tried to eat the safe banana (thefourthvine) wrote,
tried to eat the safe banana
thefourthvine

Vids: Come up and See Me (Make Me Smile)

I have a fan fiction set nearly ready to go, but I'm hoping I'll, um, develop the ability to be coherent before I actually post it. (Sleep would help. A lot.) So I asked myself what I could do in my current state of incoherence (hints: nothing involving heavy machinery, sharp implements, explosives, or complete sentences), and it came to me in a flash: I could practice what I preached.

See, two weeks ago, I was whining at all y'all to recommend some vids. To my incredible delight, a lot of you did. (And if you did and I haven't remarked upon it yet, I probably missed it; see, the thing is, I do my comments before I read my friends list, so I spent the entire week of that post insanely behind on the ol' list. I missed a lot. So I would be eternally grateful if you would drop me a link and let me know where I can behold you in your glorious recommending plumage.)

Anyway. You recommended vids. Seems like I should do the same. So, without further ado, I present to you: Vids That Make Me Smile (or, in Some Cases, Shriek with Laughter).

Boy in the Bubble, by jmtorres. Star Wars (original trilogy).

This vid made me stupidly happy. I just need to say that right up front, so that you know that I am biased.

And, you know, I didn't think it would. When I recognized the source and the song (I download in a way that makes it difficult for me to associate filenames with content; I love spoilers for anything, except, for some reason, vids, which I want to come to with as few preconceptions as possible.), I started making the Face of Vid-Watching Uncertainty. You know what I mean. It's the same face people make the first time they taste goat cheese. Because, see, in the first few seconds of the vid, the song seemed all wrong and I had no idea where the vid was going. And, you know, I'm already regretting the goat cheese analogy, but I just have to say - like goat cheese, this vid turned out to be an unanticipated comfort food. (Wow. Now I'm really regretting the goat cheese analogy. Memo to me: in the future, avoid dairy-based metaphors in vid recommendations posts. Further memo to me: explore the use of dairy-based metaphors in other settings, but with caution. Don't go charging headlong into, for example, an explanation of the Dewey decimal system via butter making.)

So. There I was, being suspicious and wary. And then I got to one specific line, and my heart clenched, and I was just swamped with this wave of nostalgia, this incredibly intense memory of the uncomplicated love I once had for Star Wars. (The love lasted all the way up until the first half-hour of The Phantom Menace, which was not one of the happier movie-going experiences of my life, let me tell you. And not just, or even mostly, because I was attending with someone who had taken a lot of codeine and could thus be happily entertained by pretty lights, or by dust motes, or even by romantic dialog written by George Lucas.)

This vid brought that old love back to me, let me re-experience it for three minutes, and is a gift beyond price. I can't comment on the technical side of this, or the beauty of the cuts, or anything else at all, because I watched this not as a vidfan but as just a plain old fan.

This is highly recommended for people who loved the original trilogy. And for people who buy DVD sets of TV shows they watched in their youth. And for anyone whose life has been, of late, maybe a little lacking in miracle and wonder.

After Rain, by gwyn_r. Band of Brothers. Pairing? Um, maybe; you could read this as slash (which is, yes, totally my choice; I take pride in my predictability) or as gen. In either case, I have no idea who these guys are. (ETA: deepsix tells me they are Nixon and Winters. In which case, Nixon/Winters is totally my new OTP.)

So. Realistic war fandom with which I am completely unfamiliar. (For the very good reason that realistic war sequences - if I can even understand them - generally make me want to retire to my room. Or resign my membership in the human race. In either case - well, let's put it this way: I watched Saving Private Ryan, yes, but I'm not sure I actually managed to see anything at all after those first however many eternal minutes they were.) And a pairing (or maybe a friendship) that I'm totally not invested in, to the degree that I've never even heard of it. This is a sure-fire recipe for a truly happy-making vid, yes?

No, actually. (I know, you're shocked.) Except it so totally is. This vid makes me happy because - okay. If I ever did a list of Things Fandom Taught Me About Myself, the first thing on that list would have to be the extremely unexpected and totally unwelcome news that I am a closet optimist.

See, for years I thought I was a pessimist, because I made contingency plans and anticipated worst-case scenarios and just generally planned for the universe to fuck my shit up. But it turns out that under that carefully cultivated layer of caution and low expectations, I - I believe in happy endings.

I'm sorry. I know this makes me the most naive person on the planet. I can't help it. My brain understands that it doesn't work that way, but my subconscious is just not having any of the brain's pseudo-intellectual bullshit; it believes that things will end happily.

I first saw "After Rain" at a bad, hard time in my life - two months almost to the day after my father died. I missed him horribly and just couldn't believe that the world could work that way; I was still waiting for the happy ending and starting to be afraid that it wouldn't come. But this vid - it basically was the happy ending. Because it says what I had already hoped was true but really, really needed to hear right then: that things will be good again, that no matter how bad things are, all you have to do is survive and eventually happiness will take care of itself.

