Ticklebooth’s Best Online Videos of 2006
Sorting through the 1200 posts in 2006 (a little more than 3 per day spread out over 110 categories), it is hard to genuinely find one video that is a cut above to name it the best of 2006. So, I have decided to select the best from each format and then select others that best exemplify the many categories.
However, if I were forced to pick one video from this past year, it would have to be YouTubers. I wouldn’t call it the best of the year or even the best of any one category, but it best captures what 2006 was all about. The subject of the piece was Youtube, its personalities, and the videoblogging phenomenon. A very relevant subject since Time magazine called the Youtube celebs (& other user generators?!) the people of the year, while YouTube was named the invention of the year. Videoblogging is undeniably one of the hottest current trends.
Youtubers captured this phenomenon at its infancy in all of its wobbly baby steps — the confusion over its purpose and direction, the yearning to say something, to belong to a community, and the wonder of looking at one’s own self.
2006 was also a great year for music videos. The production value of current music videos is pale in comparison to the videos of the 90’s, but current graphics tools (and artists) make up for any such losses. If anything, as a medium, the music video seems to be choking under the weight of graphics and animation. And though much of it is excellent work, it seems to cancel each other out. Which brings us to my very mainstream pick.
Best Music Video: Ok Go “Here it goes again”
This video stood out not only because of the ingenious use of treadmills but also because of its apparent simplicity. A single shot, no fancy lighting, a cheesy background, and a Salvation Army wardrobe were all that it took to make the biggest video hit of the year.
Gnarls Barkley “Crazy” – Would’ve been my pick if it weren’t for Ok Go. Everything from the song to the graphics was executed in perfection. There was also a cool live version.
Jeffrey Lewis “Anxiety Attack – Directed by Jerome DerathÃ© (I am keeping an eye out for this guy).
Zero 7 “Futures” – One song, two great videos.
Hafdis Huld “Tomoko” – Can’t tell you how many times I have watched this. I don’t expect you to understand.
Papas Fritas “Hey He You Say” – Rivals “Here it Goes again” in fun factor.
Franz Ferdinand “L. Wells”
The SoftLightes “Heart Made Of Sound”
Coldcut “The State We’re In”
Kanye West “Touch the Sky”
Bob Dylan “When the deal goes down”
Regina Spektor “Fidelity”
Otafuku Rex “Do Me”
Wolf Parade “Modern World”
The Tourist “Indian Giver”
Best Live Action Short: Duplass Brothers “The Intervention”
A film that I wish I had made. One confused man combats his friends who demand the truth. This short feels like a gymnast on a balance beam approaching his inevitable ball crunching fall. The acting is tremendous and is easily the Best Acting Ensemble. Make sure to check out the feature-length film by the Duplass Brothers, “The Puffy Chair” which is now available on DVD.
Best Animated Short: Pjotr Sapegin “Aria”
Rarely do animated characters induce such empathy. Other filmmakers would have needed a feature length film to roll out Aria’s elaborate plot. In Aria, metaphors act as shortcuts but also as little emotional pins piercing into those voodoo doll-like figurines.
Best Abstract Short: Tony Comley “Abigail”
It begins like a metaphor — a culture partying its way to a crash — but it evolves into a dream about love trying to heal. The rotoscoping manages to maintain the appropriate distance between dream and reality. The ending is quite beautiful even though I’d wished it had carried on. It is all about the mood.
Best Comedic short: Le Montage
I am not much of a romantic comedy kinda guy. But Le Montage is one of those romantic comedies that is made for a guy like me. The short is sprinkled with montages that feels more like Rocky than French Kiss.
Best Television: Congressman Westmoreland on Colbert
The biggest movers and shakers in (American) television were Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. The Democrats pulled off an unbelievable victory in the mid-term elections largely because of these guys. Check out our extensive election day coverage.
Best Commercial: Eatons “Aubergine”
It is quite long for an ad, and it is prettier than the style that it imitates so well, but there is no question that this is a masterpiece. Though I realize that this was an ad at the very end, the word Aubergine is etched into my memory.
Best Virals: Evolution of Dance
It is hard to resist posting everything we think is cool or funny. Our focus here at Ticklebooth is to post videos that had something to say and/or were exceptionally creative in some way. To a large extent, we have stuck to this tune even if at times we have strayed from the course. As you will see from the Evolution of Dance and our selection of virals, they usually celebrate human ingenuity.
Best Documentary: Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke
The most popular Ticklebooth post for 2006 (thanks to the good people at BoingBoing). Spike Lee’s doc on the Katrina disaster was brilliant, timely, and much needed.
Best Video Podcasts: Ze Frank’s The Show
Even though I am quite fond of my video podcast site, the title deservedly belongs to Ze Frank. Whether it be telling of the news, Ze’s life lessons, or the almost shocking but appropriate metaphors, it is hard to deny the splendor of Ze’s brain.
Squigglebooth – Ticklebooth’s raunchy brother. Felicia did a “best of” here.
Four Eyed Monsters – I just wish these guys would post more.
Chasing Windmills – Gets better and better.
Young American Bodies
Best in Categories:
Slow Motion: Pitter Patter – I love this video! Slow motion never felt so good!
Stop motion: Between you and me. Others: The past of pikapika
Art: Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase
Love: Been you all along
Timelapse: Baraka. Also: Greenpeace Breathe Ad
Action: Kung Fu vs Yoga. Also: En garde
Remix: 8 1/2 Mile – This was made in the stars. An absolute perfect match.
Cool Graphics: MTV Haiku. Also: Shaken
Old School: Anti-Pornography Propaganda film
Journey of a Hero: One Red Paperclip. Also: Crutch
Stunts: It was the year of the Borat. Others: Sour Death Balls
Burton’s Universe: Vincent. Directed by guess who?
War: The Bloody Circus
Human Ingenuity: Tale of How
Nature: Inner Life of a Cell. Also: Meteorite Collision
Is it Funny?: Carlitopolis
Painfully Real: Blurring Fat
Playful Innocence: Mr. & Mrs. Blue Skies
Cool Graphics: MTV Haiku. Also: Shaken
Editing: Rockwars & What is this
You can check out Dek‘s equally awesome picks for 2006 here. If you are still aren’t worn out from watch so many films, may I suggest some other lists. If you like this post, take a look at our other feature stories.
In closing, I’d like to thank all of you readers and the other writers here at Ticklebooth. Special thanks to Dek who manages to unearth the rarest of videos everyday!