VOTD: Every Story Is The Same [Video Essay]

Every Story is The Same

It’s now been six years since Kirby Ferguson released his Everything Is A Remix video series showing how the visual media of film and television have always borrowed from what came before them. Now a new video essay helps illustrate how this is also the case with storytelling across all sorts of media.

If you’ve ever had more than a passing interest in narrative storytelling, then you’ve probably heard of the concept of The Hero’s Journey. Coined by Joseph Campbell, it’s the general template for any given story where our hero ventures out from home on some kind of an adventure, encounters obstacles to overcome, and returns a changed person. A new video essay takes a cue from Community and Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon to break this concept down into even simpler pieces that apply to all kinds of stories, and thus illustrates that all stories are the same at their core. Read More »

Marvel Movies Look Ugly

Even if you’re not the biggest fan of superhero movies, you can’t deny that Marvel Studios has executed their plan to build a cinematic universe containing their comic book characters rather skillfully. Every single movie they release is a hit, even if some of them aren’t critically received very well.

But no matter how good each Marvel Studios movie is, they each have their problems, and many of them share some common issues such as weak villains and non-important female characters existing only assist the major male superheroes. But a new video essay calls attention to what the creator sees as another problem shared by most Marvel movies: they look ugly.

Find out why they think Marvel movies look ugly after the jump. Read More »

Alternative Movie Posters

If you’re a regular /Film reader, then you know that we love collectible art inspired by film and television. Every single week there’s at least one awesome new piece of artwork paying tribute to the movies and TV shows that we love, and we even have some artists whose work we’re so excited to see. Now one of those artists provides some background in this little niche world of alternative movie posters for those who may not be well-versed in this hobby.

Watch this alternative movie posters video essay after the jump. Read More »

Westworld Video Essay

Westworld is easily one of the most popular shows on television right now. Every new episode is discussed in great detail, and we even have our own discussion after every new installment on our podcast Decoding Westworld. We’ll have our usual spoiler questions from the most recent episode later this morning, but in the mean time, why don’t we explore a complex concept that was brought up in Westworld early on in the series.

A new video essay takes a look at the bicameral mind theory, proposed by a psychologist named Julian Jaynes. The theory was mentioned in Westworld, and as the hosts of the titular theme park become more self-aware, driven by their own developing free will instead of programming by the engineers and storytellers, we see how it’s becoming more and more relevant in the show. Read More »

What Makes Anthony Hopkins Great In Westworld

Westworld is all the rage right now. We’re so obsessed with the show that we’re talking about new and old theories after every new episode, our own Jacob Hall always chimes in with some spoilery questions to accompany everything we learned in the latest installment of HBO’s latest sci-fi series, and we even have a podcast called Decoding Westworld.

Thankfully, we’re not the only ones who have fallen for the adaptation of of the film from 1973. A new video from Nerdwriter has taken a closer look at one very specific part of Westworld, one of the actors who consistently makes the show truly compelling every single week. Anthony Hopkins is an icon, and when you see how his performance is broken down in the video essay after the jump, you’ll better understand why he’s such a revered actor.

Find out what makes Anthony Hopkins great in Westworld after the jump.

Read More »

william-logan

I’m five episodes into HBO’s Westworld and I’m already hooked for life. The show is not only technically dazzling but also thought-provoking in how it raises issues surrounding A.I., game design, morality, and what it means to be human.

One of the most interesting elements of the show is how it plays with the audience’s sense of reality. Many scenes (particularly “diagnostic” scenes featuring Dolores) are introduced with with zero context, while several of the hosts such as Dolores and Maeve start to encounter hallucinations and visions from the past(?), causing them to deviate from their “loop.”

Through all of this, one major fan theory has emerged: Westworld is actually taking place in two separate time periods, and this fact is being concealed with some skillful editing. Below, I edit together some video evidence of the non-linear timeline theory. Note that there are SPOILERS through this week’s episode of Westworld.
Read More »

Brad Bird Commentary

Brad Bird is one of the best filmmakers working in animation today. He doesn’t have an endless list of films in his career, but quantity doesn’t necessarily equal quality, and when you know that the few films he has directed are The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, then you know why he’s such a respected talent.

For anyone looking for a little more insight into Brad Bird’s creative process, editor Kees van Dijkhuizen Jr. has put together a little video essay of sorts featuring explanatory voiceover on top of clips from the director’s movies. Watch and listen to the Brad Bird commentary on animation after the jump. Read More »

Green Band Trailer

One of the most exciting things in the movie news world is when a new trailer arrives for one of our most anticipated movies. Last week we were treated to teaser trailers for both Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Logan, the third and final Wolverine sequel featuring Hugh Jackman. But have you ever wondered why these clips used to market upcoming movies are called trailers?

A new video essay from the YouTube channel Today I Found Out explains the origins of movie trailers, including not only where they came from, but why they’re called trailers to begin with. Learn about the origin of movie trailers after the jump. Read More »

Scott Pilgrm vs the World Transitions Video Essay

Even though Scott Pilgrim vs the World was praised highly by critics, resulting in an 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film was a disappointment at the box office for Universal Pictures. After costing $60 million to make, the movie only made just over $47 million worldwide. The film has become a bit of a cult classic, and it’s found a decent sized audience on home video, but it deserves so much more attention than it’s gotten, if only because it’s evidence of Edgar Wright’s skills as a masterful and economical filmmaker.

A new video essay examines an easily overlooked element of the graphic novel film adaptation: the transitions. If a film is directed and edited properly, each scene moves seamlessly from one into the next and you may not even notice. The Scott Pilgrim vs the World transitions are some of the most efficient and meticulously planned, so much that you maybe didn’t realize how many of them happen in a short span of screentime. Read More »

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Steven Spielberg Stanley Kubrick side-by-side shot comparison

If you’re more than a casual fan of either Steven Spielberg or Stanley Kubrick, then you likely know that the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence is basically a collaboration between the two filmmakers. Kubrick began working on the film in the 1970s and kept developing it through the 90s, mostly because he didn’t believe technology would effectively allow him to create the lead character David in the way he wanted.

In 1995, Kubrick handed the project to Steven Spielberg, who would run with it starting in 1999 following the death of the iconic director behind The Shining, A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey. However, when you look at some parts of A.I. Artificial Intelligence, it’s almost as if Kubrick was looking over Spielberg’s shoulder. There are some striking similarities in shots between the 2001 sci-fi film and Kubrick’s previous work.

Watch the Steven Spielberg Stanley Kubrick side-by-side shot comparison after the jump. Read More »