Watch: Patrick Willems' Video Essay About 'Tenet' and 'Vibe Movies'

Tenet & Vibe Movies

"Don't try to understand it. Feel it." This quote from Nolan's Tenet will be remembered forever and ever. It's a good line, but it's also rather hokey, despite working well in the plot and as a guide for the audience to experience it anyway. It's a vibes movie, and we're starting to see more and more of these kind of movies recently. Perhaps because social media has made people obsessed with aesthetic over plot, perhaps because streaming content works better this way, perhaps because society has become considerably anti-intellectual recently (who knows??). In Patrick Willems' latest video essay, he breaks down and digs into this concept of "vibe movies" - where the feel of it matters more than the story. Miami Vice is another one of his big references, and directors like Malick and Kieślowski. Whether you agree or not, it's a fascinating discussion.


 Posted on April 28 in Discuss, To Watch, Video Essays | Comments

Watch: Terrific 'Transformation of Jack Nicholson' Video Retrospective

The Transformation Of Jack Nicholson

"I don't want you to tell us what you do, I want you to tell us who you are…" The great Jack Nicholson just turned 86 this year. In celebration of most recent birthday, Little White Lies debuted this terrific video retrospective looking back at his illustrious career in cinema. A five-minute-long journey through his many iconic characters. The Transformation of Jack Nicholson is the latest video made by Portuguese editor Luís Azevedo (who we've featured many times before). It contains footage from many of Jack Nicholson's best roles throughout his five decades in movies. In 1970, he starred in Five Easy Pieces in what became his persona-defining role. Aside from The Shining, clips in this are from his best films including The Departed, A Few Good Men, Hoffa, Chinatown, Anger Management, Mars Attacks, The Two Jakes, About Schmidt, Easy Rider, and of course One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. As always, this video is a great reminder you should watch any of these Jack Nicholson films that you haven't seen yet – make it a movie night this week.


 Posted on April 24 in To Watch, Video Essays | Comments

Watch: A Professional Trailer Editor Discusses Modern Movie Trailers

Modern Movie Trailers

"You start to kind of get a sense of what the movie's going to be…" We love movie trailers! For the past 17 years, FirstShowing has been writing about and discussing movie trailers for films of all kinds. This video made by Vox debuted a few months ago, and it's worth a watch if you want to learn more about the art of cutting trailers. It's a 12-min interview with a trailer editor from the company Buddha Jones, a Hollywood marketing agency that cuts many big trailers. He talks about editing a few famous trailers - for Nope and 10 Cloverfield Lane - and the various tricks and techniques used. I appreciate how much he discusses sound design and music, and how important these are in crafting an effective trailer. I wish he spoke more about editing choices, why certain footage is chosen over other shots. However, this is still informative & amusing.


 Posted on April 17 in Feat, To Watch, Video Essays | Comments

Watch: Beautiful Video Essay Highlights 'Essential Japanese Cinema'

Essential Japanese Cinema

The world of Japanese cinema is one of the most acclaimed and beloved. This video examines many of the classics, the most essential films ever made in Japan or by Japanese filmmakers. Why is the appreciation of Japanese cinema so enduring? "Narrator Luiza Liz Bond emphasized the 'heightened aesthetic sensibility' of Japanese filmmakers, on display in 'the tender observation of Ozu's Tokyo Story, the poetic rhapsody of Kurosawa's Dreams, the harrowing feminine gaze of Videophobia." The video essay is split into different chapters covering different styles of films: Bushidō, Wabi-Sabi, Mono No Aware, Yūgen, Guro, and Hen. Many all-timer films are featured including The Sword of Doom, Seven Samurai, Hausu, Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Tampopo, Love Exposure, Sansho the Bailiff, Tokyo Sonata + many more. Discover films below.

Watch: 'Everything is a Remix' 2023 Edition Video by Kirby Ferguson

Everything is a Remix Video

"Remixing can empower you to be more creative." Remix the planet! We're all copying, pirating, remixing when we create anything new. Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch has a famous quote in which he says: "Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination." Filmmaking is also based around taking and building upon cinematic ideas and art from before to make something new. This 60-minute video essay / YouTube documentary about remixing starts by discussing memes & music, then jumps into movies - covering superhero movies and much more. One of the best examples referenced in this is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the masterpiece animated movie from 2018 that completely changed animation and storytelling. It's a good one to reference, but also an obvious pick because it's so good yet also purposefully connected to the comics and everything that came before - from a multiverse storytelling angle as well. The video eventually gets into video games and tech and the big finale - artificial intelligence. Enjoy.


 Posted on March 30 in Discuss, To Watch, Video Essays | Comments

Watch: Fascinating Video Explores 'The Future of The 1920s' Design

The Future of The 1920s

Let's take a trip into the past, to journey into the future. I am a sci-fi geek and I've always loved spaceship designs and future technology and imagining what it's like to be in a time where we can travel to planets (or even galaxies). This video called The Future of The 1920s examines what it was like to imagine the future in the 1920s. It features drawings and designs created by people living in the 20s, just after "The Great War" and before the next one, wondering what the future might be like. Most of it is pulled from an old magazine called "Science And Invention." They weren't interested in leaving Earth, more into improving livability. The narrator explains the 1920s "took place in the immediate aftermath of a massive, destructive war, and both [the 50s] carried an optimism for the future. The difference was science fiction was not as mainstream… so it didn't quite fully develop a unique look." Just some visual inspiration and vintage sci-fi imagery to peruse.


