petak, 7. lipnja 2013.

Sight&Sound - The web video of 2012 & 2011 & 2010

Obilje "najboljih" filmova na webu, u izboru međunarodnih kritičara i kuratora.

The web video of 2012

Nick Bradshaw , Abigail Addison , Amid Amidi
Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The year’s best online movies, by 16 international correspondents. Introduced by Nick Bradshaw.
Henry Jun Wah Lee's Dauðalogn, for Sigur Rós's valtari mystery film experiment
2012 was the year YouTube broke the one billion mark with views of South Korean rapper PSY’s sublimely absurdist – and absurdly infectious – Gangnam Style music video, a globe-conquering dance craze that rapidly became a meme in itself, inspiring everyone from political dissidents to, er, young Etonians, as several of our contributors below consider. Of course, the platform itself also continued to entrench its own behemoth status in the web-video market, zoning in on a billion monthly viewers and $1 billion of annual revenue, and spreading its compass into everything from feature-film delivery to funded original programming.
That said, YouTube’s more cultivated rival Vimeo also continued its rise to prominence; to judge by its ascendancy in our own annual straw polls, it’s surely the go-to destination for movie artists distributing their work on the web, with its leaner emphasis on curated networks and word of mouth rather than mass trends (compare Vimeo’s 2012 Awards and Handpicked with Love: Top 12 Videos of 2012 with YouTube’s Year in Review and Best of 2012).
As with PSY, music informed two of our correspondents’ 2012 favourites, the motley series of artists’ contributions to Sigur Rós’s valtari mystery film experiment project and Jacob Krupnick’s 12-part feature-length Girl Walk // All Day musical (both of which have already been commended in our new Bytes column). These highlight the wonders of the web as the distribution channel for an explosion of movie creativity, unbound by the strictures of bricks-and-mortar economics (not to mention law, quite often), across everything from animation to documentary.
Most fascinating this year though has been the ongoing explorations of the web (and tablet apps) as a medium, particularly with the experiments in movie interactivity commissioned by the likes of NFB Interactive, and MIT’s OpenDocLab, and promoted by the likes of Power to the Pixel and IDFA DocLab (which this year hosted a fascinating installation, Moments of Innovation, on the intersecting histories of documentary and technology).
Closest to home for us at Sight & Sound has been the blossoming of online movie criticism. This year saw the Oberhausen Short Film Festival partner with Kevin B. Lee and Volker Pantenburg on the excellent Film Studies in Motion, an online retrospective of the form. You’ll see too a couple of picks in the following poll for Jeff Desom’s Rear Window Timelapse, a sort of web installation of the entire backyard set of Hitchcock’s thriller, the film’s discrete shots stitched back together in After Effects as a reunified whole.
It’s also gratifying to be able to report that this year we teamed up with some of the best of these video critics, Lee making us a handful of excellent video reports and essays (as well as a separate series on critics’ nominations for our Greatest Films of All Time poll), and the supercuts auteur kogonada recently filing us a beautiful essay on The world according to Koreeda. We look forward to much more.

Abigail Addison
Animate Projects

A selection of fantastic animated works that appeared on the internet in 2012:

Old Spice Muscle Music
Wieden + Kennedy

Vimeo teamed up with Old Spice to create this entertaining interactive video featuring actor Terry Crews flexing his muscles. Play it through, then create your own (with plenty of flame sax) simply by using your keyboard to trigger the different instruments and vocals. The result was a somewhat successful viral-video campaign: to date more than 17,000 response videos have been posted online.

Scroogin on a greg
Will Anderson & Ainslie Henderson

There are countless animations about pigeons on the internet, but few as droll as this cheeky short by animators Anderson [homepage] and Henderson [homepage]. Both are fresh-faced graduates of Edinburgh College of Art, bagging awards at film festivals across the globe with their respective shorts The Making of Longbird and I am Tom Moody. Keep an eye on their Vimeo channels; these boys are destined for great things.

Bendito Machine IV: Fuel the Machines
Jossie Malis

The latest episode of the Bendito Machine web series by artist Malis is sublime. The series follows the exploits of a strange species that is dependent on its machines, and is visually inspired by Lotte Reiniger, Michael Ocelot and Indonesian shadow puppetry. Over the past six years Malis has crafted four short films, and has recently funded the fifth instalment through a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Thomson & Craighead

It’s timely that in in the year when some fear the end is nigh, artists Thomson & Craighead [homepage] have produced a film about faith. Belief is the final ‘desktop documentary’ in their trilogy which started in 2007 with Flat Earth. All three reflect on contemporary concerns via material sourced entirely from the internet.

Ellie Land

Centrefold is an animated documentary that sensitively explores issues around the increasing demand for labia surgery, told through interviews with three patients. The project is funded by the Wellcome Trust and made in partnership with leading clinicians from University College Hospitals London. Watch the film, then join in the debate online at

This Exquisite Forest
Chris Milk & Aaron Koblin

An experimental collaborative art project for Google Chrome and Tate produced by two of the best-known creators of innovative, interactive content on the web [see /]. Based on the idea of the exquisite corpse, the project allows anyone to upload a short animation to the site that either grows a previous narrative, or else plants a new idea, adding to the forest.

Amid Amidi
Cartoon Brew

Run Wrake

British animator Run Wrake [homepage] died from cancer last October at the age of 47. He was one of the most influential animation filmmakers of our time. He synthesised all that happened around him – Pop Art and collage, Punk/New Wave graphics, video art, electronica – and filtered it through a joyously kinetic, Fleischer Bros.-animation sensibility. His influence – direct and indirect – towered over indie animation of the last couple decades, and can be felt in works as diverse as the raw cut-and-paste aesthetic of Martha Colburn [homepage] and the looping spectacles of Cyriak [homepage].
In the past year, anticipating his departure, he uploaded a generous survey of his work to both Vimeo and YouTube.

Global Site Project

At the intersection of animation and technology, the Japanese techno-pop group Perfume distributed a package of motion-capture data and music to their fans and encouraged them to create animated music videos. Over 500 videos – varied in style and characterisation but all using the same dance choreography – were created by fans around the world. The forward-thinking experiment allowed fans to express themselves individually while enhancing the group’s iconic appeal through the repetition of sound and visual movement.
Examples: 1, 2, 3.

Crowdfunding pitch videos

Fundraising has entered the 21st century with crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter. More often than not, crowdfunding campaigns are accompanied by pitch videos that range from slickly filmed and edited packages to slap-dash amateur-hour appeals. The cost of doing business in the early 21st century demands proficiency in performance and salesmanship. Documented for all to see, these sales pitches offer an unexpectedly intimate insight into the world of contemporary artists, inventors and entrepreneurs.

Poor Us: An Animated History of Poverty [US link]

Animation is incredibly good at transforming complex ideas into a digestible form for the masses. It is rarely done as artfully as the documentary Poor Us: An Animated History of Poverty which compresses a millennia-spanning history of poverty into less than an hour. Part of the ‘Why Poverty’ series, this show’s elegant animation direction by Fons Schiedon enlivens the age-old debate about how poverty originated and why it continues to exist.

Music videos

The music video has enjoyed a renewed prominence in the age of the Internet, perhaps even trumping commercial advertising as the prime showcase for young animation directors. The following are just three of many highlights from the past 12 months:

Vladimir Mavounia-Kouka

Giving Me a Chance
Gina Thorstensen and Nacho Rodríguez

Two Against One
Chris Milk and Anthony Francisco Schepperd


The web video of 2012: contributors b-c

Nick Bradshaw , Dylan Cave , Mark Cosgrove
Tuesday, 1 January 2013
Web exclusive
The year’s best online movies, by 16 international correspondents

Nick Bradshaw
Sight & Sound

Bear 71
Leanne Allison and Jeremy Mendes

An interactive web doc from the National Film Board of Canada, exploring the modern impositions on a grizzly bear in Banff National Park across a terrain map populated by remote-trail camera footage, satellite-tracked wildlife pathways and a narrative of the bear’s life and death, projected in first-person voiceover. The rudimentary graphic overlay might look unlikeable, but that’s the point: the wireframe interface quickly conjures the sense of an animal hemmed in, surveilled and alienated from its own instincts by the man-made dangers all around (not least the train track through the park). “The first rule of survival? Don’t do what comes naturally.” It reminded me of Takahata Isao’s equally sad Pom Poko.

Sorkinisms – A Supercut
Kevin Porter

Digital video and the internet have ushered in a whole new level of granular, line-by-line movie criticism. This one is almost crazy – if not merciless – in its perseverance.

Body Memory
Mirjam Tally

Cat Listening to Music
Chris Marker

We know it’s what the internet is for. Here’s how to do it. In memoriam.

Dylan Cave
BFI Archive

Planetary Projection
Marina Uzunova

Digital projection is very much with us; almost 90 percent of UK cinemas now have digital projection equipment and some European countries have reportedly gone entirely digital. In this moment of colossal exhibition changes the planetary projection project gathered the thoughts and testimonies of 35mm projectionists from across the globe. Here they pay fascinating tribute to their dying craft.

Breaking Bad, The Wire style
James Montalbano

Editor James Montalbano applies the style of The Wire’s opening credit sequences to Breaking Bad. It’s a perceptive homage to the celebrated shows which also makes explicit the underlying themes both share.

Walk Tall
Kate Sullivan

A sports-related entry for an Olympic year, Sullivan’s Walk Tall combines animation with documentary to celebrate nonagenarian Olympian George Weedon, who competed as a gymnast in 1948 and was a torchbearer in 2012. Weedon’s infectious Olympic spirit offers a glimpse of the Summer Games madness that swept through London last August.

