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For the past few years, the British cinephile magazine Sight & Sound has polled dozens of video essayists about their favorite videos that have come out. The latest poll recently dropped, with 42 creators collectively naming over a hundred different videos from 2020. If you follow Hyperallergic’s Film & Documentary Newsletter, you’ll have already had some of these essays recommended for you, such as “In Search of a Flat Earth” or “Is the Moon Landing Cinema?”. Now you have a gargantuan list to catch up on! To get you started, here are some of the most-cited videos in the poll.
This video was created for the essay series Once Upon a Screen in the journal Cine-Files, about films which traumatized the various contributors when they saw them as children. Lee discusses seeing Platoon with his family by visiting the site of the movie theater they went to in the ’80s (now a BevMo). Childhood experiences are thus reenacted at their original site, making for a remarkably intense rumination on cinematic violence and racism.
Galibert-Laîné collects her thoughts on Chris Kennedy’s 2017 film Watching the Detectives, which is about online sleuths performing amateur investigations into the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. This is therefore a video in which she comments on someone else commenting on other people commenting on videographic evidence. (And for a further layer, all of us are in turn watching her watch.) Galibert-Laîné specializes in these kinds of funhouse mirror refractions of contemporary technology and how we engage with it. This essay continually reveals new ideas and provokes many thoughts.
“Feeling and Thought as They Take Form: Early Steadicam Labor, Technology, and Style, 1974-1985” by Katie Bird
Made for the media journal [in]Transition, this essay explores the history of two competing cinematic technologies during the ’70s and ’80s, Steadicam and Panaglide. These were brands of stabilizer mounts, which greatly expanded possibilities for moving cameras when making films. Bird asks the viewer to consider the stabilizer operator as a creative force, and uses this single example as a way to draw out how just one disruption can change the way both an industry and an art form can operate.
To showcase this work exactly 500 years after Magellan’s conquest of the Philippines in a space that, 134 years ago, was a “human zoo” of Indigenous people from the Philippines, is certainly poignant.
Since 2014, Alison has been visually dissecting Monique Wittig’s novel The Lesbian Body, which theorizes the split subjectivity women experience in language, an inherently patriarchal structure.
This exhibition in Great Falls, Montana addresses the concept of intention in contemporary fiber art and its complex relationship with the history of women’s art as craft.
N.I.H., short for No Humans Involved, was an acronym used by the LAPD to refer to “young Black males who belong to the jobless category of the inner-city ghettos.”
Cha, who was murdered at 31 years old, explored the nuances of forced migration and language.
Explore new avenues in artistic practice and scholarship amongst a diverse cohort of peers while gaining leadership skills both academically and professionally.
Taping a banana wasn’t enough, so the art world had to do something even more stupid with food.
Stoner jokes, unexpected pop culture references, and an unlikely love story jangle against each other like charms on a bracelet.
In this exhibition, curated by Patrick Flores and presented by Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Paiwan artist Sakuliu reflects on interspecies co-sharing and coexistence.
The plans for Munger Hall may just be the most ruthlessly efficient way to house 4500 students.
The Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) Nation says tribal leaders were not consulted regarding the relocation of the statue.
The autumn holiday of Sukkot continues to offer solace and community for new generations.