June 05, 2006

Internet Video Roundup

I admit, I have a weakness for musical montage. One of the earliest things that I learned about filmmaking is that you can’t have set piece after set piece. Take away nothing but the high points and you’re left with a plateau, which is the very definition of boring. Put in some breathers in-between the screamers and whatdyaknow the screamers retain some of their original punch. I take this sharing of internet videos fairly seriously, this is my chance to play with VJ-ing and show you something cool and when I did something like this back in February, I intentionally attempted to space out the musical numbers just a tad. Here I’m afraid, I just didn’t find anything non-musical that really jumped out at me. Any of these as part of a proper piece would work great, but here I’m afraid all the musical stuff will wear you out.

I briefly entertained the idea of including a hard-core hidden camera sex video I saw on Fuct.com; but honestly most of the stuff on Fuct.com is too far down the rabbit hole even for me and it was boring to watch anyway; much too boring to support the meager point I wanted to make in including it. Same with the Steven Colbert roast, which you’ve probably seen already. Other than that, this is pretty much it.

commercial for the Italian beer Peroni remakes Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, filters out a lot of the irony, even recasting the fleshy Anita Ekberg with your typical stick-of-supermodel, and works terrifically anyway. That works on levels I guess, an unironic remake of La Dolce Vita as a beer commercial; but I suspect madness awaits anybody who skips down that road. As is, let's just admit that they got those titles just right.

Fake movie trailers have become en vogue ever since The Shining Recut, most of them really dreadful. The fairly well-done but stupid Brokeback to the Future created a whole series of imitators, skipping over themselves to make fag jokes about the presumed gay subtext in some of the new classics. However,
Ten Things I Hate About Commandments, a trailer that repositions The Ten Commandments as a silly high school comedy a la Never Been Kissed, is the first to really challenge the crown of Shining Recut. There are moments near the end that embarass with their stupidity, but generally speaking this trailer is too sophisticated to go for the easy bait of the film's blatant homo-eroticism. Instead it spins the gayness into a celebration of the boyishness that has become a sexual ideal in the 21st Century. And of course on some level it acts as a fairly on-target critique on DeMille's dialogue and Candy Land cinematography.

Speaking of gays and the Bible, my one calm bit in the storm is this
Hannity and Colmes interview with Shirley Phelps Roper, daughter of Fred Phelps who leads the Westboro Baptist Church of Godhatesfags fame. They put her on the air because her church is protesting at soldier's funerals saying that this is how God is showing America that he is displeased. Setting aside questions of how valid this is theologically (if God is showing his wrath by killing soldiers what is Hell for), Roper seems to believe deeply in her cause and is considerably more at peace with herself than either Hannity or Colmes and thoroughly humiliates her interregators. I'm reminded of Oliver Stone's comments about the Geraldo Rivera interview with Charles Manson. If anybody's belief about religion can be proved empirically wrong hers can; but both Hannity and Colmes are too vapid and plastic of talking heads, too full with vanity as to the rightousness of their position, to ever engage her on her level. She comes off as nuts no doubt, but Hannity and Colmes don't have the moral intelligence to provide a viable alternative. God forbid the Antichrist ever have to schedule an interview on the Fox News channel.

And speaking of talking heads and the end of days, this
video editing George Bush sidebites into the lyrics of John Lennon's "Imagine" might be the coolest thing I've seen on the Internet in some time. Lennon's fairly straight-forward peace song is transformed into a tragicomic tone poem of nihilism. There are no possessions and no religion in the post-apocalyptic wasteland Bush envisions for America. The video plays like the nation's final twitch of the death nerve. Brilliant protest cinema.

Faces of Meth is just plain heartbreaking; showing before and after photos of those who found themselves in the lure of the white man's crack. Exploitive toward those photographed, no doubt, but if you place morality of viewing over what can be gained by experiencing it, you've come to the wrong place. What really gets at me is that these aren't attractive people to begin with, but they had something in them goddamit, that's nonetheless destroyed forever. I've always thought it as being a bit of an antidote to pessimism of the Bush Remix video; it's saying that no matter how far down you've gone you still have something to lose to despair.

I apologize for the speed of Ebaums and the political ramnifications of using them. Most other sites hosting the video include a really stupid chaser that always killed the mood for me.


James Allen said...

"...and Samuel L. Jackson as Principal Firebush."

Jesus (and I use that word advisedly), that was hysterical.

By the way, I do agree that most of the faux trailers are just plain bad, but I did like the one for Sleepless in Seattle that made it look like a horror film.