Rear Window Timelapse
Jeff Desom

In this wonderful three minute distillation of Rear Window, Desom uses After Effects to stitch together the film’s backyard as seen by James Stewart’s L.B. Jeffries. The near-seamless panorama of Hitch’s famous set showcases the master’s precise understanding of angle and perspective.

Ain’t That Peculiar – Oddisee Remix
Oddisee & Rob Mac

To promote his latest album, Washington DC based producer Oddisee remixed Marvin Gaye’s 1965 Motown hit ‘Ain’t That Peculiar’. Oddisee’s tight production values are well acknowledged in music circles, but editor Rob Mac’s visual remix of Gaye’s TV performance is equally slick.

Mark Cosgrove
Watershed Bristol

Ai Weiwei Gangnam Style

Ai Weiwei manages again to be playful and subversive with his reworking of PSY’s phenomenally viral Gangam Style video. He understands the power and simplicity of the medium and the message, as apparently do the Chinese authorities who blocked it.

Push Me Collection

The Push Me Collection was a series of commissions by the Unlimited programme as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. They’re striking portraits of disabled artists creating new unique shared artistic experiences. Along with the para-orchestra they also demonstrate that disability is not necessarily a barrier to creativity.

British Council Film Collection

Late last year I discovered this online archive of over 120 short documentary films made in the 1940s by the British Council to show the world how Britain lived, worked and played. They are a brilliant portrait of a moment and a society in time.

The web video of 2012: contributors i-l

Philip Ilson , :: kogonada , Kevin B. Lee
Tuesday, 1 January 2013
The year’s best new online movies, by 16 international correspondents.

Philip Ilson
London Short Film Festival

A year on from my complaint in this space about major film festivals’ premiere policies, we’re no closer to change, so my job still revolves around movies that aren’t viewable online. Of course, the web is pretty much the only place you’ll now see music videos…

I Fink U Freaky
Die Antwoord

I’d discovered the completely bonkers work of South African techno outfit Die Antwoord through a link I was sent, and all their video work has blown me away. I’ve been hoping to programme a retrospective, but so far it hasn’t worked out. I could’ve chosen any one of their works (including a Harmony Korine-directed short), but this black-and-white masterpiece by veteran South African photographer Roger Ballen [homepage] is as good as it gets.

The Legend of Kaspar Hauser trailer

Trailers are meant to sell films, and this does it for me. Except that it doesn’t really have any relation to the actual film itself. The film is based on the Kasper Hauser story, which Werner Herzog had also filmed in the 1970s, concerning a stranger turning up in a village.
In this new Italian version by Davide Manuli, it alludes to Hauser being an androgynous alien from outer space, who arrives in a remote village where there live two Vincent Gallos, one of whom is a techno DJ. The film itself goes from sheer brilliance to utter tediousness, sometimes within a scene, but there’s no denying this is an amazingly visual trailer, with a great soundtrack by French electro outfit Vitalic.

Ekki Múkk
Nick Abrahams

This artistic music video-cum-short film was made as part of Sigur Rós’s valtari mystery film experiment, whereby different filmmakers created short films to go with tracks on their Valturi release. This breathtaking mix of epic landscape and moving surrealism is directed by Abrahams, who’s had a long and varied career in music videos and made feature documentaries with Jeremy Deller.

Peter Millard

Peter Millard [homepage] is my new favourite animator. His was the standout work at last summer’s Royal College of Art graduation show, and the one that looks like it was knocked out in a stream-of-consciousness five minutes before the show by a five-year-old. But that’s its power, as this riot of colour and shape captivates and amazes; watching his work is actually a joyous and unique experience.

Web video creator

Naran Ja
Alejandro González Iñárritu

Iñárritu uses the lo-fi aesthetics of VHS, along with minimal special effects and deft editing, to create a mesmerising experimental dance film that would easily fit into an episode of the X-Files as found footage.

Aaron Burr, Part 2
Dana O’Keefe

Or the end of Ken Burns. It takes about 15 seconds to lose yourself in this retelling of a historical event. There are no talking head interviews from experts and historians, no zooms in and out of old photos. Instead we’re offered a first-person account. Boundaries of time and setting are transgressed to get to something deeper or more fluid. Watching this film put me in mind of Ross McElwee’s Sherman’s March and Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.

Taylan Sinan Yilmaz

Three minutes. 21 cuts. Two actors. One location. No dialogue. Short film as perfection.
Yung Jake

Don’t be afraid to hit the play button when you get to the starting page and then sit back and let the browser(s) do the rest. I’ve seen a number of ‘new media’ projects that are conceptually interesting but not nearly as engaging in their execution. is an entertaining music video as well as an astute commentary on our present moment (offered in both content and form).

the valtari mystery film experiment
Sigur Rós et al.

Usually a filmmaker creates a film and searches for a soundtrack. Here we have musicians creating music in search of filmtracks. The results are breathtaking.

Kevin B. Lee
Critic, US

Girl Walk // All Day
Jacob Krupnick

Jacob Krupnick’s feature-length video dance-a-thon through Manhattan started in in 2011 but wasn’t finished until the start of 2012, when Occupy Wall Street had crested. A democratic vision of rhapsodic bodies and celebratory streetscapes, it sustains the spirit of a movement in these movements.

Call Me Maybe (Chatroulette Version)

The top American pop song of the year lampooned by an unsettling, strangely celebratory prank, exploiting the mechanisms of a popular website where strangers randomly video chat with others.

The Mitt Romney ‘47 percent video’

A privileged glimpse into the world of privilege. Aside from its impact on a major election, it was perhaps the most compelling spy movie of the year, and certainly the most revealing (the viral sex video of a Chinese Communist party official notwithstanding).

First time skiing

Great as London 2012 was, these three minutes capture the transformative drama of sport more profoundly than any Olympic highlight. There are countless ‘first time’ achievement videos on the web, but the combination of first-person perspective, raw emotion and impeccable timing of stages make it uncannily perfect.

Skyrim Macho Dragon Mod

The wormhole world of open-source gaming platforms has set the stage for users to create their own alternative realities via modifications (‘mods’), with Skyrim ranking as one of the most popular arenas for user-generated weirdness. Some have gone so far as to create episodic dramas within gaming platforms (see Skyrim Cops), but my favourite is the mod that reincarnates Macho Man Randy Savage as a disco-loving dragon soaring through this absurd spectacle set ablaze with improbable cinematic wonder. Yeah!

The web video of 2012: contributors m

Jessica Manstetten , Sophie Mayer , Gaia Meucci , Henry K Miller
Tuesday, 1 January 2013
Web exclusive
The year’s best online movies, by 16 international correspondents.

Jessica Manstetten
Oberhausen Film Festival

Hood (Perfume Genius)
Winston H. Case

Homosexual porn star Arpad Miklos and Mike Hadreas aka Perfume Genius battle preconceptions of stereotypical homosexual body images. It’s more about “that freaky shit underneath”.

Take One Two (EMA)
Erika M. Anderson

Documentary footage in the mid-90s involving EMA herself. Small moments of happiness sheltered by the trailer while the gay- and punk-haters wait outside. For all the weirdos out there.

Pigs (Black Dice)
Black Dice

Colourful, schizophrenic and psychoactive.

Sophie Mayer
Critic/academic, UK

For me, the best online movies of the year have been the images that moved governments to ban them: Pussy Riot’s Punk Prayer, a video of their anti-Putin performance in a Moscow cathedral that has been viewed 2.4 million times, and Ai Weiwei’s handcuff-dangling pastiche of South Korean rapper Psy’s Gangnam Style, which itself is now the most-viewed YouTube video of all time. Pussy Riot were smacked with a draconian prison sentence for three of the band members, and also a court order (blacklisting the band as “extremists”) that seeks to prevent websites from hosting their videos, while Ai’s video was banned in China and the artist lives under virtual house arrest.
Anish Kapoor and Akram Khan collaborated with artists and curators around the world to create a Gangnam Style video for Ai and other political prisoners, while Pussy Riot’s performance and subsequent trial inspired tributes, circulated via YouTube, performed in churches from Totnes to Seoul. Kapoor also collaborated with Amnesty and PEN International to create and share his video, while English PEN have curated a series of poems, film poems, performances and videos in support of Pussy Riot.
Artists, activists and legislators continue to battle for the Internet as a commons. Ai’s use of Twitter and YouTube had a marked presence in Alison Klayman’s 2012 documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, while next year may see two documentaries about Pussy Riot and Voina, the larger arts/activist movement of which they are a part: cinema and digital media making common cause for freedom of expression.

Gaia Meucci
Encounters Short Film Festival

Bradley Manning Had Secrets
Adam Butcher

The inception of the WikiLeaks saga told through a portrait of Bradley Manning, the US Army private accused of leaking thousands of classified documents to the site. Butcher animates exchanges from Manning’s instant-message chats between with hacker-turned-informant Adrian Lamo through rotoscoped pixel art-style animation. The juxtaposition of such unadorned, clinical visual style with insights into Manning’s psychology foregrounds the story of a vulnerable, isolated man going through a deep crisis of identity and conscience.

Ryan McGinley

In 2012 Sigur Rós invited a dozen filmmakers to create a short inspired by any of the songs from the band’s new album Valtari. The filmmakers worked in total independence, resulting in a beautifully diverse array of personal takes on the songs. The one that has most stuck with me is photographer McGinley’s scintillating ode to an innocent, playful, carefree New York, through whose streets a golden-haired little girl skips, filling them with her light and wonder. It’s visually stunning, poetic and heart-warming all at once.