 Posted on January 20 in Sci-Fi, To Watch, Video Essays | 1 Comment

Watch: How 'Spider-Verse' Evolved Animation Beyond the 'Pixar Look'

How 'Spider-Verse' Evolved Animation

Everyone who loves animation as much as we do knows that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a certified masterpiece. It also had a huge impact on the animation industry. This video essay created by Vox spends a few minutes examining the impact Into the Spider-Verse had, by showing how the look of it forced animation to evolve. Ever since Toy Story in 1995, most 3D animated CG movies are designed to be photo-realistic and have the glossy look & feel of most Pixar movies. They call this the "Pixar Look" and most of the animation industry has been using this for the last 25 years. That changed big time with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, made by Sony Pictures Animation. This video is a bit simplistic, ignoring animation made outside of the studio system, and forgetting about The Bad Guys entirely (which also uses a clever cel-shading style), but it's a good intro for those trying to catch up with what's going on. Sony Animation is also working on the sequels, with Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse due out this year and the next in 2024.


 Posted on January 16 in Animation, To Watch, Video Essays | Comments

Enjoy: Video Blog Discusses '7 Classic Movies That Changed My Life'

7 Classic Movies That Changed My Life Video

Let's get into some classics! There's always room for more discussion about classic cinema, something which we don't talk about enough here on FS. This video blog is made by a movie lover named Miriam Figueras originally from Barcelona, who runs a blog called "Cine Gratia Cinema" (in English), where she creates videos about and discusses many of her favorite films from the old days. It's "a place to expand the love for #ClassicFilms and #OldHollywood and to have fun while doing it. This is my little corner where I can share all the knowledge for the cinema I love." In this video, she discusses 7 Classic Movies That Changed My Life. It's always enjoyable to listen to cinephiles talk about the movies they love, but this is also a chance to encourage modern movie geeks to catch up with these classics. She talks about how they "ignited different interests and made me learn more about myself and those around me." Have you seen all the films in here?

Watch: 'An Overlooked Movie About Movies' Video Essay for 'Matinee'

Matinee - Video Essay

"Matinee is almost like a thesis on the way that we turn to movies to process on our fears, and about the value of even the junkiest of schlock." Have you seen this movie? If you haven't yet, and you're here reading FirstShowing, then you must find it and watch it tonight. This video essay is the latest from editor Andrew Saladino, who has an entire essay collection called "The Royal Ocean Film Society" - check him out on YT. It's a tribute to the movie Matinee, an underrated and underseen 1993 comedy directed by Joe Dante a few years after he made The 'Burbs and Gremlins 2. It's about a small-time film promoter who releases a kitschy horror film during the Cuban Missile Crisis, set at a junky old movie palace. John Goodman stars as a filmmaker named Lawrence Woolsey, who is pretty much a version of the real William Castle. For some reason Matinee has ended up lost in time and most forgotten, but it's being rediscovered and re-appraised recently and this video essay does a terrific job of analyzing it. Hopefully this convinces a few more to watch.


 Posted on December 22 in To Watch, Video Essays | Comments

Learn About How Director Martin McDonagh Deconstructs Masculinity

Martin McDonagh Masculinity Video Essay

"With arbitrary codes used to justify toxic behavior, his characters are shown to be, simply, performing masculinity." There's a new film written & directed by English filmmaker Martin McDonagh playing in theaters now called The Banshees of Inisherin. It's his fourth feature so far, and one of his best yet, with critics raving about it ever since the Venice Film Festival premiere a few months ago. In celebration of the release of Banshees, Little White Lies commissioned writer Will Clempner to make a video essay examining How Martin McDonagh Deconstructs Masculinity. This video focuses specifically on his acclaimed feature debut, In Bruges, which opened in 2008, and also co-stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. These three reunited to make The Banshees of Inisherin, which is why there is a link between the films. Both are about stubborn men refusing to grow up, resulting in more violence. Listen to the analysis from Will below.


 Posted on November 22 in To Watch, Video Essays | Comments

Watch: 'When a Modern Director Makes a Fake Old Movie' Video Essay

When a Modern Director Makes a Fake Old Movie

"He wanted the movie to be like you were in a vault, and came across Citizen Kane, and next to it was Mank." There's a fascinating video essay out this year to watch called When a Modern Director Makes a Fake Old Movie. It's made by an editor named Danny Boyd, who puts out new video essays weekly. In this one, he specifically focuses on: "That Time David Fincher Faked An Old Movie." David Fincher's latest film Mank was released on Netflix in late 2020, and it's a film about the screenwriter who wrote the Citizen Kane script, set in 1930s Hollywood. This video covers many filmmaking choices Fincher made, including visual details + cameras, black & white, old school techniques, sound re-recording, and more. Anyone who has studied Fincher's films knows that he's very talented at utilizing seamless CGI enhancements and digital alterations. Much of Mank is made with this digital trickery to make it look like an old movie. Watch below.


 Posted on October 11 in To Watch, Video Essays | Comments

Watch: Video Essay Shows the Amazing 'Transformation of Bill Murray'

Transformation of Bill Murray

"Come travel with me… Traveling with me, you find what never tires. Be not discouraged, keep on…" Who doesn't love Bill Murray?! One of the best comedic actors ever in the history of cinema. Kooky and wild and weird and unforgettable, and no matter what he does, everyone still loves him. Video editor Luís Azevedo has put together another video essay called The Transformation of Bill Murray. It's a 6-min supercut mash-up of various performances and speeches and moments from Bill Murray's movies. A tribute to the career of this one-and-only comedy mastermind. Can you believe that he's only been nominated for an Oscar once (for Lost in Translation), but never won?! That doesn't seem right. This reminds me I've been meaning to watch Murray's poetry & music doc New Worlds: The Cradle of Civilization. Check out the tribute below.


 Posted on September 26 in To Watch, Video Essays | Comments



Subscribe to our feed or daily newsletter:

Follow Alex's main account on Twitter:

For only the latest posts - follow this:

Add our posts to your Feedlyclick here

Get all the news sent on Telegram Telegram