Sunday, December 29, 2013

Vimeo Presents: The Top 10 Videos of 2013

From a gorgeous lesson on mentoring to a wild compilation against bullying and the closest you can come to getting a hug from a video, see the year’s best from the video-sharing site.
1. ‘Wright’s Law’ from Zack Conkle
Video screenshot
Jeffrey Wright’s excitable demeanor and crazy experiments teach children about the universe, but one lesson in particular teaches them the true meaning of life—when he opens up about his son. Zack Conkle, a photojournalist and former student of Wright’s, crafts a beautiful documentary about his mentor in two movements: The first makes you love what Wright does; the second makes you admire who he is. (Jason Sondhi)
2. Shugo Tokumaru, ‘Katachi,’ from Kijek / Adamski
Video screenshot
One of our personal highlights of 2013 was screening Staff Picks at the Vimeo Theatre at SXSW. We already loved this video, but watching it on the big screen, with an audience, blew us far, far away. The sheer amount of work involved. The amazing attention to detail. Even watching on a mobile screen, you can feel the colossal amount of energy that was expended, but seeing the pen strokes coloring in the white board tipped us over the edge. You may have already seen this video, and we’ve certainly lost count of how many times we’ve watched it. But find the biggest screen you can, turn up the volume, and watch it again. You won’t regret it. (Jordan McGarry)
3. ‘VOICE OVER’ (English subtitles) from Kamel Films
Video screenshot
Once in a while, we’re faced with a life-or-death situation, or at least what feels like one. Martin Rosete’s short, “Voice Over,” is a harrowing testament to our tendency to overestimate the obstacles we face, reminding us that a leap of faith often pays off. Nominated for a Goya Award, the film won us over with its remarkable ability to blend suspense, comedy, and romance, and with high production values to boot. It’s the definition of a crowd-pleaser. (Sam Morrill)
4. ‘The Scared Is Scared’ from Bianca Giaever
Video screenshot
The charming personality and honesty of “The Scared Is Scared” brings us in close. A story narrated by a child and acted out by adults, it feels as fun and comfortingly familiar as our favorite bedtime story. By listening in on their conversation, we get to know the narrator, Asa Baker-Rouse, and the filmmaker, Bianca Giaever. They invite us into their secret, half-imaginary world, which is pleasure enough, but we also benefit from a child’s advice, which is perfectly suited to combat any adult insecurity. (Ian Durkin)
5. ‘To This Day’ from To This Day
Video screenshot
Using a poignant poem written and performed by Shane Koyczan as inspiration, Canadian design firm Giant Ant organized a massive Internet collaboration uniting animators the world over as part of the global campaign against bullying. These volunteers each brought a distinct vision to 20 seconds of footage, and the resulting compilation is a wild, cutting-edge collection of styles that are brought together by a strong message—a fitting metaphor for the diversity of individual experiences confronting bullying. (Jason Sondhi)
6. ‘Illusions (Part One)’ from Animal
Video screenshot
With meditative music and a voiceover that could slacken the tightest shoulders, this video is like a session with an amazing psychoanalyst. Pulling us all in with a string of illusions, the film explains why such visual trickery freaks us out: “These tricks of light are unnerving. They are cracks in our confidence about our own perceptions.”
Causing us to question even the solidity of our own physical bodies, “Illusions (Part One)” is possibly the deepest video we’ve featured this year. And the last line, “You are doing the best you can,” is the closest we’ve ever come to getting a hug from a video. Outstanding. (Jordan McGarry)
7. ‘Imagination Series: Room 8 (3 of 5)’ from Bombay Sapphire
Video screenshot
James W. Griffiths was already a known entity on Vimeo when “Room 8” first appeared, so our expectations were high. Commissioned by Bombay Sapphire for its celebrated Imagination Series, “Room 8” is the story of a prisoner who discovers the metaphysical peculiarities of the prison in which he’s confined. It’s clever and darkly comic, with welcome echoes of The Twilight Zone. (Sam Morrill)
8. ‘Keys N Krates: Treat Me Right’ from Ohji
Video screenshot
With its long, ambiguous buildup in outer space, the opening to this video kills us. The music is bumpin’, the handclaps are going, we’re ready to go, but to where? Then BOOM! The video’s concept kicks in, and it’s grins from ear to ear. We don’t believe in guilty pleasures, but this vid is pretty sinful, and when it finishes we’re ready to press play and indulge again. Ohji definitely knows how to treat us right. (Jason Sondhi)
9. Box from Bot & Dolly
Video screenshot
The first time watching “Box” is a struggle. It’s not tedious by any means, but the viewer must juggle pure enjoyment with logistical questions and thoughts about the potential implications. The production house Bot & Dolly introduced us to robot camera systems that can move objects with remarkable precision, and we watched in awe. Flat, projected-on objects move around a room while a man interacts with them, seemingly in total control. It is rare to come across a video that introduces a technique that is completely new to the film industry, and to see it at the grandiose scale of “Box” is unforgettable. We can hardly wait for the follow-up. (Ian Durkin)
10. ‘The Record Breaker’ from Brian McGinn
Video screenshot
We first saw “The Record Breaker” at the Full Frame Film Festival and immediately fell in love with its protagonist, Ashrita Furman. On the surface, it’s a comedic documentary profiling the man who holds the record for, um, holding the most Guinness World Records. But the heart of “The Record Breaker” is a moving story about a father and son, their estrangement, and their ultimate reconciliation. (Sam Morrill)

No comments:

Post a Comment