Andrew Thomas Huang

One of those shorts I discover online and cannot wait to see on the big screen, this is an impressively crafted audio-visual treat exploring/questioning the concept of solipsism, according to which one can only be sure of the existence of one’s own mind. Over three narrative moments the filmmaker seems to overturn this theory and suggest that in fact we might not at all be restricted to only one perceptive experience… Or something like that! It’s not entirely clear what this experimental short is ‘about’, but it nonetheless demands indulgence of its immersive dream of colours, light, feather and fabric-clad dancers, underwater puppets and face-painted men disintegrating into technicolour sand.

Joey Ciccoline

One of the 10 finalists in YouTube’s Your Film Festival (which had 15,000 entries), this is a chilling sci-fi thriller in which a young woman takes extreme measures against a poltergeist type of force. Hats off to a filmmaker who in only 15 well-executed minutes – from the confident command of visual effects to the great sense of pace – conjures an atmosphere filled with mounting tension and fear in the face of an uncanny, intangible menace.

Henry K Miller
Critic, UK

The Ultimate Super Preview

The best online video of the year was taken down from most sites.
In the summer Rotten Tomatoes, the Warner Bros-backed review-aggregator whose ‘Tomatometer’ is film criticism’s answer to LIBOR, banned maverick critic Eric D. Snider because he posted what seemed to be a link to a negative review of Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight Rises without even having seen it, thereby earning the wrath of many other people who hadn’t seen it.
Just as Snider planned. As it turned out, his link didn’t link to a review, but to a blogpost about the tendency of RT commenters to get angry about negative reviews of films they haven’t seen. Some men just want to watch the world burn. RT editor-in-chief Matt Atchity, who had warned film journalists of the pitfalls of covering indie and foreign movies to the detriment of the mainstream – “not a lot of traffic” in it – had no choice but to defend the site’s reputation for integrity and ruled that Snider’s reviews “will no longer apply to the Tomatometer”.
Much else was blogged on all sides, but I can’t help feeling that Snider backed down too easily. HADN’T he seen The Dark Knight Rises? Arguably he had. And so had the haters. We all had. The first teaser trailer was uploaded a year and a day before the film came out. Many more trailers, stills, posters, set photos, and so on, have followed. Anyone who saw Mission Impossible IV in IMAX also saw a good chunk of Batman III first.
Uploaded about the time all this happened, The Ultimate Super Preview, a compilation of pre-released material from The Amazing Spider-Man, did not win the approval of Sony, but all of it had apparently been published already. It feels like a digest of practically the whole film – or so I imagine; I haven’t seen it ‘yet’ – and reveals the extent of the madness. It’s 25 minutes long.

Sorkinisms: A Supercut
Kevin Porter

This is really quite something. Cruelly timed to coincide with the debut of Sorkins’s, ah, disappointing The Newsroom, it’s a reminder of happier times or an exposé of a serial self-plagiarist, depending on whom you ask.

Rear Window Timelapse
Jeff Desom

An excellent time-lapse film constructed out of bits of Rear Window.


The web video of 2012: contributors s-t

Jasper Sharp , Caspar Sonnen , Jez Stewart , Kate Taylor
Tuesday, 1 January 2013
The year’s best online movies, by 16 international correspondents.

Jasper Sharp
Midnight Eye, Zipangu Fest

Always a difficult poll to do, this one – firstly to keep up with even a small fraction of the huge deluge of material that appears on the web every year; secondly to identify the year and source where the video was originally uploaded and make sure its online availability is legit, rather than magnanimously given away on YouTube without the author’s permission. Combined with the fact that many short filmmakers wait for their work to complete its run of festival screenings before they offer it over the internet a year or two later, it’s a tricky task isolating what constitutes ‘web-particular viewing’ in any given year.
Nevertheless, here are a few favourites of the videos and websites that have hit my radar over the past 12 months.

Science Film Museum (Kagaku eizo): Free Science Movies Resurrected from the Showa Era

There’s something quite magical about old science documentaries. It’s that combination of looking at the world with fresh eyes and a sense of wonder while almost fetishistically celebrating the very technology of visualisation, be it microscope, telescope or endoscope. The various titles in this online archive of Japanese examples of the form, produced from the early 1960s to the late 80s, render the ordinarily invisible everyday world – plankton, bacteria, snowflakes, blood vessels or intestinal walls; the flesh and bones of our existence – in colourful abstractions of peculiar beauty, accompanied by appropriately hypnotic avant-gardist soundtracks.
In a year when the sneaking digitalisation of the moving image can be truly described as having overtaken traditional forms, there’s something quaintly nostalgic about such celebrations of once state-of-the-art, now-defunct analogue technologies of image and sound from a more optimistic age. Thankfully, digital technology has made these works available with the click of a mouse to a new global audience. 15 of the titles contained on this bilingual website are available with English-language narration, although Japanese speakers are in for a real treat, with literally dozens more films dating all the way back to the 1930s.

Tim Grabham

Dark, dreamlike, non-narrative fantasy improvised on the hop by the director while he travelled the European festival circuit accompanying his documentary KanZeOn. A sensuous play of light, shadow and texture, Droom also benefits from a starkly-beautiful backdrop of atmospheric locations in Amsterdam, Tallinn and Warsaw.

Wonder 365 Animation Project
Mirai Mizue

Japanese independent animator Mizue, one of the core members of the CALF Collective, has been making quite a name for himself on the international festival circuit over the past few years. His colourful, free-flowing abstractions, all meticulously drawn completely by hand, can be divided into two categories – three-dimensional explorations of geometric volumes in films such as Modern (2010), or his more characteristic biologically-inspired cellular designs of pulsating blobs and Miro-like curves and squiggles.
The latter predominates in the ongoing Wonder 365 Animation Project, which began on 1 April 2012. The idea is for Mizue to create a short animation each and every day of the year, all to be edited together into one 365-second work at the end of the process. A quick browse through the 200-plus individual films already uploaded show the painstaking nature of this marathon process – with 24 frames needed for each daily second, Mirai will need to produce a grand total of 8,760 drawings by April 2013.

A Year in Full Colour – Moleskine Planners
Rogier Wieland, 2012

Continuing the 365-days a year theme, this remarkable stop-motion promotional animation for Moleskin is itself made completely using the very same products for which the notebook company is famous – an ingenious synergy between form and content!

Caspar Sonnen

Narrowing this list down to five was a challenge, but mostly a confirmation of the addictive abundance of the web and the huge amount of amazing cinematic art that was released or became available online in 2012. If anything, it made me realise how much we need to celebrate the web, not only as a place for connecting with people and discovering new content, but also as a place where new forms of art and storytelling are being made.
Here’s to 2013 becoming the year of the slow web, a year where we stop multitasking, turn off notifications and take more time to enjoy things in full screen.

Interactive web documentary: Bear 71
Leanne Allison and Jeremy Mendes

Since 2008, we’ve shown over 100 interactive documentaries at IDFA DocLab. Last year saw the release of possibly two of the best yet: Bear 71 and Alma, a Tale of Violence (see below). Bear 71, a finalist for the IDFA DocLab Award and more recently winner of FWA’s website of the year, transforms raw surveillance footage and GPS data of grizzly bears in BANFF national park into a unique exploration of nature and technology – one that could not have existed in any other medium. It was produced by NFB Interactive, responsible for some of the most striking examples of interactive storytelling.

Interactive documentary app: Alma, a Tale of Violence
Miquel Dewever-Plana and Isabelle Fougère

Totally different to Bear 71 – superficially closer to traditional documentary cinema – this interactive documentary app is another project that blew my mind. It also won the IDFA DocLab Award 2012.
Alma presents the raw and emotional confession of a young girl who for five years was a member of one of the most violent gangs of Guatemala. Using a wonderfully clever two-screen touch-interface, it seamlessly merges 15 years of documentary photography, video and illustrations into a troubling and unforgettable interactive experience. It’s a new highpoint for Upian and ARTE France, who already showed us that web documentary is becoming a genre as much like choose-your-own-adventure CD-ROMs as magic lanterns have to do with arthouse cinema. Download it for iPad or Android.

Short Film: Las Palmas
Johannes Nyholm

A funny video can make me happy for an entire day. That happens easily if it’s a video with cats or babies, although sometimes a topic like ‘smartphone orientation when shooting video’ can work just as well. But it takes a true genius like Nyholm to actually take the milked genre of baby-video’s and turn it into a piece of short-form cinema of a drunk baby trashing a bar. Las Palmas is without a doubt one of the most absurd, disturbing and adorable things I’ve ever seen. We were delighted to show it at our open air festival in Amsterdam in 2011 and I’m really happy Nyholm made the full film available online in 2012 (on sale via his website).

Web Series: A Show with Ze Frank

If you don’t know the online performance artist Ze Frank, start with one of his TED Talks. Then join the online community with whom he’s currently co-creating this web series – the long-expected follow-up to The Show, his 2006 breakthrough that invented a large part of what web video could be. Ever since A Show kicked off in April 2012, it’s been scary, hilarious and moving to see Ze and his audience honestly and vulnerably try to do something unique, again. It’s been an amazing ride so far.

Short Film: Love Competition
Brent Hoff

Hoff is one of my favourite filmmakers working in the shorts and experimental world. Besides running one of the best non-festival short film platforms around, he’s already accounted for some of my favourite shorts of recent years. This year he outdid himself with this a touching little film that makes me think of some of the best Radiolab podcasts – though I fear it might one day also inspire some sleazy game-show producer.


Two of my favourite web films are not (yet) available online in the UK. But if you’re ever in the Netherlands or Belgium, please watch the Oscar-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras or Viktor Kossakovsky’s masterpiece Svyato online.

