Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

04 Jan 2015, 17:54 p.m.

Political Fanvids

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2015 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Last week I saw a video about short online videos that critique film, or, as the narrator calls them, "video essays". (Content warning: includes Isla Vista killings video.) I was annoyed that the narrator said there weren't many such videos that take a political perspective challenging the original sources, so I sent him a bunch of links via Twitter. (Tweets: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.)

For specific examples of videos that criticize film(s) politically, I mentioned "Hey Ho", "...on the dance floor.", "How Much Is That Geisha In the Window", "The Price", "Handlebars", "Hourglass", "Women's Work", "Vogue", "It Depends on What You Pay", and "Thrift Shop" (notes). I also pointed Lee at some additional sources of recommendations: some "metavid" listings on Fanlore, the Museum of the Moving Image's 2013 "Cut Up" exhibit, the "vids with a message" playlist at a WisCon vid party, and vids-related communities on Dreamwidth. And I mentioned legal advocacy regarding fanwork, the history of vidding since 1975, and more resources for video scholars.

You can probably guess how I feel about a man being surprised that there's a bunch of relevant work, mostly by women, that he's overlooked.