Lost in the Movies: Great minds think alike? (Dance of the Criterion Collection)

Great minds think alike? (Dance of the Criterion Collection)

It don't rain but it pours. All summer, I've taken my sweet time in updating this blog, yet in the past four days, I've put up four posts, all (I think) worth reading. This is the second post in three hours but time was of the essence, and not just because the subject is a Criterion flash sale (good till tomorrow morning) - or rather the video Criterion is using to promote said sale.

The video, a delightful and enticing montage featuring brief clips of every single DVD in the Criterion Collection, bears more than a passing resemblence in construction and spirit to a video I posted last fall though it's probably just a coincidence (I am hardly the first to employ the "in ... seconds/minutes" concept, though most seem to focus on a single film). See 'em both here for yourself:

The primary differences that strike me are that (in music, and probably in speed too) mine is a bit harder-edged and that Jonathan Keough's is probably a bit more nuanced - though sometimes the timing seems random, certain clips seem to punctuate the breaks in the music nicely and to extend a few frames beyond the others, though maybe it's just my imagination. My own video was essentially an afterthought to a much larger video series, posted for the benefit of friends and I didn't expect it to receive the attention it did (although Keough got way more views, way faster!) - my clips are all exactly the same length (four frames, if memory serves) and except for the starting point, the cuts were not timed to the music. The result is a much rougher video, for better or worse.

In one regard at least, I would heartily encourage Keough to consciously imitate me: a few days after posting "60 Years in Cinema (in 40 Seconds)" I posted a follow-up which consisted of still frames from each film, held for two seconds, with a title superimposed, a kind of code-cracking key for the blink-and-you-miss-it speed montage. I would love to know where some of Keough's images come from, and given the size of the Criterion Collection, it could take years to find out. Get to it, Jonathan!

Oh and, despite the fact that I've pre-empted myself, do check out those earlier posts - especially the one from Saturday.


Anonymous said...


Joel Bocko said...

About which part? 'Great minds' probably (narcissism aside), 'think alike' not so much.

Sam Juliano said...

Well, Sir this kind of thing is your special forte, and I had loads of fun taking a look at these here. You should be doing this kind of think professionally if I may say so, and it resonated so much with me as the owner of just about every one of these great Criterion releases. All three video clips in fact are wonderful!

Joel Bocko said...

Thanks Sam, and I'm glad Wonders could host the 60 years montage last year, but just to clarify I had nothing to do with the Criterion montage! I enjoyed too though I can't claim more than a fraction of the Criterion's you own (you should probably be a major shareholder lol).

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