Jez Stewart
BFI Archive

Making The Eagleman Stag
Mikey Please

I loved Please’s The Eagleman Stag the first time I saw it at the Royal College of Art’s graduation show in 2010, and every subsequent viewing has only added to my delight. The film thoroughly deserved its 2011 BAFTA for Best Short Animation, and whilst its arrival online this year makes it a worthy candidate for web video of the year, I’d instead like to highlight this ‘making of’. Just as valuable as its behind-the-scenes footage is its glimpse into the mind of Please, who’s as much a discovery as the film itself.

Prom Night
Celia Rowlson-Hall

What do you get if you cross Pina Bausch and Martin Scorsese? I’ve no idea, but I love this movie by choreographer, dancer and filmmaker Rowlson-Hall. It contains hundreds of stories communicated through the slightest of expressions and movements; the many filmic references are almost – almost – a distraction from the talent that shines through. Rowlson-Hall is a truly brave and intelligent artist; I await her future work with anticipation.

Fleischer Studios Superman Cartoons: The Bulleteers
Dave Fleischer

I’m cribbing slightly from Cartoon Brew here, but would add my thanks to Warner Brothers for published a good part of this fantastic series online for free, despite their having released it on DVD some years ago. Public-domain material pops up frequently on the web, but very rarely as an ‘official’ offering from a commercial company. I’ve always preferred Batman to the big blue Boy Scout, but can only imagine the excitement of seeing these as a young comics fan in 1941, when there’d never been anything like them before. Colour, thrills and plenty of narrative nonsense (eg this episode’s bullet vehicle) keep them a treat.

Brave New Old
Adam Wells

This film was a highlight of a strong short-animation programme at this year’s London Film Festival, particularly as it was from a young British animator whose work was new to me. Wells builds highly detailed little worlds, through which he offers 21st-century moral tales with humour and insight. He’s now put aside these square-headed people, but has given them several short outings.

Spectrum Portraits Project – Claire
Matthias Hoegg

I’ve already sung this project’s praises on the BFI website, but shall bang the drum again for this immaculately curated project by Art & Graft. They commissioned five short portrait films as part of a promotional strategy for the Cornwall-based charity Spectrum, a specialist care provider for people with autistic spectrum disorders. All are worthy of multiple viewings, but Hoegg’s contribution is a personal favourite.

Kate Taylor
Independent Cinema Office

Hennessy Youngman introduces Images Festival

Festival trailer of the year from Images, Toronto’s finest seedbed of experimental film joy. Artist Jayson Musson brings his Hennessy Youngman persona, fresh from delivering Art Thoughtz to young minds, to riff on the pleasures of cinema to festival audiences. But, y’know, he’s a liar.

These Hammers Don’t Hurt Us
Michael Robinson

Not strictly this year, but Robinson’s LUX Archive screening at Whitechapel this Spring was a reminder that this remains one of the best short films on the web. Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson and the transcendence of the Ancients make for rippy and wonderful.

Lana Wachowski speech at Human Rights Campaign gala

A frank, eloquent and emotionally flooring speech from a transgendered filmmaker with wit and guts. Discussing the negotiation of public and private identity, aware she is simultaneously sacrificing the anonymity she would prefer, Lana Wachowski does her bit to interrogate the pathology of “a society that refuses to acknowledge the spectrum of gender, in the exact same blind way that they refuse to see a spectrum of race or sexuality.” Plus it’s all written on scraps of paper.

Words of Women from the Egyptian Revolution
Nada Zatouna

Meanwhile in Egypt another filmmaker, 23-year-old Zatouna, gives a compelling account of her experience in Tahrir Square, in a documentary project recording the participation of Women in the Egyptian Revolution. I first encountered this video at Impakt Festival in Utrecht, with its provocative theme of No More Westerns, and alongside the Pussy Riot closing statements, it has stayed with me as a reminder of how inspirational it is to see articulate young women on screen. More in 2013 please.

PSY Gangnam Style against Africa Style

When does a meme become significant to moving-image culture? Perhaps when it’s viewed by a billion people. In 2012 PSY’s Gangnam Style was the unexpected Trojan horse for K-Pop’s cultural technology to enter the international mainstream, spawning academic essays, interactive lectures and endless parodies and responses, from marching bands to Ai Weiwei. Also discovered at Impakt, this is my favourite response video so far, featuring the moves of AANINKA, a dance troupe from Ivory Coast currently on their own tour of South Korea.

The best web video of 2011

Nick Bradshaw , Laura Allsop , Abigail Addison , Gary Thomas , Dylan Cave , Ben Cook , Mark Cosgrove , Christoph Huber , Olaf Möller , Ian Francis , Philip Ilson , Jessica Manstetten , Henry K Miller , Sophie Mayer , Brad Stevens
Friday, 4 May 2012
Web exclusive
13 critics and curators on their favourite videos new online in 2011.
Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared

Laura Allsop
Critic, UK

The Video Diaries
Khaled Hafez, 2011

For Arabic artists working in film and video, the last year has been both a blessing and a curse; a blessing because of the proliferation of video content across the Internet but a curse because of the pressure they must feel to create works in response to the situation. Hafez’s Video Diaries on the one hand romanticices the revolution in Egypt but on the other shows how difficult it can be to weave a narrative through the mess of events.

Origin of the Species
Ben Rivers, 2008

I love Rivers’ work and this piece has such a beautiful and eerie feel to it: the images reminding me of the photography in Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist, though grainier. Like Antichrist, it’s set in a wild, forested landscape that is seemingly unpopulated, bar the Scot who narrates the film and muses on the origin of the species and its end.

The New Film
Raed Yassin, 2008

I like the way this piece mines from Egypt’s fertile cinema bank to give a sense of the long shadow Hosni Mubarak cast over the country’s recent history, in a manner not dissimilar to way Maha Maamoun does in the film Domestic Tourism II, excerpts of which she uploaded to her Vimeo account last year and which splices together scenes from Egyptian films featuring the Pyramids.

Fly Away
Kalup Linzy, 2011

This is a music video from the performance and video artist Kalup Linzy, and though it features the ubiquitous James Franco, it’s an intriguing melding of the artist’s paint works, which are animated in this piece, and his 80s drag routine.

Animate Projects
Gary Thomas (Director) and Abigail Addison (Assistant Director)

Last year saw a rise in viral videos being passed globally around Twitter and Facebook like a bag of Maltesers, and flashy online competitions on the search for new and cheap talent. Whilst Animate focused on art in the digital sphere in our 2011 programme, we searched out many delightful new works that similarly explored ideas around the digital and the analogue. Here are a few of our favourites:

The External World
David O’Reilly

You may have caught The External World at a film festival last year as it did the rounds that new films do. As increasingly more filmmakers are choosing to do, O’Reilly also posted the whole film online for free (though he added the option of purchasing an HD version for the reasonable price of $3.50). Hand-crafted for Generation Z, it’s a multi-episodic work, heavily loaded with global cultural references, that pushes the boundaries of taste and the possibilities of 3D animation.

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared
This Is It Collective

A nostalgic analogue delight: what seems like an episode of a cheery children’s television show soon descends in to madness. This skillful group of jesters mess about with costumes, puppets and animation to craft an outstanding film with a very catchy song. Just shows that an online hit can be anti-digital. Get away from that computer and get creative!

Alternative Advent calendar
David Wilson

A lovely contemporary take on a festive favourite. The hugely talented David Wilson, taking a break from making adverts for Nokia and videos for The Maccabees, uploaded a short video for every advent calendar day. Each mini-movie is accompanied by a track from a bunch of hip musical collaborators including Spiritualized, Action Beat and Bo Ningen.

Charlie Tweed

By appropriating footage from the internet and adding a computer-generated narrative composed of lines from software testing handbooks, Tweed creates a work that questions social control systems. Whilst the neutral voiceover lends an air of authority, Tweed disrupts the action by disclosing the digital effects being used in the film. Chilling stuff.

Allison Schulnick

Claymation is a much-maligned animation technique. Thankfully contemporary artists like Natalie Djurberg and Allison Schulnik are reviving the craft in style. Mound is a delightful, dark fairytale with a superbly kitsch soundtrack. Schulnik breathes life into an assortment of nightmarish pastel characters in this celebration of the handmade.

Nick Bradshaw
Sight & Sound

What Light (Through Yonder Window Breaks)
Sarah Wickens

Wickens’ delightful animated film dances a pas de deux with that basest of all animating materials, natural sunlight, moulded into life as the protagonist of film such that it sets about remoulding the landscape of a bedroom over the span of a day. (A friend points out the film’s kinship with Jane Aaron’s 1985 Traveling Light.)

Max Hattler

Max Hattler’s previous, also dazzling animations (eg Collision) have been flatter, screen-born works. This spatially disorienting stop-motion film is a deep-focus, continually shifting kaleidoscope of abstract (but clearly tangible) shapes in the Oskar Fischinger tradition, set across multiple planes reflecting and receding to the sky. It’s hypnotic, bewildering and beautiful.

One Millionth Tower
Katerina Cizek

The latest interactive documentary in Cizek and collaborators’ ongoing Highrise project (an exploration of “vertical living in the global suburbs”) for the National Film Board of Canada) uses the latest web technologies – HTML5, Google’s WebGL and Mozilla’s popcorn.js (engage with it in Firefox or Google Chrome) – to render state-of-the-art web representations of highrise living through which you roam and browse.
Some of the inputs (live weather feeds, Flickr photos and Wikipedia information) strike me as only semi-compelling additions to the storytelling. What’s really impressive is seeing the residents’ ideas for the transformation of their spaces rendered visible as they speak. It’s the world as it is and could be in a single continuous frame – and what’s that if not art?

