BREAKING BAD, Season 3

Dave Bunting Jr.’s video essay on Season 3 of "Breaking Bad" opens with time-lapse landscapes, which are de rigueur establishing shots in TV these days. Here, though, they are uniquely awe-inspiring, in part for their exotic nature, and in part for how they seem to breathe life into everything.
  • By Dave Bunting, Jr. and Gary Sullivan
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  • March 15, 2013 8:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

VIDEO ESSAY: The End of Violence: The Conclusions of Clint Eastwood

It took me years to learn how to watch a Clint Eastwood movie. For one thing, I tended to watch them far apart and to rely on memory of earlier films to prepare myself for current ones. But given the gaps in time between viewings, I should have been more suspicious of how I remembered them.
  • By Matthew Cheney
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  • March 8, 2013 9:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Breaking the Fourth Wall

Oh, hello there, reader. I know why you’ve come. You’re here at Press Play to watch Leigh Singer’s awesome supercut of fourth-wall-breaking moments in cinema, aren’t you?
  • By Leigh Singer and Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • March 7, 2013 9:30 AM
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  • 32 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: From the Panel to the Frame: Style and Scott Pilgrim

Why do the same concepts get recycled and reinterpreted in so many different media, and what does that do to storytelling? Filmmaker Drew Morton poses that question in his video essay “From the Panel to the Frame: Style and Scott Pilgrim.”
  • By Drew Morton and Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • February 13, 2013 9:21 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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