thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Tonight, Best Beloved basically demanded that I stop reading meta and recommend some happymaking vids. So, as a tribute to her: pairing vids. That make me ridiculously happy.

The One That Makes Maybe the Best Use of the Throttling-on-the-Bridge Footage Yet. Must Be Dreaming, by YouTube vidder bluefairy1113, who apparently also has done a Reboot Chekov vid to Dancing Queen, proving she is either a genius or a maniac, and either way, we may need to confine her for everyone's good. Star Trek, James Tiberius Kirk/Spock.

(Note: This vid pretty much takes jerky, stuttery editing to an artform. I'm just saying. It can almost give me a headache, and usually visual stuff doesn't do that to me.)

Okay. So. I admit it, I am totally a sucker for - well. Let's just make a list of all the things I am sucker for?
  • Also, Kirk.
  • Also, anything based on that Reboot trope where Old Spock gave Kirk more than just the voiceover exposition in that mindmeld.
So, obviously I am not rational on the first point (true fact: I have been entertaining myself for the past week by mentally vidding TOS Spock to Justin Timberlake's Sexyback; I think my claims of irrationality have now been amply proven), and the second point's an issue for me as well, and the third one. But. I know I love this vid because of the vid it is, and not just because it happens to hit three of my current buttons, because it had a lot working against it, too.

Like, I have never recommended a vid that was only on YouTube before. I like more permanent links, and my experience with streaming video sites has demonstrated that ephemeral is more the adjective they're going for with respect to vids. And, also, I have seen another vid to this song, and it is a famous vid, and justly so. It is a Big Name Vid. And I honestly did not think I could ever watch another vid to this song without thinking of that BNV and making comparisons.

But here, I can. I do. I love this vid, and I love the song choice, and it has possibly the best clip in the world for the line "don't stop," and, just. This is really awesome, okay? And I am not just saying that because I have some Trek issues right now.

The One with the Best Clip EVER for the Lyric, "You've Got the Only Thing I Want." Mmm-HMM. I Just Bet. I'm the Cat, by Nicole (does she have a link, anyone?), [ profile] wickedwords, [ profile] sherrold, and [ profile] feochadn. Highlander, Methos/Duncan MacLeod. (Please tell me I am not the only person who, every single time she writes that name, has to go back and delete the "of the clan MacLeod" part.)

Okay, this vid was made more than a decade before the first one, which in vidding terms is roughly the same as the time between the Statherian period and the Triassic. And yet they are both such awesome vids and they both get totally to the heart of these pairings (for me, anyway; feel free to share with me your equally valid opinion on them, but do keep in mind that I keep a whole roll of tinfoil in my lower desk drawer). Because, okay, the first one is all:

Kirk: I totally have no interest in you.
Spock: Likewise, but more so.
Kirk: Except...
Spock: I have evaluated the data and am 87.6% certain there can be no exceptions.
Kirk: Well, except for the fact that I, uh, kind of want you so much it's making me crazy, I was going to say.
Spock: In that case, Captain, I believe the appropriate human phrase to use is, "My place or yours?" Keep in mind I have 117 lubricating preparations ready made.

Whereas this one is like:

Duncan: I am serious and important! I care! Things matter to me!
Methos: I know, and it's cracking me up.
Duncan: We have a destiny!
Methos: But do we have beer, that's my question.
Duncan: And that destiny in no way involves any sexual interaction between us.
Methos: I hate the prudish eras. I'm out of here. Give me a call when hedonism comes back in.
Duncan: I won't.
Methos: Fine.
Duncan: Good riddance. I don't miss him at all.
Methos: Hi, I'm back. I brought you a penis gourd. Miss me?
Methos: Yay, hedonism!

Ummmmmm. I now realize I may have just exposed my irrationality more than I really want to in any one recs post, which is a problem, because I still have two more recs to go. I'm going to have to be super dignified and sane during them. So let me just note that you should check out the awesome body language in the clips they use here - Methos actually looks like a cat in a lot of them. It's amazing.

Now. More recs. With dignity! Probably!

The One That Proves That Space Bars Are Where All the Best Action Takes Place. Why Is There No TV Series Set in a Space Bar? Hurricane, by [personal profile] laurashapiro. Battlestar Galactica x Farscape. Aeryn Sun/Starbuck, and if that pairing alone doesn't make you sit up and cheer, I just don't even know what to say to you.

Okay. So. I watched this vid completely without knowing anything about it. (True fact: Best Beloved and I watch vids together, so I just download everything into one big folder using whatever filename the vidder gave it, and then usually much later we try to guess, based on file name alone, what fandom the vid is for. There is a victory dance when someone gets it right. Although sometimes this strategy backfires, like when, recently, we watched a vid with a filename that we could not help but read as, "Me. I'M on fire!" Which we loved so much it made it really hard to watch the video - we just kept turning to each other and insisting, dramatically and with much handwaving, that we were totally the ones on fire.) And at first I thought it was one of those compare and contrast vids, which, hey, I love those. And Aeryn and Starbuck have a lot in common, so that makes -

And then I realized what Laura was actually doing, and I believe I squeaked. Maybe even squealed. Because oh my fucking god there is no hotter pairing in the world than these two, and this is a crossover pairing (which in vidding is one of those things you totally shouldn't do, except sometimes you totally should and this is one of those times) so perfectly done I'm never going to be able to convince myself it didn't happen in canon. Seriously. In my head, Aeryn and Starbuck had a night of hot, mind-blowing, blowing-off-steam sex, and it was awesome. The end.

I also want to point to what Laura does with the, um, sexytimes clips, here. I have no idea if these clips came from canon, or if so, what canon (I have seen some eps of Farscape, although I tragically missed the Aeryn Tops one, and no eps at all of BSG), but, wow. Usually when there are explicit sequences in vids based on less explicit canons, I have one of two conversations with Best Beloved:

Me: What's happening? I can't figure out what's going on.
BB, with practiced patience: This is porn. You can't scan the clips fast enough to see it. Again.
Me, bewildered: It's porn?
BB, dragging the pointer back and hitting pause: THAT is a penis.
Me, surprised: So it is.
BB: And see how it's going into that ass right there?
Me: I would never have noticed that!
BB: Why is that you read all the NC-17 fan fiction but I'm always the one who has to look at all the cocks?
Me: Luck!


