Date TimeSeptember 28, 2019
VoiceUsing well-chosen film clips to illustrate their arguments, film writers are increasingly turning to the critical video essay – many of them free to stream, some of them hypnotic…
Streaming: film criticism you can watch
If you’re reading this, chances are you read a fair amount of film criticism: the trusty, fusty written type, whether in print or online, that has served us well for years. I’m certainly glad you do. Yet film criticism is evolving and diversifying as fast as any form of journalism, finding new audiovisual ways to reach the less reading-inclined – which, given that film is an audiovisual medium itself, frankly seems fair enough.
The art of the critical video essay isn’t exactly about reviewing: rather, it’s a versatile form that enables both serious film scholars and curious film-makers to explore cinema in more idiosyncratic and sensory ways than the written word necessarily permits. You might not read a written essay about the significance of ties in David Fincher’s Zodiac, yet a short video examination on the same topic – to use a favourite example from the earlier days of the form – can be oddly hypnotic. The video essay can be two minutes long or the length of a feature film itself; the internet is full of them, usually free to view.

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South Africa run away with it in nine-try thrashing of Namibia
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Rugby World Cup: Japan stun Ireland – video highlights
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Japan stun Ireland to pull off another famous Rugby World Cup upset
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Liverpool hopeful of avoiding Carabao Cup expulsion over ineligible player
Lucy Bronze meets Clare Balding: 'The World Cup will haunt me for the rest of my life'
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Pep Guardiola meets Johnny Marr: ‘When we lose, it’s as if we’ve killed someone’
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