The External World (see above)
David O’Reilly

Fêted in 2009 for his Please Say Something, digi whiz-kid O’Reilly returns with a sarky urban epic that’s something like Magnolia remade by a computer-assimilated Don Hertzfeldt. It’s obviously wickedly funny, though part of me is revulsed by its worldview. It also makes interesting satiric counter-programming with One Millionth Tower.

Dylan Cave
BFI National Archive

Rupert Murdoch – A Portrait of Satan
Adam Curtis

Adam Curtis’s blog has been praised in previous S&S online polls, but it was his post on Rupert Murdoch that recently stood out for me. The fascinating BBC archive footage offered a provocative background from which to view the drama that played out in summer 2011.

Matthijs Vlot

Matthijs Vlot splices together dialogue clips from different movies so that they recite the first verse and chorus from Lionel Ritchie’s 1980s ballad Hello. It’s completely arbitrary but the editing is sublime.

Splitscreen: A Love Story
James W Griffiths

Another editing triumph, Splitscreen: A Love Story reinterprets the match cut as it traces two lonely hearts zooming across separate continents to rendezvous in London. It was shot on a mobile phone.

Colonial Film - Moving Images of the British Empire
Birkbeck, UCL, BFI, IWM & British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, 2010

At the end of 2010 I contributed three essays to, a website that catalogues over 6,000 films about the British Empire. The website offers an extensive platform for analysis of a large body of colonial film that has rarely been seen. Although the content can be difficult, many of the films are accompanied with detailed essays that give context to the often outmoded point of view.

Making the Beat: DJ Mark 45 King interviews Biz Markie
DJ Mark 45 King

45 King made the famous heavyweight breakbeat The 900 Number in the 1980s before going on to produce both Jay-Z’s Hard Knock Life and Eminem’s Stan.  On Making the Beat he interviews his DJ and producer friends from hip hop’s golden era. It’s the loosest, most unstructured interviewing I’ve seen in years but captures the simplest pleasures of hip hop, as seen in this episode when he and Biz Markie vibe to one of 45 King’s vast catalogue of beats, dropping rhymes here and there.

Ben Cook

Despite the huge amount of online film there are still few really good platforms for artists’ moving on the web beyond the mighty, but here are a few of the most recent and best:

Filmoteka of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

Amazing comprehensive online collection of Polish artists’ film and video, just launched as part of the new MOMA Warsaw which launched with 400 titles online/

Circuit. Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand

A great new site which reveals and makes available the, until now, fairly hidden history of artists’ moving image in New Zealand.

Arte Creative

Culture site from broadcaster Arte which gives online space to cultural partners in France and Germany to curate works from their collections and events (NBK’s and Arsenal’s spaces are especially recommended). A little difficult to navigate but lots of historical and contemporary treasures including Bill Viola, Nam June Paik, Phil Collins and Hito Steyerl.

Random Acts

Over-busy portal site for Channel 4’s new late-night short experimental strand Random Acts; a bit hit and miss but plenty of gems including new work by Emily Wardill, Ed Atkins, Ursula Mayer, Hilary Lloyd and David Shrigley.

Arab Shorts

Well-curated collection of short films from North Africa and the Middle East collected over the course of the last three years by the Goethe Institutes in the region.

Mark Cosgrove
Head of Programme, Watershed Bristol

For me 2011 online has been a year of discovering and being inspired by the past.

Chomsky in conversation with Michel Foucault

Interview with Robert Bresson on the presentation of his film L’Argent at Cannes

McLuhan’s Message: Picnic in Space
Bruce Bacon, 1967

In 2011 Watershed marked the centenary of media theorist Marshall McLuhan. Curator Simon Poulter uncovered this remarkable film – very hip, jazzy and defiantly 60s-avant-garde cool – of McLuhan in conversation. It’s brilliant that the web makes such encounters available to contemporary audiences.

Changing Education Paradigms
RSA Animate

I thought this this fantastic ‘live’ illustration of Ken Robinson’s inspirational speech was all hugely unique until I came across this:

Why Man Creates
Saul Bass, 1968

The Ferroni Brigade
aka Christoph Huber & Olaf Möller
Critics, Austria / Germany

Jim Glickenhaus Takes Stock

One of the most lamentable absences in contemporary cinema is that of James Glickenhaus, the David Cronenberg of 80s grindhouse exploitation. Imagine the Ferroni Brigade’s joyful surprise when this venerable auteur showed up unexpectedly on the web in this timely video.
His witty discussion of the current economic crisis and the changing times of the virtual market not only reminds one why he receded from filmmaking (due to a lack of gritty hands-on challenges) as in the priceless a propos dismantling of the Potemkin Village idea discussed. It also shows that in his second career – he returned to the family company as a high-range investment professional (and collects race cars, even (re)designing his own Ferrari) — he is just as committed and no-nonsense as ever. An antidote to the bromides of mainstream economic debate.

Esel im Schnee (Donkey in the Snow)
Romuald Karmakar

Full disclosure: Romuald Karmakar’s exquisite still life is dedicated to a member of the Brigade, and has its heraldic animal in the lead (though we also rejoice at the sight of its brethren, donkey or not). In its minimalist clarity and beauty it is also a short, but still gives full expression to the genius of Germany’s Finest True Independent. One of the best shorts of 2011.

Mother and Son
Nichols & May

We haven’t given up the hope that goddess Elaine May may return with a whopping directorial comeback, but in the meantime we find solace (thanks to comrade Knepperges from Cologne) in studying her acting genius in some early classic comedy skits with standup partner Mike Nichols. We’ve chosen this barbed-hook split-screen sketch, directed by the great Arthur Penn, but encourage you to explore further in the sidebar.

Hymn for the Year of Proud Victory
Morten Traavik

In memory of the great cinephile Kim Jong Il: a song for the future.

Ian Francis
Critic and curator (7 Inch Cinema, Flatpack Festival)

After just a few months online videos can seem like ancient manuscripts, and as fleeting pleasures they don’t respond well to being corralled into a top five. Nonetheless, here are a few that stick out from last year.

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared (see above)
This Is It Collective

This Is It make wonderful props and puppets. Their last short manages to nail both patronising kids TV and people who manhandle the word ‘creativity’.

Natalie Bettelheim & Sharon Michaeli

Along with Belly by Julia Pott, which hasn’t made it onto the web yet, this was the best student film I saw last year.

The Terrifying Gangs of England
Adam Curtis

Curtis continues to spin webs of unexpected connections on his blog, illustrated by the fruits of a tireless hunt through the BBC archive’s darker recesses. I particularly love the snapshot of Black Country Hells Angels here.

Mound (see above)
Allison Schulnik

The morphing plasticine creepiness of Bruce Bickford, but with an added delicacy that perfectly complements the Scott Walker song.

Downhill bike race in Valparaiso, Chile

Pure, ridiculous adrenaline. Watch out dog! Other memorable non-fiction last year included the Derby PhD students who sent their camera into space, and the combination of riot reportage and home furnishing adverts streamed on Sangat TV during the summer.

Philip Ilson
Curator, London Short Film Festival

There’s still an element in the short film community who will not put their work online as, rightly or wrongly, it excludes them from a number of major international film festivals. But I’d like to pick out a couple of short documentaries I’ve come across, one of which I was unable to screen as the filmmaker already had the film on his website, so it’s good to get a chance to highlight it here.
Music videos are rarely shown at film festivals for various reasons; the premiere policy would obviously exclude them as they’re made for on-line (one of the few places left to actually show music vids), or they fit into a programme of music videos rather than inserted into other selections. I’ve chosen two here.

I am a Girl!
Susan Koenen Netherlands 2011

A documentary filmed like fiction, so you’re initially not sure whether or not you’re actually watching a true-life story. We follow 13-year old Joppe, born a boy but wanting to be a girl. The unexpected innocence of the story is highlighted by the dreamy summer days and the idyllic lifestyle of the teenagers on their summer break. A stylish film with a powerful message.

The High Level Bridge
Trevor Anderson, Canada 2010

This ultra-short, low-budget, one-man-band vignette about a suicide bridge in Edmonton, Canada perfectly encapsulates the personal documentary, with beautiful strong landscape images and a calming voiceover giving us some historical facts alongside personal memories. Bittersweet, funny and moving in equal measure, with a shocking little denouement.

Mouth to Anus
Adam Lieber, 2007

This one-minute music video may be a few years old, but it hasn’t been surpassed in its simplicity and disturbance factor. The hardcore sounds of Trencher are beautifully played against the innocence of the video’s headbanging little girl – who may or may not be possessed by a demon.

Disappoint You
Ian Pons Jewel, 2011

This is quite trashy, but fun-trashy, as it brings back into music video the narrative introduction before the music kicks in, just like in Thriller. But Tinie Tempah ain’t Michael Jackson, and this urban comedy about drug abuse, which also takes the piss out of the police, is a little unhinged, a little bit offensive and very funny.

Jessica Manstetten
Oberhausen International Short Film Festival

Somebody To Love Me
Saam Farahmand for Mark Ronson feat. Boy George

Boy George at a long-past birthday party, singing a song about the value of true friendship. Diane Kruger at her best.

Stuck in a Groove
Clemens Kogler for Ritornell

A handmade philosophical excursion through pop history – with two record players, two cameras, a video mixer and a pile of records.

New York Is Killing Me (Chris Cunningham Remix)
Chris Cunningham for Gil Scott-Heron

Minimal and atmospherically unique, Cunningham does musician and poet Gil Scott-Heron the honour. Just in time.

