When we’re not watching movies over here at FSR, we’re usually thinking about them. Trying to get our grubby paws on anything that helps us see things from a different angle, better understand context or that can help us make new and exciting connections about films, filmmaking, and everything betwixt. Devouring content about content is our stock and trade, and seeing that you’ve found your way here, dear reader, I suspect you feel the same.
Below you’ll find eighteen of my favorite video essays from the past year, unranked for your discovering pleasure. If I’ve forgotten your favorite essay, whisper the url into a tin can and bury it in the nearest field. I’ll find it.
“What Food Says About a Character”
From Phantom Thread to The Florida Project, Fandor’s Jacob T. Swinney delves into the meaning of food on film, and its potential to be one of the most revealing of character traits on screen. Also, requisite: Fandor is dead, long live Fandor.
“David Lynch: The Treachery of Language“
The ever-lucid Grace Lee delves into the fraught relationship between David Lynch and language. Fraught might be putting it lightly. That gum you like is going to come back in style.
“How Dave Chappelle Dodges Laser Beams“
Stand up comedy and The Social Reckoning of this, the year of our dark lord 2018, have a propensity to get on like oil and water. And with more Netflix comedy specials than we know what to do with, analyses from smarties like Jack Nugent are essential. Here, Nugent spotlights how Dave Chapelle’s enigmatic approach to comedy helps him tiptoe around career-ending controversies.
“Breaking Bad: Walter White – How a Man Becomes Evil”
Anya Formozova takes a stab at pathologizing one of the small screen’s most enigmatic characters. Was Walter White really good to begin with? If not, what changed?
“Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Paradox”
From the sound-mixing to the clip selection, every part of a BREADSWORD essay is working over-time to prove the video’s point. Which, here, involves our boy waxing paradoxical on Kubrick and the Cold War. He’s one of the smoothest creators out there and one of the few to make full use of the argumentative power of the medium. And somehow he makes it feel effortless. Good god.
“Why James Bond Sounds Like James Bond”
By Dan Golding
Music theory is one of my (many, many) blind spots and when smart folks explain it to me, it feels like a magic trick. One such smart folk is Dan Golding, who here, breaks down the musical heart of James Bondness.