Me: Oh god, that's totally not the same person.
BB: What?
Me: Look how different their bodies are! And how differently they move! And how their heights -
BB: But they have the same hair color. You're supposed to be paying attention to that.
Me: I can't. I - look, that one has a tattoo. I think it says "Mom." You can't tell me Faith has a tattoo that says "Mom" on it.
BB: You're supposed to be looking at their HAIR COLOR. And their BREASTS.
Me: There were breasts?

It's tragic, is what it is. But my point is, we had neither of these conversations. No matter how many times we went back to check, we still just saw Starbuck and Aeryn having sex. (I - I did not mind putting in the extra viewings. For the record. Sometimes due diligence is pure pleasure, people.)

This is something everyone should see. I don't care if you don't watch Farscape. I don't care if you can't remember if Starbuck is the girl or the guy pilot on BSG (girl, for the record). This the story of two pilots who fuck each other, and it is hot like burning, and you should watch it right now.

The One Where I Swear Ianto Says "Fuck" Really Obviously on Camera. Are They Actually Allowed to Talk Like Grownups on British TV? A Curious Thing, by [ profile] tavven. Torchwood, Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones.

Okay, in some things, I am easy. And here is where I am easy in vids: if you make me laugh, I am yours. And this vid makes me laugh my ass off. I mean, we were watching it, all - ooo, serious Torchwood vid. And then there was a skipping noise, and suddenly we had changed tracks to Cheesefest Love Vid. It was wonderful.

Because - okay. How did I not realize that Jack Harkness needed an '80s soundtrack? This vid makes it so obvious that I basically have to hit myself on the forehead when I think of all the time I wasted not imagining Jack to these songs. Where is the Torchwood vid to Like a Virgin? Mickey, by Toni Basil? Love Shack, by the B-52s? Relax, by Frankie Goes to Hollywood? I just - I cannot get over how perfect this is. Jack looks right against the background of 1980s cheese, and this vid works that perfectly.

This vid is, basically, a fairytale. Once upon a time, there was a young prince named Ianto. He went on a heroic quest to save the woman he loved. He entered the dragon's lair under false pretenses and lured the dragon into being friends.

And then it turned out the dragon was really pretty hot, and kind of lovable, and he ended up in love with the dragon and fucking it on its hoard pretty much every night, which was okay, because the dragon had learned a thing or two in all that time he'd been alive, plus he was in love with the prince, and they decided to live happily ever after. The end.

And that, my friends, is the power of love.

(Let me just warn you, though, that proximity to Jack Harkness can warp the meaning of lyrics out of true; I now hear "Don't need no credit card to ride this train" as a totally cheesy pickup line. Come on. You can't tell me he didn't use it a time or two back in 1985.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Best Beloved recently pointed out to me that it had been approximately seventeen years since I had recommended anything, which had of course triggered the inevitable thing where I am reluctant to write up a recommendations post because it's been so long since I've done one. You all know how this goes. She suggested I ease myself into it with vids. Happy vids.

She was, as always, right. Here are some happy vids, and pretty soon I might even remember how recommending works! I think - I think there is cake involved?

I might be wrong about the cake, actually.

The One That I Always Remember as Being NC-17, and Then I Rewatch It and Realize That It Is Merely Suggestive. Very, Very Suggestive. Let's Misbehave, by [ profile] greensilver. White Collar.

Okay. I have read stories in this fandom - not, you know, all of them or anything, but some. Many, even! And this vid is, like, 45% of them. This is a vid with plot, and the plot goes like this:

Neal: I am exceptionally pretty.
Peter: Yes, you are. I might wish you weren't, but it's a fact and I'm prepared to put it on any number of affadavits.
Neal: Also, cute.
Peter: Yeah, but I've got to point out that it's the kind of cute where sometimes I want to smack you.
Neal: That's all just part of my charm.
Peter: The hell of it is that that's true.
Neal: And did I mention that I'm talented?
Peter: I already knew that, actually.
Neal: Face it, you can't resist me.
Peter: Let me just remind you about my wife.
Neal: You're in luck! I'm good with other people's wives.

Neal: So. Hi. Peter loves you, you know.
Elizabeth: And I love him, so that's something you and I have in common.
Neal: Did I mention that I am exceptionally pretty?
Elizabeth: You didn't need to. I have eyes.
Neal: But I would never want to come between the two of you.
Elizabeth: Well that's a pity.
Neal: Oooo. I think you're about to make me an offer I won't refuse.
Elizabeth: No, I'm going to make that offer to Peter.
Neal: Great! But, uh, if you're caught, I will disavow all knowledge.
Elizabeth: Like hell you will.

[And then they all have sex.]

So compelling is the force of this vid that even I think Neal is pretty for the duration of it. (I'm sorry, but under normal, non-this-vid circumstances, Neal looks like a not-especially-attractive ferret to me. I mean, okay, fine, a kind of cute ferret, but definitely the sort of creature you want to a) pat on the head and b) keep in a cage. Yes, fine, the line to cut me dead starts over there.) And that makes me notice that Elizabeth (who is absolutely not only pretty but hot) and Neal look a lot alike. And they have some similar body language. Hmmmm. Perhaps Peter has a type? IT MIGHT BE. WE SHOULD LOOK INTO THIS. (Hint: start by watching this vid.)

The One That Answers the Age-Old Question: Where Do Good Past Incarnations Go? The Tenth Doctor Musical, by [ profile] di_br. Doctor Who.

Okay, I am guessing by the fact that this thing has almost 500 comments on LJ and more than 50k hits on YouTube that everyone has already seen it. I do not care. There might be someone out there who hasn't. That alone is reason enough to rec this.

Because, oh my god, this is just - just - well. I don't want to spoil it or anything, but there was a point, right before Nine rolled his eyes (and I was right there with him, of course), that I had a laughter-induced hallucination. (And here it is, for the people who have seen the movie of Bridget Jones's Diary: I saw the tenth Doctor in his pajamas, using a hairbrush as a microphone, singing All By Myself until he broke down weeping helplessly on the TARDIS's control panel. And here's the thing: I am absolutely, completely convinced that he's done this. We just need to get the footage out of the TARDIS somehow. Anyone have an in with her?)

I love this vid. I love every single thing about it. I love the idea that there's a Home for Old Doctors where they can watch the latest incarnation's exploits ("I tell you what, I would never have done that. In my day we knew the value of a blooping tube of blue goop.") and brood all moodily and be harassed by babies and have a cup of tea. I love the bonus track at the end, which, seriously, I have no idea what's going on there, but it is fucking scary, even so. I love the bits with Jack and the Master. I love Martha's theme song, which is so obviously her theme song I don't know why I never realized it before.

I even love being rickrolled. Pretty much.