Heathen Child
John Hillcoat for Grinderman

Apocalyptic avengers in a crazy universe. Great fun.

One Minute Soundsculpture
Daniel Franke for Ryoji Ikeda

The aesthetic principle of the video clip – the fusion of image and sound – is taken to a supreme level of perfection.

Sophie Mayer
Critic, UK

Shit [People] Say internet meme

Film critics may be one of the only social groups yet to have had their Shit [People] Say internet-video moment in the sun.
The original YouTube post of Shit Girls Say: Episode 1 posted 12 Dec 2011, has had 12 million hits to date. It began as a pilot for an internet TV show called Shit Girls Say, by comedians Kyle Humphrey and Graydon Sheppard, who took the ‘Women Are From Venus’ variety of one-liners they had been tweeting as @shitgirlssay and dragged up to act them out on screen, along with guest star Juliette Lewis.
Swiftly lolz’d by thousands of viewers and equally called out for its rank misogyny (first by Kelsey Wallace in Bitch magazine), the video’s simple format – a catalogue of short statements, performed across a variety of locations, each with a hint of knowing camp – made it optimally open for parody. So while the blogosphere alternately raved and ranted, however articulately, it was the YouTube vlogosphere that produced the most effective criticism and funniest retorts. The meme stands as the moment when internet video developed critical power within its own form.
As Thea Lim in the Guardian points out about the meme, subsequent videos such as Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls (one of the more insightful, sophisticated and polished iterations of the meme, by talented comedian Chesca Leigh; 7 million views to date) depend for their humour on being or feeling included by/in the community producing the film, but have divided opinion by replicating or reinforcing prejudice. Leigh, wearing a blonde wig, starts the video saying, “Not to sound racist, but…” What’s “so true” for one viewer (the most frequent comment when films are posted on social networking sites) is insulting or reductive, not just uncomfortably true, to another.
Other films, such as the fabulous Shit Poly People Say and Shit (Young, White, Class-privileged, City-based) ‘Radical Queers’ Say to Each Other, are – as the title of the latter suggests – self-deprecating, joke’s-on-us critiques of marginal communities, at once affectionate and aware, showing that the internet can be used as a forum for unison and celebration, as well as the inevitable shit-stirring.

Henry K. Miller
Academic, UK

Rebecca Black

There’s a priceless moment in Paul Kelly’s documentary Lawrence of Belgravia when it dawns on Lawrence that his interviewers, a pair of French online journalists, do what they do for free. “I knew the internet was rubbish,” says the former Felt and Denim frontman. Ark Music Factory’s earworm is probably the most successful piece of (more or less) user-generated content in the seven-odd year history of Web 2.0, conceivably the best-known piece of music that could not have become so without the internet. “You’re welcome” – the internet.

The Curse of TINA
Adam Curtis

Curtis’s long blog post dips into the archive to illuminate, among other things, the close, even familial ties between modern conservatism and the ideology of Web 2.0 – their shared mission described (with absolutely no irony at all) by Spectator editor Fraser Nelson as “flattening hierarchies and empowering the people”.
Curtis traces a lineage that ends, for now, with Steve Hilton’s spell in Downing Street, via clips of Are You Being Served? and the story of Radio Caroline, back to the Institute of Economic Affairs, the original think tank.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trailer
Sony Pictures

David Fincher wisely kept the movie’s one insurmountable weakness – Stieg Larsson’s source material, plot, characters, etc. – out of this seemingly simple teaser, nicely sent up by the Muppets and paid homage to by one of Community’s dozens of fans.

We’re Back!
The Lonely Island

Facing stiff competition in the fake rap game from Turquoise Jeep, The Lonely Island came back strong with this infantile and extremely crude anti-brag joint.

It’s the 90s
Everything Is Terible

By 2011 there were apparently 20 supercuts being uploaded every day, though apparently no-one has got round to “that went well”. This one is a tribute (maybe) to my favourite line in Bridesmaids.

Brad Stevens
Critic, UK

Despite the remarkable selection of world cinema that continues to be released on DVD, the real revolution in film viewing has been created by online communities of file-sharers who are subtitling and making available foreign-language films which distributors presumably see as having no commercial value. Sadly, North America seems determined to follow up its war on drugs and war on terror with a war on the internet: the recent closure of Megaupload has inevitably resulted in the loss of many rarities, though most of them continue to be available elsewhere, at least for now.
For me, the highlights of 2011 were as follows:

On purge bébé
Jean Renoir, 1931

One of Renoir’s rarest films has finally been fan-subtitled in English. Now if only somebody would perform the same service for Chotard et Cie (1933).

Tabi Yakusha (Travelling Actors)
Naruse Mikio, 1940

This is perhaps my favourite of the several Naruse films that appeared online with English fan-subtitles last year. A companion piece to Five Men in the Circus (1935), this marvellous comedy deflates masculine presumption without ever asking us to take an attitude of complacent superiority to its protagonists, and might make for a good double-bill with Elaine May’s Ishtar (1987).

Michael Powell, 1931

BFI Southbank’s screening of Michael Powell’s rarely seen The Queen’s Guards (1961) was among the highlights of recent weeks. The appearance on YouTube of Rynox, Powell’s earliest surviving quota quickie, was equally welcome.

Cattivi Guagliuni
Abel Ferrara, 2011

This Abel Ferrara-directed video for the Italian group 99 Posse demonstrates Ferrara’s ability to express his unique vision in the most unpromising of formats.

Afrique 50
René Vautier, 1950

Nicole Brenez’s presentation of three documentaries by René Vautier at INIVA was another 2011 highlight. Thankfully, my favourite of these films – a radical intervention in the travelogue genre – can also be seen on YouTube with English subtitles.

The best web video of 2010

Sight & Sound contributors
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
14 critics and curators on their favourite videos new to the web in 2010.

Katerina Cizek’s NFBC web documentary Out of My Window

Animate Projects
Gary Thomas (Co-director) and Abigail Addison (Manager)

Dummy Jim
Matt Hulse

If there were any justice, Matt Hulse’s feature about a deaf Scotsman who cycled to the Arctic Circle would have been in our cinemas long ago. Meanwhile, we can enjoy the brilliant animated website, and buy something in the shop to help get the feature made.

Blue Moon
People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz

Vicki Bennett, aka People Like Us, is the Queen of Appropriation. Blue Moon began as a live performance, combining archive-collage with a sampled / live score. Online, it’s intimate and mesmerising.

Horse Glue
Stephen Irwin

The Black Dog’s Progress, the film Stephen made for Channel 4’s AnimateTV, was a big hit, winning two British Animation Awards, so we were thrilled when he offered us an online premiere of his new work – actually two films that fight it out within the single frame.

Dryden Goodwin

Our office is down the road from London Bridge tube station, where drawings from Dryden’s Art on the Underground project – portraits of Underground staff – are on display. Online, each of the 60 portraits has a film of the portrait being made, with fragments of the conversation between artist and ‘sitter’.

Kitteh Kitteh
Tokyo Plastic

We were going for Ryan Trecartin, but saw Adam Pugh picked him last year… so for our final pick we’ve gone for Kitteh Kitteh, from awesomely hip studio Tokyo Plastic. It’s what the Web was made for.

Jeremy Boxer
Director, Vimeo Festival + Awards

Chris Beckman

Chris Beckman weaves found footage of cameras being dropped into a visual tapestry that creates its own new meaning. We travel through wormholes created by the editing, landing in different lives and often countries each time the camera is picked up. A friend calls it “a roller-coaster ride through society.”

Russ Chimes – Midnight Club EP Complete Trilogy
Saman Keshavarz

Saman Keshavarz first came to my attention with his wonderful music video for Cinnamon Chasers. Now he takes us on musical trilogy for Russ Chimes’s Midnight Club EP. Each track has its own video, each part of a larger story that follows a young man on the search for his missing kidnapped girlfriend. Deft flashbacks and flash-forwards reveal more of the story with each cut, taking the audience on an amazing ride.

Avatar Days
Piranha Bar

This great little documentary takes the avatars from ‘World of Warcraft’ out of the game onto the streets of Dublin, while the players behind them describe who they are.

Last Minutes with Oden
Eliot Rausch

This film won our Vimeo Festival. The story of a man’s love for his dog and the pain that goes with losing your best friend, it guarantees an emotional response.

Out My Window
Katerina Cizek

I love this new approach to documentary, which allows the audience a more rounded view of the subject-matter. I wouldn’t have watched a traditional doc about high-rise buildings in Canada, but I found myself sucked into this site and the characters within.

Nick Bradshaw
Sight & Sound

The Strange Death of Political England
Adam Curtis

Blue Moon
People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz [see above]

A montage of the UK’s two most dependable found-footage montage/collage/mashup/remix/appropriation/cut-up artistes…
Curtis’s experimental half-hour portrait of 1970 – part of an intended online series relating the “emotional history” of the past 40 years through archive documentary clips and contemporaneous pop hits – inevitably recalls the form of the BBC’s old The Rock ’n’ Rolls Years, at least for those of a certain generation. Of course, it’s more philosophically ambitious than that, marrying political grand narrative with the quirks of lived experience – and would seem to continue Curtis’s ongoing project of exploring our political loss of faith.
Fascinating to revisit the 1970 flavours of colonialism, terrorism, racism, feminism and labour activism. And of course Curtis’s eye for wacky satire remains true; anecdotes here about our paranoiac, pill-popping rulers span Richard Nixon, Pol Pot, Elvis Presley, Enoch Powell and Leonid Brezhnev, while Harold Wilson is all smoke and mirrors and Rupert Murdoch’s wife has a near miss with would-be Tory entryists turned screwball kidnappers from Trinidad. Now I feel like I’m writing the programme notes for a dubious soap opera…
Vicki (People Like Us) Bennett’s Keystone Cut Ups series highlights the perhaps obvious but nonetheless delightful links between early avant-garde cinema and silent comedy (I’ve always thought Buñuel and the Marx Brothers peas in a pod). The Blue Moon excerpt, a suite of trips to the moon and other early-film fantasias, is a particularly lovely watch, a cine-dream that’s also like a layer cake of film history.

