cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values

FILM VIDEO ESSAY Kogonada ~ the exemplar


kogonada ~ The Image Master

Jim Ridley, Nashville Scene, 19 March 2015


His work – all wonderful ~ My favourite The Hands of Bresson {A previous COTA post}

Video essay techniques are all so different. Commentary. Just visuals. A single aspects of a directors style. Plus thrown in for good measure watching some of them there’s that, Heck I’m not really much of a cinephile -need to get in some DVDs.

The thing that makes Koganada outstanding is his technical skill. Everything he does demonstrates his understanding of film: using the raw material of other film-makers to say something about these films, while at the same time creating something new.

I’ve said before many try the video essay [leave out the categories now well established..] in whatever form they chose, but few succeed. They’re often academics, cinephiles or film writers who know what they want and could say it perfectly well in a text, but rarely achieve what it is obvious they are trying to do in visual terms: in the terms of film itself; in the language of film. [though of course that is not obligatory for a video essay].

The slide-show is not what video essays are about in their highly evolved form. Though many that are just slide shows are excellent. The notion that Godard was really a writer who ended up making films always comes to mind at this point! How many video essays are layered in his way….

[See how easy it is to drop a Godard into every post – P.S New book out now on Histoire[s] Canadian lectures]

Some video essayists do learn to select and edit effectively. Others sling sequences together – often just too many of them – which do little to demonstrate the thesis. Some simply can’t make up their minds if text/ audio commentary has to form a part of the essay or if it can be done with visuals alone. Music & sound effects a given – soundtrack or video-maker’s supplements.

The video essay really has become a branch of film studies! As I’ve probably said before being a film student studying film by making video essays as well as doing all the course work must be a really exciting thing to be involved in.

Waddoiknow. Watch this. Kevin B. Lee explains:

What Makes a Video Essay Great?

The comments are quite useful too.


Motion Studies: essential video essays

March 31, 2015 Posted by | kogonada, video essay | | Leave a comment