The One That Makes Me Say, Every Time, "They - Had a Wizard of Oz Episode? Or a Costume Party Episode? Seriously, What the Fuck?" High School Never Ends, by Gab, aka [ profile] milena_d. Gateverse.

It took me a lot of rewatching to figure out just why this vid works so well for me - because it does, it so totally does, and yet usually this kind of concept doesn't. But I persisted in my viewings - it wasn't actually a hardship - until I realized that actually, this vid is a celebration of the somewhat doofy but always entertaining physical acting (if, um, that's the term I want) of the many people of the Gateverse. And that is - it's just wonderful. It's physical comedy! In vid form!

But it's so much more than that. It's also filled with sly meta commentary on the shows and their fandoms, and, even more than that, a lot of love for the Gateverse and everyone in it. One of the things that I love about vidding is that for me, it's the fanwork type that can most easily just be a giant explosion of love for the fandom. There are vids that are, totally obviously and clearly, OMG SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE <3 <3 <3 set to music. And how can you not love that? How can you not love it when someone not only draws metaphorical hearts with her name and the fandom's name in it, but does it while hitting the beat?

(I am guessing that if you're better with faces and people than I am, fanart probably accomplishes the same thing. But - okay, this is a totally honest example of the way my brain sometimes fails with fanart. There is a very famous series of drawings in an older fandom, and someone linked to them on my friends list a while back, so I looked at them. And then I went to get Best Beloved, because when I'm that kind of lost, usually the problem is that my brain is malfunctioning. And we had a conversation that went, in part:

Me, showing her one of the drawings: ...And I just don't get it, I guess. I mean. How is this fannish?
BB: What do you see?
Me: A tiger.
BB: Do you see the guys in front of the tiger?
Me, trying to fake it: Um. Maybe?
BB: Do you see the one guy's penis, and how the other guy is sort of going for it?
Me, stunned: There's a penis?
Me: It's a really confusing picture!
BB: There's two guys and a penis and a tiger! IT'S PRETTY BASIC.
Me, muttering: Not to me it isn't.
BB: I can't believe you brought me in here to look at a penis you didn't even know was there.)

The One That Makes the Best Use of Lens Flare I Have Yet Seen in a Vid. The Test, by [personal profile] heresluck.

Probably you have already heard about how awesome this vid is. Well, you heard right: it is in fact profoundly awesome. It so profoundly awesome, in fact, that I feel comfortable recommending it, even though right now I have to question my judgment in anything Trek-related. I am still in that unfortunate phase of fandom where I sort of lack - you know, taste. And rational thought. Basically, my flowchart for determining whether or not I love something has a new branch in it, very early on, which looks like this (except of course the actual flowchart is nifty and cool-looking, because my brain does not run in ASCII):

Trek? The kind that has a Spock? ---Yes ---> OKAY I ALREADY LOVE IT

I am - a little obsessed. Just a little. But trust me when I tell you that my obsession is not why I love this vid. There are, in fact, so many moments that I love in it that if I made a greatest bits collection of it, it would be about four minutes long. (If I was allowed commentary in addition to actual clips, it would probably be about three hours long. This is why I don't ever try to do a frame-by-frame analysis of a vid; two years in and I'd still be at 0:45 and I'd already have said, "But it's, you know, SO INCREDIBLE, because" seven million times.)

I will say this, though: I was absolutely, completely sold on this vid in the first 35 seconds. AND THEN IT GOT BETTER. And then it got better again! It was like a matryoshka doll set, except made entirely of joy; I kept thinking I'd found the pure brilliance at the center, but no! There was always more joy still to come.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I keep a list of vids I want to rec, divided into three main categories: Dark, Neutral, and Lighter. (There are also a lot of minor categories, like LOL Animation and OMG Pairings. This is why it takes me so long to rec things: I have to translate my notes into English. Anyway.) The idea behind this was to keep all the vids in a given set roughly the same level of cheerfulness.

And then I realized that that is totally stupid. After all, I don't watch them that way. When I watch an especially painful vid, I like to follow it up with something from the Lighter list. It's the vid version of hurt/comfort. So for this set, I'm doing hurt/comfort vid pairs. You can watch the hurty ones totally securely, knowing that your safety vid is the very next rec.

The One That Makes Me Wonder If There's a Rule on Supernatural That Everyone Has to Have That Black Eye Thing at Least Once. Rabbit-Hearted Girl (Raise It Up), by [ profile] ancastar. Supernatural.

I have no idea who the first main character of this vid is. She could be basically anyone, since almost all the women of Supernatural that I've seen (in vids, naturally) have been skinny, blonde, and white; in fact, given that this is, you know, a supernatural story, with ghosts and the undead and so on, I wasn't 100% sure she wasn't Mary Winchester until I saw her making out with one of the guys. (I have to believe that if Supernatural had gone the undead intergenerational incest route, I would have seen some commentary on it from one of you. For the record: canonical undead intergenerational incest is something you should post about if you see it. It's a new fannish rule that I'm making.)

I don't know who the second main character is, either, but I am guessing she's the first one's mother. Which just makes the line about raising up the offering extra painful, and also extra appropriate.

But even though neither Best Beloved nor I could identify the women this vid is about, we cared about them; it turns out that three minutes is totally enough to get invested. (It probably didn't help that, given the blondeness and the badassness and the general atmosphere of, you know, supernatural stuff, I associated the younger one in my head with Buffy. This led to expectations that probably didn't help me deal all that well with the end of the vid.) We cared about them, we liked them, and we both ended the vid actually crying. That is a feat of vidding roughly equivalent to writing a complete story, including both a mystery and a romance, in 100 words - taking us from "who the hell is that?" to "OH MY GOD NOOOOOO" in one viewing of a single vid is impressive. And that's why I'm recommending it: it made me care. It made the life of these fictional women matter to me, even though I only knew them as two of the Anonymous Blondes of Supernatural.

The One That Proves That the Only Thing Kinkier Than Duct Tape Is a MythBuster. James Bondage, by [personal profile] thingswithwings. MythBusters.

I have a careful system of downloading vids that keeps me from associating any information about the vid with the filename. Also, just to increase the confusion, I don't watch things right after I download them. (I have some vids that have been waiting for years to be watched. This is the nature of The System, from which we do not deviate.) So I looked at the file name of this vid and thought, "She actually made a vid to James Bondage? This will be worth seeing." (Because I have long been amused by the song.)

