Press Play will track the series, posting four or five of the selected videos each week as they also become available on the Oberhausen Film Festival website.
This week is an initial sampling of exemplary works from the emerging genre of online video essays on cinema. Combined they cover a wide range of subject matter (a genre, a sequence in a film, a cinematic motif, a director’s body of work). They demonstrate a variety of stylistic approaches to the video essay form, using an array of techniques: montage and rhythm, split screens, narration, creative use of on-screen text, etc. These works, some of them conceived as multi-part series, are made typically on computers with consumer-grade editing software, but they display an ingenuity that is comparable to that of the films they explore.
Falling. The Architecture of Gravity
Jim Emerson (2009)
The video essay at its most direct, eloquent and illuminating, by virtue of simple comparison and astute observation.
Volker Pantenburg is assistant professor for moving images at the media faculty of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.
Kevin B. Lee is Editor in Chief of IndieWire’s PressPlay Video Blog and contributor to Roger Ebert.com. Follow him on Twitter.