99 Clerkenwell Road
Sophie Michael

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Kirsten Lepore

Another montage, of two very different animations. Sophie Michael’s silent, hypnotic 99 Clerkenwell Road is an abstract in the Oskar Fischinger / Norman McLaren vein, albeit with an unusually ambiguous sense of width (and off-screen space) and scale (are these cells? planets? I’m reminded too of Charles and Ray Eames’s Powers of Ten). Apparently it’s also more figurative than you’s think, in that these shapes are abstracted from the materials of an old shop at the titular address.

Mark Cosgrove
Head of Programme, Watershed Bristol

Flood and Fat Head
Dan Geesin

Dan did the music / sounds for the Dutch feature film Can Go Through Skin (2009). He came to Watershed and showed some of his short films which are available on YouTube. His use of sound / music is brilliantly experimental and as textured as the films as illustrated here in Flood and Fat Head. A true pioneer, innovator and experimenter.


Antivj have developed 3D mapping technology to an truly exceptional and monumental degree. See the building open up at about 3’45” and real life become epic cinema!

Chase the Tear
John Minton

We did a retrospective of Bristol based John Minton at last year’s Encounters Short Film Festival. John has a lo-fi approach to create a rich texture. He does a lot of work for Portishead. I love the simplicity of John’s approach in Chase the Tear creating a cubist pop promo. The music isn’t half bad either!

Sean Carter

I watch a lot of shorts for Encounters Festival without knowing anything about the people involved or the context. This struck me as an amazing accomplished piece which cried out for feature length treatment but worked absolutely within its own short form. Here is a director to watch.

The Ferroni Brigade
aka Christoph Huber & Olaf Möller
Critics, Austria / Germany

Der Fuchs vom Auswärtigen Amt
Romuald Karmakar

One shot, one minute of quiet and peace, and wonder: something is rustling through a thicket – suddenly, right at the filmmaker’s feet, a fox appears that quickly checks out the area, then casually vanishes into the Berlin night; registered right around the corner of the FRG’s Foreign Office.
Cinekarmakar is one of the few places in the net we regularly visit. Few other filmmakers live cinema the way Karmakar does: he walks the world camera at hand, ready to react to whatever provokes his curiosity. The results off and on appear here, on his YouTube channel. We could have featured several other works from 2010, like: Mit Herz und Spiel, „HOM-BOT“ - Der kehrende Staubsauger, „THE BYZANTHINE EMPIRE“ and a Message for Angela Merkel, FILMMAKERS PRESENT (6): Lav Diaz on „Agonistes – The Myth of Nation“ or KOREA FILES (2): The Papermaker of Hanok Village. In the end we chose the little fox because there’s something deeply soothing about its presence there smack in the city – plus, there’s the tender, almost sweet curiosity of Karmakar’s gaze: he’s happy at that very moment.

Lundgren vs. Unicorn
Ryan Ebner

Not merely content with giving one of the year’s finest character turns in Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables, Dolph Lundgren (or as we prefer to call him, ‘Master’ – not so much for his filmic ruling of the universe, but for his master’s degree in chemical engineering) also excelled in an extremely enjoyable series of one-minute Norton Internet Security spots.
Not all of them are as good as the Dolph pieces, what with the rainbow-obsessed unicorn for once a truly worthy foe, but we also have to bow to the greatness of The Hoff, particularly his sublime German flirting technique in Fan Falls for Hasselhoff.

ORF links, Falter usw. in der Mitte und rechts bitte die radikalen Zeitungen
Peter Kern

And finally, a glimpse of the future. To get yourself in the mood, first watch the short bit of Austrian maverick master Peter Kern during a press conference for his upcoming satirical sledgehammer-strike Mörderschwestern, neatly dividing the present media into groups (state broadcasting to the left, Viennese liberal weekly etc. in the middle, radical papers to the right) and instructing them how to perform a canon.
Understandably, they oblige. It’s not subtitled, but just rejoice in the spontaneous musical splendour. And, yes, that is the one and only Helmut Berger next to Kern, who will also appear in the film – as will the canon, actually, so use the chance to start practising!
Then enjoy the trailer for this meta-masterpiece (‘in Mörderama’!), a prime candidate for the Ferronian Sight & Sound Top Five of 2011.

Lars Henrik Gass
Director, Oberhausen International Short Film Festival

Carsten Nicolai and Simon Mayer (for alva noto)

Lightning Strikes
Sönke Held for Felix Kubin

Terry Timely

Autumn Story
Yanni Kronenberg and Lucinda Schreiber (for Firekites)

Dear God, I Hate Myself
Jamie Stewart (for Xiu Xiu)
[note: features prolonged self-induced vomiting]

David Knight
Curator, BUG / Editor, Promo News

In the past year music videos regained something of their former cultural heft, thanks to the antics of Lady Gaga and the realisation that a large proportion of stuff watched on YouTube are pop videos.
Having been increasingly marginalised by TV (by terrestrial in the UK and MTV in the States), music video has also been creatively revived by the possibilities of online exhibition. Once again it has become a magnet for young filmmakers excited by creative freedom, even if they are creating on tiny budgets. One of my chief pleasures as curator / programmer of BUGi s the talent-spotting: discovering the new filmmakers who have just produced an outstanding work and are brimming with iconoclastic potential.
And now there’s a whole new way of perceiving and experiencing the ‘video’ as an immersive, interactive experience. So here, from the many great things shown at BUG in the past 12 months, are a few of the very best of the year.

70 Million
L’Ogre (for Hold Your Horses!)

French directing collective L’Ogre fashioned brilliant ‘live’ versions of some of the best-known paintings in the history of art, featuring the members of the band Hold Your Horses. Ingenious, witty, life-affirming, low budget and a total joy to behold.

I Wanna Go To Marz
Casey Raymond and Ewan Jones Morris (for John Grant (feat. Midlake))

Just about the most heartbreakingly shocking opening you’ll ever see is followed by a wistful interpretation of the afterlife full of ice cream by this subversive and riotously inventive directing team based in Cardiff.

Nolan’s Cheddar
John Nolan

John Nolan has worked in visual effects on movies and TV, from Where the Wild Things Are to Dr Who, and collaborated more recently with James Lavelle, Chris Cunningham and Lady Gaga. His brilliant and hilarious first work as a director is a demo commercial that fully demonstrates his considerable talents in model-making and animatronics.

Cyriak Harris

Cyriak Harris’s video and photo-manipulating “brain-spillages” (as he calls them) are comic worlds where the everyday stuff provides the jumping-off points for his explosions of mind-boggling surrealism – whether it’s farmyard animals, celebs off the telly or, in Cycles, the seafront at Worthing (his hometown).

Todo El Tiempo
Jesús Hernández (for Glez)

Jesús Hernández’s video for Spanish indie band Glez is a brilliant set-piece: a dinner party, rendered like an old master painting, crossed with Kind Hearts And Coronets – and given completely original visual treatment. Beautifully structured, Todo el Tiempo delivers an exquisite, vengeful climax. Hell hath no fury, indeed.

Truckers Delight
Jeremie Périn (for Flairs)

Outrageously vulgar, unbelievably scatological and morally questionable, this jaw-dropping exercise in pixel-art is the work of wunderkind French animator Jeremie Périn, and although the exploits of the incorrigible little hero may cause offence (certainly if you are of a vaguely feminist disposition), you won’t take your eyes off the screen.

The Wilderness Downtown
The Arcade Fire

A breakthrough in interactive music video by director Chris Milk and digital artist Aaron Koblin utilising the next generation of web code html5. It uses Google’s Street View data to create a personalised experience for every viewer.

Sophie Mayer
Critic, UK

It Gets Better Project

2010 has been described at the year that the internet came of age as a political force, with the relentless release of US embassy cables via WikiLeaks and their offline media partners.
It could equally be described as the year the internet came out – with It Gets Better, the first large-scale social justice movement to be predicated entirely on online video. In response to widespread reporting in the US media of a cluster of suicides by seven LGBT-identified teenagers, syndicated alternative columnist Dan Savage and his husband Terry shot and posted a YouTube video narrating their own experiences of bullying and isolation in adolescence, and describing their survival and thriving adult lives with the mantra “it gets better”.
Two months later, the project (also hosted on YouTube) has over 5,000 user-created videos, mostly from within the LGBTQ community, and over 15 million views. Posters range from US public figures such as Ellen DeGeneres and President Barack Obama, as well as Daniel Radcliffe, to individuals such as youth workers, teachers, town councillors and teens.
A group of LGBTQ employees at Pixar produced a (non-animated) talking heads video that underlines both the affective heart of the project – by making visible a thriving, multi-ethnic and physically diverse community – and the narrative contours that have raised criticism. Pixar’s collage of tales highlights the classic (Pixar) narrative structure of conflict and resolution, with plucky / quirky underdog heroes ‘succeeding’ (where success is defined as incorporation into the mainstream) through determination.
But the project has also framed the online space and audience for radical challenges to that narrative and its normative ideas of ‘better’, such as ‘When Did You Choose to Be Straight’ and ‘Reteaching Gender and Sexuality’, which is much lively and wittier than its title suggests.
There are, as yet, few formally-challenging videos – they largely rely on the classic consciousness-raising formula of talking heads – to suggest a cinematic movement on a par with, or influenced by, New Queer Cinema or the video art of David Wojnarowicz. Online video has, however, evolved a political consciousness and agency so that, for example, the censorship of Wojnarowicz’s video ‘Fire in my Belly’ at the Smithsonian could be swiftly critiqued and combated. It Gets Better outs YouTube as more than a database, but rather a community-building site of exhibition and responsive generation of moving-image works.