And then I saw the intro, and I shrieked loudly enough to be heard in the kitchen, where Best Beloved was feeding the earthling. Apparently I made a lot of noise during the vid (mostly "OH MY GOD" and giggling, I suspect), because Best Beloved came into the computer room and said, "What are you watching?"

"You really need to see this," I told her. I sat her down in front of the computer and pushed play, and she made exactly the same noises. Even though she is the dignified one in this relationship. And I was not surprised.

See, we've actually watched several seasons of Mythbusters, which is not nearly as challenging for me as most TV - in fact, we loved them so much we brought them with us to labor and delivery, and I am terribly sad that season 6 and 7 are not on DVD yet - and one of the things we could not help but notice is that Adam and Jamie have a somewhat singular interaction style. Which is a management-speak way of saying that they don't just have subtext: they have kinky subtext. (We used to imagine the build team explaining things to new hires. "It's going to seem kind of kinky," we imagined Kari saying, "but don't worry. They only do it to each other." We figured Grant probably said, in response, "That's... good?" Tori probably said, "Dude, bummer. So who's going to hit me, then?") Even the announcer usually seems to be slashing Adam and Jamie.

But knowing that, all of that, did not prepare me for this vid - nothing could have. So I will say to you what I said to Best Beloved:

You really need to see this. (Even if you don't watch Mythbusters at all! Although you should try a few episodes. Experiments and explosions and bondage: it's like it was made for people like us.) This is all genuine footage, people! And somehow they still manage to show this on regular television.

The One Where, in Addition to All the Other Horrors, We See Someone Eat a Whole Maraschino Cherry. What? I Have Maraschino Cherry Issues. It Depends on What You Pay, by [ profile] giandujakiss. Dollhouse.

Probably the subtitle of this one should be "You May Notice That Dollhouse Has Some Subtle Issues." Truly, this is one of the most horrifying vids I've ever seen that didn't involve either a serial killer or Key the Metal Idol. And unlike with the serial killers (and Key the Metal Idol), it isn't really the imagery that's horrifying; it's what's behind every scene. I don't think I'd even understand this vid if I didn't know a little bit about Dollhouse. But I do. Sort of. What I have gleaned through fannish osmosis is that Dollhouse is about people, mostly women, used as helpless puppets for many things, including sex, which for some reason is not considered rape.

So when I watch this vid, all I can think about is that probably none of these women are actually consenting, or even able to consent, to what's happening to them. (Okay, no. That's the main thing I think about. But I also spend some time wondering why Joss Whedon is so obsessed with sticking needles into women's heads, which is frankly something I didn't want to see in one canon, never mind two. Do men never need a needle to the brain? Or is that just a girl thing? And do girls really need them that often?) Because of that, the part of this that I find the absolute ookiest - the thing that makes me flinch and look away from the scene as though someone just pulled out a chainsaw while laughing maniacally - is near the end, when there's an unconscious woman, and a guy is moving her head around, sort of playing with her, making the whole puppet thing way too explicit. It makes my flesh try to crawl off my body and go hide under the bed.

And, hey, despite the whole Consent? What Consent? thing, this is also a gorgeous vid. And, for me, a really surprising one; I usually have a hard time with vids to music from musicals (um, there had to be a better way to phrase that), and I admit I kind of cringed when I saw the title page. (Three minutes later, it was entirely evident to me that I should have cringed, but not at all for the reason I did.) But this is a perfect song choice and a perfectly-done vid. The fact that it will make you want to go take a shower, possibly while still wearing all your clothes, is just a bonus.

The One That Will Leave Me Forever Wondering about Vampire Curling. Do They Sweep Faster Than Lightning? Kung Fu Fighting, by [ profile] chamalla. Twilight.

I am not a Twilight fan. I've never read the books, I've never seen the movies, and my familiarity with the characters comes entirely from watching my twenty-month-old child stare soulfully at Edward posters. (True and embarrassing fact: I bought him some Twilight paper plates at Target last week. His whole face lit up when he saw them, so I let him hold them and hoped that maybe he'd forget about them by the time we got to the checkout and I could put them back, but he gripped them tightly all the way through the store; he wouldn't even let them go so the checker could scan them.) So maybe it is just because I live with the Littlest Robert Pattinson Fan, but this vid made me laugh my ass off.

I mean, okay, the song is - yeah. But I cannot think of a better song for what appears to be footage of vampire teenagers playing baseball using their secret vampire powers. (Said powers consisting, let me add, mostly of being attached to wires. I am surprised I couldn't see the wires in some of the leaping shots, really.) It's just - okay. When I think "epic vampire battle," I don't think in terms of baseball caps and those tight Capri-style pants. (Is there a name for those pants?) It just loses something when the worst possible result of a major vampire-on-vampire showdown is someone getting the third out.

But this vid. Oh, this vid loses nothing. Every time I watch it, I giggle harder and harder: vampire baseball! Wire-assisted leaps (spoiler: there are a lot of leaps)! Random floor explosions! The dramatic midair collisions! And, of course, the part where they break what appears to be every single window in Forks (it is Forks, right?), Washington.

I tell you what: there is nothing to provide comfort after some extremely hurty consent issues like vampire baseball.

(Also, important question I have after watching this vid: do Twilight vampires ever have, you know, expressions? Even I could tell that these people were somewhat flat of affect, and Best Beloved seemed actually disturbed by it.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Things have been kind of rough for the House of TFV lately. But one major good thing has been that we have finally gotten my desk and computer all set up. Which means I can retreat to one of my fannish happy places: vids. And these vids are happy indeed.

The One That Made Me Wonder What Kind of Gum Uhura Likes. Apple Candy, by [ profile] talitha78. Star Trek Reboot.

First off, I think I should just issue a blanket recommendation of every single thing [ profile] talitha78 does, because, wow, she has made so very many vids that make me so very, very happy; I had this set all assembled and then realized, whoops - two of the vids were by her. So I had to pick just one of them, and I will have you know that it was not easy.

This one won, of course. It's like it was made for me. Although - okay. My associations with this song have been documented before, but - am I the only one who, having watched this vid, now also wants a Kirk/Uhura/Spock vid to Jessie's Girl? Come ON. "I've been funny, I've been cool with the lines" - that could, if you're willing to posit the existence of a time machine, have been written about Reboot Kirk! Don't tell me you aren't now seeing the vid in your head in all its glory. (If you aren't, there's a download at that link. I'm just saying.)