The thing is, I've watched this enough to see a lot of what Gwyn did with this vid - the contrast in tones and colors, the gorgeous use of each part of the song, the subtle effects that carry even a totally clueless viewer through distinct switches in time and place. And I appreciate it, just as I appreciate all the slashy adorableness and lovely uniforms. But this will always be, for me, the vid that said that the bad doesn't eliminate the potential for good, and that good times come to all of us in the end.

Goody Two Shoes, by pipsqueaky and laurashapiro. Due South. Fraser and his Rays.

I made a lot of truly undignified noises when I first watched this, including several outright shrieks of laughter. Because, seriously, has there ever been a better song choice for Fraser than "Goody Two Shoes"? Has there ever been less subtle innuendo?

(Answers, in order: No and no. I can think of some equally unsubtle innuendo, like the clip I saw on YouTube a few weeks ago of the one reporter guy eating a banana, but to get any less subtle, there would have to be explicit sexual acts. That would of course be fine with me- Totally fine! Amazingly fine! Redefining fine by reaching entirely new levels of fineness! - but would kind of take it out of the category of "innuendo." Also, this song is so clearly perfect that I actually squealed with joy when the first shot showed what were, unmistakably, Fraser's boots. Now do you see why I like to watch vids unspoiled? It's so that I can think, "Hmmm. 'Goody Two Shoes.' If I'm lucky, it's about Angel; if I'm unlucky, it's about Lana Lang. Ooo, nice title sequence! And - OMG FRASER'S BOOTS EEEEE YES!")

The unwritten subtitle of this vid is, "Come on down to due South and play with our Mountie, who is pure fun in boots." Or, okay, that's not actually the subtitle, but in my head it is, because this vid is three minutes of Fraser demonstrating his fixation on heights, licking, and Rays.

And, okay. Every fandom has its frequently used clips, and I tend to keep a list of those in my head, along with vids that I have awarded various totally imaginary prizes to for the most effective use of those clips. This vid wins two such prizes. (Which is impressive, considering it mostly does not use the really popular clips.) First, for the best use ever of buddy breathing, in that I can actually, for once in my life, see what's going on. Usually it just looks like a fishtank. With bubbles. In the dark. And, second, for the final shot, which - okay. Maybe it's just me, but in this context it suddenly became very, very obvious to me that what Fraser is thinking in that shot is: "Yay! Threesome!"

Atlantis!, by sherrold and wickedwords. Stargate: Atlantis.

(Note: this vid was made for the Vividcon remix challenge, and was inspired by astolat and cesperanza's Rumble, which - well. If you haven't seen it, I don't know how you find the strength to carry on.)

When I was making up this set, says I to myself, says I, "Everyone has seen Atlantis!, surely. There is no point in recommending Atlantis!" And then I remembered that I myself was arguing against that sort of reasoning just two weeks ago. So I did my best to think of the fangirls. Specifically, I thought of a (hypothetical) fangirl who has not seen this vid. And, you know, I can pretty clearly picture her in my head. She's probably feeling a strong urge to lie down with a cold cloth, a Victorian hair ring, and the complete works of Thomas Hardy. (Or, if she's really tragic, Ethan Frome. But I have to hope no one would let it get that far.) She probably weeps, but knows not why she is so emo.

It's because this vid is missing from her life.

And I can relate, because this vid is an example of something that has been missing from my life for rather a long time. See, I am a frequent visitor to anime music video land. (To get there, just take a left at the sign of the one half pandaman, turn another 40 degrees when you see the giant robot, and head straight on toward the totally androgynous boys who hold each others' hands a lot for reasons never entirely made clear. Or, you know, you could just click this link.) And over there, they have a lot of humor vids that consist of many short song snippets. I love these; each snippet is a single joke and lasts precisely as long as it takes to get the joke. Then, before you're done laughing, BAM! and you cut to another joke. Some of the snippets maybe wouldn't even be funny on their own (and, anyway, watching a, like, 17-second vid is weird), but when they are put together and watched as a whole, it gets funnier and funnier until eventually, in the fullness of time, you reach the Linkin Park joke, at which point you are laughing so hard you are weeping into your keyboard. (And if you don't understand why Linkin Park jokes are funny, obviously you have not yet spent much time in anime music video land.)

So, when I saw this, I realized that, yes, this was a live-action snippet vid. And the fact that the snippets were all related just makes it even better. And - and - look. If I talk about this for one second more, I'm going to spoil you (assuming you live on the planet Jupiter and have thus not already been spoiled for it), so just go download, okay? It will take those naughty emo blues away, I promise you.
Tags: band of brothers, due south, star wars, stargate: atlantis, vids
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