Henry K. Miller
Academic, UK

Halfway through Spike Jonze’s online short I Am Here, quite bored, preparing this list, I wondered whether the animated gif might count towards the five videos. I think it should, and this They Live-inspired iteration of the ‘Deal With It’ meme gets my vote. But if it doesn’t count, this is quite something.
Adam Curtis’s blog, mostly comprising the fruits of his archival crate-digging, continues to fascinate. The title of his main original work this year, The Strange Death of Political England, is perhaps ill-timed, but the video itself, a meditation sans voiceover on 1970, is free of the stridency that I think marred his last series, The Trap.
It would be interesting to hear the views of George Dangerfield – he minted the ‘Strange Death of’ meme with The Strange Death of Liberal England 75 years ago – on liberalism’s very strange rebirth; and, surely, that of ‘Political England’. I haven’t seen an online video from the recent protests and occupations of more than documentary value, but the clip of a policeman Dragging a Disabled Man from a Wheelchair is eloquent enough testimony.
In place of Alan Partridge’s online series, which is okay but feels like cheating, I’ll nominate the belated finale of Yacht Rock, not the best of the series, but by way of a heads-up; I only caught up with it this year.
Not sure if this brilliant Paul Rudd clip counts or not – so just in case I will also nominate this episode of Funny or Die’s Drunk History.

James Rocarols
BBC Film Network

The theme of the year is probably films shot on iPhones and ever-decreasing devices, but I don’t remember being blown away by any of them. I nearly chose Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s A Letter To Uncle Boonmee on Mubi, but he dominated last year’s list so I’ll give some others a chance.

The Wilderness Downtown
Chris Milk with Aaron Koblin

This video for Arcade Fire’s ‘We Used To Wait’ is admittedly a bit clunkier than it wants to be and only works in Google Chrome, but the idea of drawing on apps to create an interactive video has real potential. It makes for a surprisingly haunting experience.

Alice in Wonderland
Percy Stow & Cecil M. Hepworth, 1903

Is it a bit sycophantic to include something uploaded by the BFI? Although the film itself was interesting, the comments it provoked were fascinating. The fact that so many viewers believed it to be a hoax spoke volumes about our instinctive mistrust of media and the disconnect between modern audiences and the history of moving image.

The Gift
Carl Rinsch

Phillips’ ‘Parallel Lines’ was one of a number of new commercially-backed short film competitions, but the results of this one were probably the most eye-catching. Despite the handicap of having to craft a story around the asinine dialogue extract “it’s a unicorn”, there were a few notable shortlisted efforts, the best being this robot thriller from Rinsch – another of those DIY-effects artists, like Gareth Edwards, who’ll continue to set the pace in 2012.

Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge

Steve Coogan resurrected Alan Partridge online and returned to TV (with The Trip) at around the same time, but it was no contest as to which was funnier. The restricted webcam setting actually improved the focus of the comedy, making this a much better entry than the last season of I’m Alan Partridge. And the presence of the ever-excellent Tim Key was an unforeseen bonus.

Jasper Sharp
Midnight Eye and Zipangu Festival, UK

This year I’ve become particularly aware of the amazing array of works by independent animators on the web, many of which I’d never have had a chance to discover outside of film festival screenings.
In line with my chosen field of interest in Japan, I want to draw attention to a selection of short works that stretch our understanding of Japanese animation. While many of these were realised earlier and some have already appeared, either legitimately or illegitimately, on YouTube, 2010 was the year most of these were published on the animators’ own sites.
My greatest discovery this year was Mizue Mirai, whose gorgeously mesmeric biomorphic cellular swirls in films such as Jam (2009) and Playground (2010), or the intricate geometrical abstractions of Metropolis (2009) and Modern (2010), look like they were created on computer, but are in fact entirely hand-drawn. You can get a taste of his work on the website of the CALF animation collective, of which he is a member, although a number are also available for viewing on YouTube.
At the other end of the spectrum is Shibata Daihei’s The Light of Life (2008), a hyper-realistic, stunning 3D-CG ode to the wonders of nature.
Takeuchi Taijin’s films experiment with photography and stop-motion techniques. He completed his latest film A Song Like a Fish in 2010, although it is not up on his website yet. His previous work, the playful A Wolf Loves Pork, is, however, and gives a good indication his quirky, inventive style.
The illustrator-animator Nakamura Keiko (aka KTooonz) has focussed on female sexuality in her pastiche cartoon style since the early 1990s, with a number of her works available for viewing on her website. Her dark Odilon Redon / Aubrey Beardsley-inspired coming-of-age drama Death and the Maiden can be found at YouTube, although apparently it’s not yet completed.
And finally, outside of the world of animation, included on the website of the London-based British-Japanese short filmmaker Keiichi Matsuda is his latest work Augmented City 3D, which makes innovative use of the old red-cyan anaglyph 3D technology to depict not just the physical but the virtual spaces of the modern city environment. See it in 3D on YouTube.

Brad Stevens
Critic, UK

Abel Ferrara TV

For Abel Ferrara fans, the appearance of Abel Ferrara TV has to be among the highlights of the past year. The site is regularly updated with Ferrara shorts, interviews, commentaries and clips. Ferrara’s legendary 1996 appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien also turned up on YouTube: probably the funniest seven minutes of film since Chuck Jones’ Duck Amuck, which in many ways it resembles.

Tabi Yakusha (Travelling Actors)
Naruse Mikio, 1940

The communal project to subtitle Naruse’s entire oeuvre and make the results available in the form of ‘illegal’ internet downloads is now close to completion. Of the dozen or so titles that turned up in 2010, this is perhaps my favourite. Thematically a follow up to Naruse’s equally charming Sakasu Gonin-gumi (Five Men in the Circus, 1935), this could profitably be double-billed with Elaine May’s Ishtar (1987), another film that mercilessly deflates masculine presumption without ever encouraging us to feel superior to its characters.

The Sealed Room
D.W. Griffith, 1909

A wealth of Griffith silents can be found on YouTube. This 1909 short, inspired by Poe, is among the most interesting.

Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury (Cert 18)
Rachel Bloom

Bloom’s homage to Ray Bradbury had me giggling for days.

Kate Taylor

Sibling Topics (section a)
Ryan Trecartin

The standout story of this autumn’s Liverpool Biennial. A thrilling shot in the eye for experimental video that forces a new vocabulary for viewing.

The Wilderness Downtown
Chris Milk with Aaron Koblin

While much net art aims for cerebral kicks and smart self-reference, this is that rare online moment, an interactive film that creates an emotive experience.

Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind)
M-J Delaney

Still funny.

Slavov Zizek, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce
RSA Animate

Everyone’s favourite Slovenian philosopher holds forth on the ethics of Starbucks. Why can’t all philosophical discussions come with such simple and well-executed animation?

14 Actors Acting: James Franco
Solve Sundsbo

Drunk on the sweet perfume of his own unbridled charisma, when Franco turns it on no man can resist!

Lynn Hershman Leeson, Alexandra Chowaniec and Brian Chirls

Spinning out of Lynn Hershman Leeson’s !Women Art Revolution documentary, RAW/WAR is a smart wiki-style collaborative video archive with potential to become a living library of feminist art and activism.

Blake Whitman
Director, Vimeo Festival + Awards

Online video just turned about ten years old. Not literally, but its maturity level is now about that of a fourth grader. It no longer pees its pants or has to be breast-fed. It’s maturing. Which is a good thing.
This maturity is fuelled by better content. Independent filmmakers and artists are sharing their work online because people of all walks of life are actually watching it. The audience is changing. Filmmaking is changing, opening up. And with this shift comes acceptance, and a stronger appetite for web-influenced content like we see today.
Now that online video is potty trained and walking to school by itself, I’m pretty excited to see it graduate high school and maybe lose its virginity. In that spirit, here are a few of my favourites from the year:


I’ll go out on a limb and say this is possibly one of my favourite videos of all time both for its experimental simplicity and stunning execution.

California is a place

California is a place, a team made up of Drea Cooper & Zackary Canepari, creates lyrical and beautiful exposés on different fringe aspects of California. This piece in particular is driven by stunning, almost photographic portraits of the end of the American Dream and the opportunity that arrises for those who can see it.

Your Lucky Day
Dan Brown

“A megaball drawing sends a convenience store spiralling out of control.” All the pieces of this film come together for pure entertainment. I would love to see more shorts like this.

Kirsten Lepore [see above]

I’ve been following Kirsten Lepore’s work on Vimeo for over three years now and everything this brain creates is gold. Bottle was a finalist in this year’s Vimeo Awards (it won the Community Choice Award) and exemplifies the talent and the imagination of independent animators alive and thriving on the web. Keep an eye on Kirsten.

Hermanos Inglesos feat. MeMe – Wanderland
Kristof Luyckx and Michele Vanpars

Bird eats berry. Bird goes on psychotropic adventure. Creative animation potential = unlimited. And yes, there are unicorns.

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