But. As glorious as the Jessie's Girl vid would be - and, oh, I think we can all agree it would be the kind of thing that makes the angels, if not sing, at least giggle - this vid is even better. I'm not going to tell you why - I went off on that whole tangent in part just to avoid telling you why - but I am going to say that I went into this vid expecting to love it (Apple Candy and Kirk/Uhura/Spock, by a vidder of known awesomeness: the download might as well have come with little sparkly hearts on it), got most of the way through, and realized I was going to love it even more than that. It is just that wonderful.

The One That Actually Made Me Tear up from Sheer Love the First Time I Saw It. One Night Fandoms, by [personal profile] thingswithwings and [ profile] eruthros. Multifandom. Very nearly panfandom, in fact.

[ profile] yuletide is coming 'round again, people! It is truly my favorite time of the year. (No, you are not allowed to remind me about this in two months, when I'm quietly weeping over my keyboard and occasionally moaning "why did I volunteer to write this?" in IM. Yes, there's some pain involved. Pain is part of the fun. Really.) And, in anticipation, I have started re-watching this vid, which made me so happy last year that I was afraid my ears might fall off.

This is Yuletide. If you've never done it: this is what it's like! It's all the things you love even though no one else does, things most people have never even heard of. Things you keep wistfully telling your friends that, no, really, they should try it, they'd love it, it's awesome, and you will TOTALLY loan it to them or even buy it, and you know they never will try it, and you don't know why, because, seriously, so wonderful. Things, in short, you definitely never expected to see in a real fanwork. And they're all in this vid. Just like they're all in Yuletide.

True fact: the first few times I watched this vid, I was just looking hopefully for my past Yuletide sources - the ones I've written, the ones I've requested. It took me several rotations to be able to set that aside and admire the beauty of the way this vid is put together - and it is beautiful, no doubt.

But most of all, it's Yuletide. Watch it. And then start planning out your signup sheet.

The One That Is a Tribute to the Thespian Skills of Momoa and Flanigan. Is She Really Going Out With Him?, by [personal profile] sherrold and [personal profile] wickedwords. Stargate: Atlantis.

I just. I can't even tell you how wonderful this is. It caused me to guffaw openly, because - okay. I haven't seen any SGA canon since the first season, and even then I didn't watch very much of it. I'm just not a visual media girl, is the thing, and frankly, if you're going to give me a choice between watching some people galumph around space and bonk into things or reading about those same people galumphing around space, bonking into things, and fucking, well. I am going to go with the latter. (And it's not the fucking that makes the difference, actually; it's the reading, although I'm not going to say the fucking doesn't help. I do love the subtext, but - what's the opposite of subtext? Domtext? Anyway. I love that, too.)

But my point is, I haven't seen any of the later SGA canon, and so my first reaction to this vid was to say, "They SHOWED that? Like, on the air? Did they forget about the part where the subtext is supposed to be sub?"

And then I realized this is probably all skillful editing, and the makers of Stargate didn't actually undergo some kind of bizarre brainswap. But, since I haven't seen the canon, I can pretend they did. This will always be canon to me.

(And it totally makes me want the accompanying fan fiction, where Ronon and John have to go on a mission by themselves, because Teyla's with Kanaan or however you spell his name, and Rodney's with Keller - because she's really going out with him, WTF? - and they're the two pathetic team members who never get laid and always have time to do extra work. They end up at a skuzzy bar getting totally wasted and weeping into their beverages - Ronon drinks a Pegrithian spirit called Skaar, and John starts with Skaar but gets sidetracked into this sweet liqueur that they mix with bright red berry juice and serve with chunks of fruit and a whipped topping and a little carving of a big-eyed animal that looks suspiciously like Hello Kitty. And the natives feel sorry for them, what with all the weeping and pathos, and they come back with an incredible trade agreement and terrible hangovers and a piece of paper with the name and Gate address of a guy who is supposed to be good at solving problems. They don't know if he's a therapist or an assassin. Or both. Neither of them goes to see him, but they do take out the paper and look at it from time to time.)

The One That Proves That Some Songs Compel Even the Planet Earth to Do a Little Dance. Mothership, by [ profile] laurashapiro. Doctor Who.

If you don't chairdance while watching this vid, your butt has no rhythm and no soul. Sorry, that's just how it is. Because this is a shiny, happy, gleaming vid that just insists that you get your wiggle on.

But you should know that Best Beloved and I had a slight difference of opinion while watching it. We were getting down, grooving, enjoying the astonishing way the clips and the motion work with the music here - seriously, it's amazing - and just the general wonderfulness of it all. (The earthling was sitting in my lap, bouncing to the music. The boy knows when it's time to get down.) And then the vid ended, and we had this conversation:

BB: Aw, that was great. A tribute to all things -
Me, delightedly: TARDIS!
BB, giving me a Look: - Doctor.

And right there you have the essence of our difference of opinion about Doctor Who. Best Beloved seems to believe it's about this guy. Whereas I know in my heart it's about the tech. (Could you have all the things that happen in these clips without the TARDIS? No. No, you could not. The TARDIS is far more essential than the Doctor, obviously.) But, whatever you happen to believe - I understand there are even some people who believe this show is about the companions, which, whatever: I love you even if you're strange - you will adore this vid. If for no other reason than you can get your groove on. (With the TARDIS!)

(When you're done getting your groove on, marvel that this song is apparently a cappella. I don't even know what to do with that. I mean, I knew the human mouth was a marvel, but, wow.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I have been patiently plugging away on my Sweet Charity recommendations set, which happens to feature unhappy endings, so I've also been spending a lot of time - really a lot of time - watching vids that make me happy. And I figured, hey, why not put together a set of those, too? You guys may need the antidote after the unhappy endings set comes out.

And while we're talking about unhappy endings: Best Beloved and I planned to buy life insurance a year ago. And we, um, didn't, largely because it's hideously intimidating. But we've finally accepted that we have to, whether we would rather just have oral surgery or not, and we've also finally realized that possibly there is a person out there who actually knows about life insurance, who can provide us with advice that doesn't come coated in a layer of ooze. (Why YES, we are in fact afraid of life insurance salesmen. Does it show?) So: life insurance advice, anyone?

The One with the Deeply Symbolic Model Spaceship. No, Really. DEEPLY SYMBOLIC. Don't Stop Believing, by [ profile] arefadedaway. Star Trek.

I love it when a new fandom hits big, because then you get vids like this. I'm sure there's an official term for them that I don't know, but I think of them as zeitgeist vids, and they are fun. They're like all the enthusiasm and sudden-onset glee - that same first flush of fannish love that keeps people up all night reading stories they know will be terrible because they just Need More Spock, or whoever - rendered in vid form.