Anonymous said...

Did you see the trailer where they turn Blue Velvet into a Meet the Parents clone?

I have a couple ideas for those fake trailers. The first idea is, since what started trend is turning The Shining into a family-friendly Jack Nicholson chick flick, turning As Good As It Gets into a psychological horror. (Plot: Jack Nicholson wants Helen Hunt, can't have her, beats the living hell out of Greg Kinnear.) My favorite idea, though, is turning a romance out of The Birds. Soundtrack: The Carpenters' "Close to You." Why do birds suddenly appear...


James Allen said...

I just watched the Blue Velvet trailer only a few minutes ago, as a matter of fact. It was done by the same guy who did Shining. Still pretty funny, mostly for the too familiar songs used (the opening bass line to "Under Pressure," the opening riff to "Bad to the Bone"), musical phrases that have become cliched shorthand.

Likewise "What I Like About You" by the Romantics was used effectively in the Ten Commandments parody trailer.

Anybody here see Kill Christ? The Kill Bill / Passion of the Christ trailer amalgam that apparently started it all? Makes me think that Quentin and Mel aren't all that different. A scary thought, actually.

rachel said...

By the makers of Meet the Parents and Bad Boys II, comes a hilarious new comedy about murder, mayhem, and Maybelline! When an American woman is killed in an apartment (window glass! panty shot!) in France, FBI agent Mike Trelkovsky is brought in to solve the case! But this is no ordinary murder. Every tenant is a suspect! And worse, they're on to- to- (Roman, annoyed: "Trelkovsky.") There's only one thing to do: to go undercover.... DEEP undercover! (music: "She's a Brick House", Roman putting on wig) Will the short detective with the even shorter temper EVER solve the case? AND, maybe, even score the femme fatale of his dreams? Find out in: The She-nant!

Chris said...

I personally love this:


Tim Norberg said...

two particularly brilliant things I saw recently were Brass Eye's fake pedophilia news special, which is really one of the darkest and most vicious satirical pieces I have ever seen, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XL5DKIpLLWs .(there are more pieces of it also available on youtube, unfortunately it appears there is not a region 1 dvd release of the series yet.) Really hysterical, and also really cutting. Oh, also, the friday the 13th series edited down to only the kills, found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww59WG8PqJ4 .

jer fairall said...

The Bush/Lennon remix is indeed the best of this batch. "Imagine" itself may be the closest that pop music has come to producing a prayer--though a secular, anti-war (socialist?) one--and putting this particular prayer in the mouth of The Decider took a special kind of genius.

I liked Ten Things I Hate About Commandments more than most of the mash-ups I've seen lately (the worst being a setting of Brokeback Mountain scenes to the Black Eyed Pea's soul-defilingly dreadful "My Humps"--er, why exactly?), but I think the reasons these things have gotten old so fast is that most of them spoof the conventions of trailers more so than movies. The de-/re-contextualizing of Sleepless in Seattle makes a point, sure, but it's one most of us here are more than well aware of. How many times has a trailer or the video box of a movie completely misrepresented an uncommercial film (ie-Richard Linklater's Suburbia) as something more palatable (ie-the Wacky Teen Comedy (or so says the box, anyway) Suburbia!)? Insipid trailers (anything that looks like Shining, for example) are solid enough ground for satire, but ultimately not very rich.

Is there a place where the Colbert clip can be streamed? I had it downloading a while back, but it crapped out on me a bit of the way through. I'd really like to see this.

Alex Jackson said...

I was reminded of the Shining Recut trailer when I rewatched the trailer for The Upside of Anger after seeing the film.

Anybody else kind of shocked at how blatantly mismarketed that film was? It's at least four times darker than the goofy romcom trailer.

patrick Pricken said...

Somebody able to enlighten me on the evil of ebaums world? It has been my first visit there, though I've heard of it before, but "political ramifications"?

James Allen said...

Re: eBaum's World

Here's the Wikipedia entry that gives a brief rundown of what you're asking about. The hatred of eBaum's World is pretty intense in some circles (see eBaumsworldsucks.com) Read and judge for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tim!! The whole of Brass Eye is an undiscovered gem, particularly the Drugs episode and the Pedophilia special, both of which kicked up a storm in the UK. The DVD set is wonderful and well worth investing in a region-free DVD player for.

Jared said...

Alex your meth video made me want to post this picture.


patrick Pricken said...

Thanks, James.

So ebaum is a cas for Captain Copyright, huh?