Our list of Best Online Videos for 2007
This is our second annual “best of” list. Like the 2006 list, this isn’t one of your neat and tidy “best of 2007” lists. It is not like I have a problem deciding, after all we have posted over 1360 posts (and some posts have several video links), but I think all of these videos listed below are too deserving to be slighted. So if you see a strange category, you can attribute that to the video’s insistence on being heard.
While 2006 seemed like a banner year for online video, 2007 seemed to bring out a lot of pessimism that mainly revolved around the question of profitability. Also, the online video market continues to get saturated with content, just like old school blogging did. It seems like every blogger has some kind of podcast feed now. The word Youtube is synonymous with online video like Google is with internet search (scary?).
It used to be that among my circle of friends, I would be one of the initial people to find out about an online video phenomenon. This is no longer the case. I cannot tell you how often I feel l am either late to the party or missed it completely. The internet has become the biggest, baddest, most chaotic cable channel in the world and everyone is getting hip to it.
We had some great shorts this year, some from the years past but we found them online this year, so it officially fits our very loose guidelines to be eligible for our 2007 list.
Best Abstract Short: The Outlaw Son (Post) – There are no rewards in this film, you can choose to be in the moment or not. The One Rat Short showed how much can be done with excess, the Outlaw Son shows how much can be done with minimalism.
Best Animated Short: Jojo in the Stars (Post) – I saw this years ago at Resfest. The online experience is not the same, to say the least. Those rich blacks are washed out and the little animated touches are almost completely lost. Nevertheless, what a film! The animation is breathtaking. When she makes her appearance from the disco ball, I remember wanting to jump up and scream.
Best Comedic Short: The Shovel (Post) – Another film, I was lucky enough to see at a festival. Many films possess bigger, funnier set-ups and jokes but this comedy stands out because of its restraint.
- Dear Stranger – Yes, it is my film. But even if it weren’t, it would be here.
- The Raftman’s Razor – It doesn’t require several viewings but I always watch it everytime I come across it.
- Atama-Yama – Beautifully ugly. Hard to resist scratching your head.
- Forklift Driver – It looks like it is as old as the hills but it is edgier than the recent Tarantino gorefest.
- Wes Anderson’s Hotel Chevalier – One of the most popular posts of the last year. Deserving in many respects.
- Josie’s Lalaland – I went back and forth between this film and Jojo in the Stars in choosing the best animated short title.
2007 has been a great year for music videos. Mainstream stuff is still all about the cinematography but the independent videos are all about the ideas. There is also a return to linearity versus the 90’s simple-minded non-linearity where a video cut back and forth between locations and scenes with no development of any kind.
Among the major video forms, this format seems to be the only one concerned with formal elements in video. Some of that is seeping into shorts but the rest of the film world is largely vanilla.
Best Music Video: Grizzly Bear “Knife” (Post) – Also, the most original video of the year. I am convinced the video was invented by an alien of some kind. For much of it, the video looks like it is concerned with mythology more than the song. And though many believe that the video desecrated the song, I believe the opposite is true.
Other notable music videos:
- Handsome Furs “Dumb Animals” – Seemed like a tragic ending to a great romantic tragedy. Daring, innovative and strange as anything else from this year.
- Tom Baxter – “Better” – The idea is a little cheesy but the end result is quite beautiful.
- Cat Power “Where is My Love?” – A video that Dylan Thomas would have been proud of.
- Dave Gahan “Kingdom” – Architecture & loneliness seem like a perfect couple.
- Plug-In City “Broke On A Wheel” – Cute idea, cute video.
- The Strokes “You Only Live Once” – Money doesn’t necessarily destroy creativity.
- Kate Nash “Foundations” – Girl point-of-view cuteness.
- The Bees “Listening Man” – Guy point-of-view cuteness.
- Feist “1234” – Yes, from the iPod commercial.
- Dizzee Rascal “Sirens” – Tackles white colonialism with great dexterity.
- Emily Haines “Our Hell” – The effect and the song are a match made in heaven.
What constitutes a successful ad has changed in the last couple of years. The focus is to create a buzz online. A lot of this has already become quite tiresome.
Most sophisticated ad ever: Martin Scorsese’s Key To Reserva – The plot seems to play with genre than anything else. Is it a documentary? a short? an ad!
I am somewhat disappointed with the general direction videoblogging seems to be taking. Talking heads with a lot of personality get the views.
Best Videoblog: Alive in Baghdad – I am amazed at the result as much as how it comes about.
Best Post: Banana Bus – I award myself in all humility. So far, there is not a person who I have met who has not been seduced by the little bus.
Best Series: Young American Bodies – Some of the most daring videos from any medium.
Best Comic Series: Psycho Bob – Scary as much as funny.
Best Adaptations: Billy Collins Inspired Videos – Can online video bring poetry back to the spotlight? These videos sure do that.
Best Documentary: Michael Moore’s Sicko (Post) – Yes, it was available online, illegally obviously.
Hippest video: Hipster Olympics – If you been to Williamsburg, you know.
Best Television: The Office “Dunder Mifflin Ad” – This is a very personal choice. I love The Office and thus this scene.
Dek has also compiled a list of his favorites which in some ways is different from mine. He has become the primary blogger on this blog, don’t know what we or I would do without him. TickleBooth continues to grow at a healthy pace, 8 times as much traffic as the previous year with less big hit posts and more steady growth.
Thanks to all the submissions, comments and general support.