Zeitgeist vids pretty much always get me into a fandom. I am helpless in their grasp. I, of course, have not seen this source - the last movie I saw in theaters was Iron Man, and probably the next one will be Star Trek 11 - but it doesn't matter. I am prepared to buy what this vid is selling. Kirk! Just a city boy! Spock! A small town girl! They take a midnight train going anywhere! See, I am already giddy with love and joy and fannish enthusiasm.

It used to be that my OTPs were set in stone by the first five stories I read in a fandom; these days, it's the vids I see before I read even one story, more often than not. And by the end of this vid, and the other - um, what are the official initials for this fandom? It's so new I haven't seen a consensus yet! - anyway, after this and the other zeitgeist vids in whatever fandom this happens to be, I am prepared to ship Kirk/Spock. Unless someone can point me to a seriously bouncy Spock/Uhura or Kirk/McCoy or whatever vid. (And let me tell you how proud I am of knowing those names: SO PROUD, because one of the downsides of zeitgeist vids is that they often leave me saying, "I love you! Whoever you are! You are shiny and awesome, and, wow, I guess I'd better hit the IMDb.")

The One with the Cleanest Medieval Peasant Village I Ever Did See. Beverly Hills, by [ profile] giandujakiss. Merlin.

It's the old, old story: a small town girl, living in a lonely world - no, wait. Wrong vid. This old, old story is about a small town boy who goes to the Big Shiny and uses magic, often totally inappropriately, and saves the world from time to time, and spends most of the rest of his time falling in love. This is a deeply classic narrative - I dare you say otherwise, given the enormous body of Harry Potter fan fiction I can bring to support my case - and I love it.

And so I love this vid. It was one of the very first Merlin vids I saw, and it made me love the fandom. (Why, yes, I am a sucker for vids. It is not my fault; I blame - I don't know. [personal profile] laurashapiro, actually. She encouraged me.) I deeply approve of young-man-big-city narratives, particularly when the big city has turrets. And, yes, I am in fact talking about Arthur, there, because you can't tell me he doesn't spend a lot of time admiring his turrets, and you also can't tell me Merlin isn't secretly doing the same.

This vid takes fabulous advantage of Merlin's ability to look gormless while simultaneously profoundly judging those around him. I admire it greatly. And the opening makes me smile every single time.

The One That Conveys the Fundamental Joy of Being Able to Stop Time and Teleport, Which Is a Thing You Would Think People Would Just Know, but It's Amazing How Often They Act Like It's a Big Burden. Sawatte Kawatte, by [personal profile] laurashapiro. Heroes.

I think of this as the Happy Heroes Vid. No, really. Every Heroes vid I download seems to consist of a) people getting their brains eaten and then lying around dead with no skull on or b) a girl killing herself (or sometimes just mutilating herself) horribly and bloodily. Sometimes it's both. In the vids, if you don't know the fandom, it looks like Heroes is largely about people using their superpowers to cause tons of bloodshed and draw comic books, and the thing is, you don't need superpowers to do those things. Humans manage that just fine without any special abilities at all! A knife and a pen and you're all set!

Which is why I love the characters in this vid, and am sad that in so many vids they are Sirs Not Appearing in This Vid. The one guy has superpowers and actually does things with them, and I mean things that don't in any way involve anyone bleeding and/or dying horribly. (Okay, he does seem to have a sword, but I bet he doesn't go around lopping people's heads off and having their brains out like some mutant zombie Highlander.) He saves people! He does neat tricks! He has fun! It's like he actually understands what superpowers are for. I cannot help but feel, watching this vid, that the main character of it watched the SF movies and read the comic books, and all the other people in the show grew up on an unadulterated diet of horror.

So I like that. It's a Heroes vid that makes me happy. And even more happy-making is the sheer joy of these two guys together. They are two sides of the same coin, to quote almost every other fandom in this set. They neeeeeeed each other. And when they hug, my heart turns handsprings. It is that simple.

The One Featuring the Most Fabulous Group of People You'd Shoot in Preference to Spending Any Time with Them. I'll Be There for You, by [ profile] dualbunny. Black Books.

I will be perfectly honest: I have no idea if this vid will work for you if you haven't seen an episode of Black Books. (I myself have seen the first one, which puts me in an unusual and, frankly, uncomfortable place of Actual Canon Knowledge.) But give it a try anyway, and if it doesn't make you giggle, watch the first episode of Black Books and then come back. It's worth it.

See, okay. First, this song. It's - now, it's not like I don't like it, but it's a bit goopy, you know? Whenever I hear it, I visualize a lot of hugging. It is obviously talking about the kind relationship wherein party A automatically has tissues before party B has even started to cry. (And they watch the same sad movie almost every Friday night, so that's not such a huge surprise.) I admire that kind of relationship! I do! Just, you can only take so much of hugging and thoughtfulness.

Which is why I find that song used for these people to be awesome, because they're the kind of friends who, if they settled down to watch a tearjerker movie after one of them had had a big breakup, would end up accidentally setting the crying person on fire. And then Bernard would light a cigarette from the flames.

And, actually, I think that comes through very clearly in this vid whether you know the source or not, so I've changed my mind: I do recommend it for the source-unfamiliar. Just keep in mind that there are three main characters in the show: Bastard, Hapless, and In Any Other Group, She'd Be the Crazy Girl, but in This One, She's the Voice of Reason. And enjoy.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I love vids. Even more, I love the twisty minds that vidders have. Okay, first, they must watch, like, a lot of source. A lot. Whenever I consider what it takes to be a vidder, the very first thing that stuns me is - holy shit, these people have to watch stuff all the time. I myself do not have the necessary brain power to watch that much, so it's kind of stunning.

But it's the way they watch stuff that is so especially wonderful. Your average ordinary viewer might watch 45 minutes of a TV show and be like, "Well, the plot was pretty good, but I could have lived forever without that upskirt shot, and I really wish we could have seen more Peregrine and Tucker." (Note: names not from an actual fandom as far as I know.) Whereas I imagine a vidder watching those same 45 minutes and, at about 21:13, sitting bolt upright, groping feverishly for the remote control, and shrieking: "ORGASM FACE ORGASM FACE ORGASM FACE YESSSSSSSS!" Or, "Oh my god, the backgrounds look exactly the same, and the motel beds look exactly the same - I can cut that so they look like they're lying in the SAME BED even though they're in different rooms." Or, "Did she seriously just lean in, smile, and then TURN HER HEAD? The gods smile upon me."

