This video essay is absolutely memorizing. I found myself watching it again and again and again. I think of all the video essays I’ve seen this may be the most artistic. The way it utilizes images, movement, and 360 degree exploration is truly unique and unlike any video essay, let a lone a traditional academic essay.
The video essay is a digital recreation of a zoetrope and allows the viewers to experience what those machines were like in a beautifully remastered way. It speeds up and slows down in order to illustrates how the movement of the images create the illusion of motion. And the the 360 degree exploration allows us to distort and manipulate the images as they speed up and slow down. If one of the key things about video essays is the exploration, then this one takes the cake. The interactive elements of the essay itself allow the viewer to explore and experience the essay. You can watch it several times (as I did) and take away something new each time.
While the interactive and aesthetic aspects of the essay are great, it’s simply the content that make it so compelling for me. One of the most exciting things for me about the videographic form and criticism is that it allows us to reexamine old, great, and important films and produce criticism and scholarship that is new. How much has been written about The Horse in Motion, and how much more could possible be said. It’d be beating a dead horse (haha). In all seriousness, this allows us to rediscover films and revive them. Video essays are making them relevant again and they’re allowing us new ways to view these films and understand film history and the evolving nature of film.