Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Umbrellas Amuse Me: Observations from One Day in Munich

United States/Germany, 2010, John Green, 3 minutes and 44 seconds

Given that the theme of the previous blog posts and the next several blog posts is potpourri which allows us to talk about any kind of short film, I decided to stretch the definition a little bit. This is a vlog by John Green (yes, that John Green). He and his brother Hank have a YouTube channel called VlogBrothers where they each film a vlog a couple times a week (alternating turns) and start off each vlog by saying "Good Morning ______, it's ______" and then talk about whatever they want to for that day. They're also some of the leaders of the NerdFighter community (DFTBA!).

In this particular vlog, they've created a playlist for certain vlogs they do that are about them being out of the house to film the vlog and giving thoughts/commentary on where they are. This playlist is called Thoughts From Places and in this particular episode, John's greeting us from Munich! In Munich John gets gifts for his wife and son, muses about church bells, and goes to a Children's Literature Festival (which is why he was there in the first place).

We've only vaguely touched upon vidoes such as these, better known as vlogs (and this one can perhaps be categorized under our discussion of home videos) and whether or not they can be considered short films (the dreaded topic). I myself think they can be. They're not particularly stylistic or have a narrative plot or 'characters' but they are short in length and a visual film that is available to all. Not to mention both John and Hank are incredibly hilarious and intelligent. I subscribe to a handful of vloggers on YouTube (VlogBrothers, Nerimon, Charlieissocoollike, etc.) and I find their videos to be a great source of entertainment and relaxation for a period of time out of the day. I'm not sure we want to get into the discussion of whether or not these are short films but given it's potpourri, I wanted to bring something mildly different to the blog and see how people might respond.


haley schattner said...

I think this video relates back to the Jarmusch reading where Jarmusch discusses creating "Coffee and Cigarettes" because he believes the journey to be more fascinating than the destination. In this video, as well as the other videos you describe on these two brothers' YouTube channel, follows a day-in-the-life. John Green's adventure through the streets of Munich is more interesting than his brief discussion about the festival--his destination.

Anastasia Crittenton said...

I agree with you on that account. I always find his musings in Munich more interesting than his time at the festival. It's why I was torn on posting this one as opposed to another. Furthermore, they only have a handful of these videos in their entire library. Most of their videos take place at their homes with them just talking about different things which is probably another beast to tackle entirely. However, I do agree with you on the whole.

Ryan Trent Williams said...

This is like David Sedaris for filmmaking. I've never seen anyone treat vlogging as a creative essay like this. Awesome.

haley schattner said...

I agree with you Ryan, it is nice to see a vlog that has more substance than a twitter post.