Vidders, in short, must be experts at taking things out of context. It's their gift! (One of many, actually.) And because they also sometimes have, well, ever-so-slightly dirty minds, very often what they do with their out of context shots is - well. As follows. (Note that you don't need to know the fandoms for any of these vids. You just need to know what two hot guys do when they're alone.)

The One That Will Likely Someday Win a Prize for Best Ever Use of Unicorn Horns out of Context. Reach out and Touch Me, by [ profile] solanyxe. Merlin, Merlin/Arthur Pendragon. (And how.)

Sooooooo. I don't really know how to summarize this one. I mean, I could say, "Here we have Arthur setting his sights on Merlin, hunting him down like an exceptionally hot and tasty unicorn, and then fucking him into the ground." But that would be - hmmm. Accurate, actually.

And yet it all uses footage from a show that airs on regular television. Now, admittedly, it's British regular television, and probably they have mutant British-style rules. (Like, I don't know - maybe "It's totally acceptable to show two guys getting to third base in prime time if they're celebrating their country's victory in the World Cup." Could be anything, is my point. They're wild and crazy over there.) Still. I'm pretty sure that if they had actually shown footage of Merlin and Arthur having sex, someone would have told me. (And if that did happen and no one told me: really, people. I'm hurt.)

This vid, in short, is a masterpiece of taking shots that a number of people - actors, directors, editors, the guy who gets the coffee for any of the above - saw and thought were perfectly clean and PG-rated and suitable for showing to nuns and grandparents, and turning them into something you have to watch twice to be sure there's no actual penetration shown.

The One That Takes the Phrase "In My Pants" to a Whole New Level. One Where You Will Probably Hurt Yourself Laughing. Supernatural (In My Pants>, by [personal profile] deirdre_c. Supernatural, Dean Winchester/Sam Winchester (plus assorted inanimate objects and light breezes).

I have to wonder what the creative process was for this vid. I'm guessing it was, "You know, Sam and Dean make a lot of funny faces. I bet I could do something really evil with that." Where "really evil" means "likely to cause neighbors to call the police because of the prolonged hysterical laughter."

Because. Okay. We had to declare a moratorium on all Supernatural vids for about two weeks after Best Beloved and I watched this, because we'd be watching this very deep, moving exploration of Dean's anguish, and the camera would zoom in on his face and he would look tormented and then, inevitably, one of us would mutter, "in my pants." Or just hum a little. And then we'd both collapse into giggles. What I'm saying is, this vid destroyed my ability to take manpain seriously. I'm not sure if this means we should bottle [ profile] deirdre_c and sell her, or if it means we should lock her up for the good of fandom. Maybe both.

This vid also has one of the best builds I've experienced in recent memory. At first, I was like, "Oh, yeah, Sam/Dean, I get you, but what is with this song choice? I seriously do not get why...okay, I see why, but that doesn't explain - okay, it kind of does, but...[COLLAPSES LAUGHING]." I suspect that will be your experience, too.

The One Where the Cars Are a Metaphor, but Not a Very Subtle One. Mmm Papi, by [ profile] talitha78/[personal profile] talitha78. Whatever it is that we're calling The Fast and the Furious fandom these days, Brian O'Conner/Dom Toretto/a whole bunch of cars.

I admit it: I haven't seen Fast and Furious. I want to! I do! But I have an eleven-month-old earthling. The idea of getting two hours to watch a movie is far-fetched. The idea of going to a theater without the earthling and spending upwards of three hours there is - well. It's also entirely possible that sometime this month I might win a lottery, despite never buying a ticket. The odds are roughly the same.

But, nonetheless, I heard the squee - and suspiciously ecstatic moaning gasping noises - that shot around fandom when the movie came out. There were a lot of incoherent posts along the lines of, "I - I did not - did they seriously - OH MY GOD BEST MOVIE EVER!" I assume some day I will get to see why.

Except I already kind of have. Because, for one thing, I've seen the first movie, which should have been titled, The Fast and the Furious: It Makes Perfect Sense Provided You Assume They're Fucking. (I'm guessing the fourth one is secretly called Fast and Furious: Now Even We, the Filmmakers, Have to Assume They're Fucking.) For another - well. I've seen this vid.

I admit that Talitha78 didn't have to take things very far out of the context for this one, since 40% of the first movie consists of longing stares between Dom and Brian, and a further 20% consists of very loosely disguised metaphors for sex between Dom and Brian. (I can only hope the fourth one measures up.) But. Still. This vid takes the essence of the movies (Dom and Brian: so in love and so totally doing it) and makes them reality.

Plus, there is a sequence that makes it very clear that the whole thing with the cars is not so much repressed homoeroticism as it is a chance to do some explicit man-on-man action without the MPAA getting all het up.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I'm going to Vividcon! And, in celebration, I have vid recs. But first, a VVC-related comment and poll:

VVC! )

The One That Will Have You Looking Suspiciously at Cherry Stems Forever. Handlebars, by [ profile] flummery. Doctor Who.

This is - well. This is the Doctor. End of story. This is the Doctor in every respect and every detail. The first time I watched this, I was basically clapping in glee from the very first line, and then it got better. And better. And better. And eventually it achieved such amazing levels of betterness that I still haven't entirely recovered. This vid rendered me incoherent. Permanently.

I don't want to tell you how it gets better - if you've somehow missed this vid and this song, just go watch it. You will not be the sorrier. In fact, even if you have no idea who this Doctor person is (He travels through time. With friends. It's complicated.), still go watch it, because after you see this, you will most definitely know.

I once thought I preferred vids about companions (Or enemies, or Daleks. Why are there no Dalek vids? There are lots of good vids songs for them! One is the loneliest number! Make a Circuit with Me! The Macarena!) to vids about the Doctor. And that's still true. But what I think is - my brain knew that this vid was coming, and decided it might just as well wait for perfection.

The One That Demonstrates Why You Might Not Want to Make Pegasus Galaxy Your Vacation Destination. Well, Yes, Life-Sucking Monsters. But It Gets Much Worse Than That, Actually. Open Secrets of the Pegasus Galaxy, by [ profile] yevgenie. Stargate: Atlantis.

Okay, first: this is her first vid, you guys. How is this her FIRST VID?

Second: this is the vid that says everything we all know about SGA and don't talk about. Basically, I'd sum that up as: no one gets out of Pegasus clean. (In fact, you mostly don't get out at all. This vid makes that point, too.) The Wraith are the enemy, but how are they different than Atlantis, given some of the decisions the home team makes? The Ancients are (supposed to be, and oh my god, so not, so skeevy) the good guys, but look how badly they fucked Pegasus over. The open secret of Pegasus seems to me to be that everyone fails, falls, dies, fucks up, and fucks over. No heroes.

And now I'd like to talk about the song. Because, see, I love Leonard Cohen. I occasionally fantasize about marrying one of his songs. But I have always considered him basically unviddable. Turns out, nope! I just didn't have the right vision, because oh my god how this song works - works for the vid, works for the theme, works works works. Even if this vid didn't say something I've always wanted someone to say about SGA, I would still love it to pieces, because it's a vid to Leonard Fucking Cohen. That sound you just heard was my heart growing three sizes.


The One That Is Evidence for the Prosecution. Climbing up the Walls, by [ profile] obsessive24. Supernatural, Firefly, and Heroes.

Sooooo. I'm trying to think how to put this. Okay, let's start with this: INCEST. This vid is about incest. And it pulls no punches. Actually, it - you know those video games where, if you hit like nine million buttons in exactly the right order while standing on one foot and whistling Dixie, your character will rear back, grow a robo-claw, and rip another character's head off and eat it? This is the kind of punch this vid has.

And it's just. Fucking. Brilliant. You will be glad your head has been ripped off and eaten by this vid.

What we have here is an incest narrative with all the fanon taken out. Yeah, sure, there are three sibling pairings, here, but it almost doesn't matter; the central story is the same for all of them: fucked-up families, needy and vulnerable younger sibling, obsessively protective older sibling, and then the robo-claw comes out. But the point is: this vid is awesome, and so incredibly rich (there's so much here I could write several lengthy essays about this, for reals), and brutally real. And the brutality should in no way scare you off. (You weren't using that head anyway. And, hey, who doesn't want to see a robo-claw?)

The One That Would Give Charles Darwin Nightmares. (No, Really. He Was a Very Sensitive Man.) Unnatural Selection, by [ profile] charmax. Battlestar Galactica and Terminator.

My love for robots is well-documented. At this point, I don't think I need to tell you that sometimes I'm rooting for the robots. But, um. The robots in this vid don't need any humans in their cheering squad; they're doing just fine by themselves. (And, yes, my love for robots can totally survive this vid. I imprinted on robots early and well.)

I don't know either of the sources for this vid. It totally does not matter. (I didn't know any of the sources for [ profile] obsessive24's vid, either. Cluelessness is my comfort zone!) The basic message is very clear to anyone who grew up on hard science fiction: we're going to build the next stage. And then it's going to destroy us. (Mine was, yes, a cheerful childhood, always anticipating the moment the machines/metahumans/genetically engineered blobs would rise up and take over. In my day, we didn't need violent video games to prepare us for the apocalypse.)

I love this vid so much, which is a strange thing to say about something that's equal parts dead humans, robotic overlords, and various apocalypses. (Like a Jonathan Coulton album! Except not funny. Really not.) But it's gorgeous and so brilliantly edited and it does in three minutes what it took science fiction a childhood to do for me. Watch. Learn. And fear the future.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
My brain continues to spin violently under the influence of a truly massive fan fiction overdose - the fannish holidays should come with a warning label, seriously; I am still trying to catch up. Not that it's not fun! It's just like drinking from a really fun firehose, is all. So, while I wait for approximately four thousand awesome new stories to settle in my head, I'm going to rec some more non-story fanworks. This time, vids! Vids that make me happy! Vids that will make you happy! Possibly so happy you'll burst something with some of these. I am in no way responsible for joy-induced injuries, though; blame the vidders, not me.

The One That Shows Clark Being Absolutely Terrified of Boobs, Thus Proving That He Really Does Come from Comic Books. I Kissed a Girl, by [ profile] bop_radar. Smallville.

This vid is brilliant for three reasons:
  1. It takes the rather irritating concept of exhibition lesbianism and transforms it into the entirely awesome concept of exhibition heterosexuality. Frankly, I am behind this with all my force and will and might.

  2. And if there's anyone whose heterosexuality is for display purposes only, that person would be: Clark. I have not seen a man so clearly frightened of women since, I don't know. Hercules? West Hollywood? Maybe Hercules in West Hollywood. (Note to everyone: this is not a made-for-TV movie we need to see. Oh my god no.) This vid so perfectly and joyfully collects all the shots of Clark looking like he would rather eat kryptonite than kiss a girl, and frankly, I can laugh at that all day long. (Clark, tiny hint: if kissing scares you that much, you're DOING IT WRONG. Just go back to the boys. You're happier there. And you are not fooling anyone, sugar.)

  3. It totally reclaims this song. Once, I hated it. No more. I will never, never hear it again without thinking of Clark's petrified OMG girlflesh RUN! face. (And, oh oh oh, Clark in that wet t-shirt when she's blithering on about how girls are all soft and shit. Clark will SHOW you magical skin, honey pie. He is very proud of his magical skin. He moisturizes.)
(And, as a total and complete bonus, this vid makes possibly the best use I have ever since of Lex's pissy face. Oh, god. Lex, jealousy is your look. Lavender and green green jealousy: Lex's colors this season. Every season since he hit Clark with his car, really.)

The One That Proves That Arthur Knows Only One Sword Maneuver, but He Works It. Keep Right on Working Your Sword, Arthur Honey. A Night at the Opera, by [ profile] such_heights. Merlin.

This vid single-handedly drew me into this fandom. I watched it and said, basically, Okay, yup. I'm in. I was searching for fan fiction before the vid was entirely over. This vid brought me such joy - the ending, oh god, the perfect perfect ending! - that I cannot think of this fandom without smiling a little.

But that is not why I'm recommending it. No, I'm recommending it because [ profile] norah recently disclosed to me that she has not seen it. This cannot continue. [ profile] norah, this is a vid you MUST SEE. Not just because it's Merlin. Not just because it's awesome. Not just because it's funny. No. It's the song choice.

For everyone else, a little background: [ profile] norah once attempted to watch Highlander (the movie). Now, I watched that movie a lot in the days when my sister and I rented videos together, and experimentation since that time has proven that while my sister was watching the actual movie, I was just making stuff up in my head. It was before I knew how to watch movies, and they didn't make much sense to me. (This was the era when I watched Blade Runner and came to the conclusion that it was a light romantic comedy type movie, to give you some idea.) So I had kind own story of this movie, and I, in all innocence, encouraged [ profile] norah to watch it. "It's pretty good!" I said. "From what I remember!"

Afterwards, she was shaken, not stirred. And the particular line that summed up her whole dislike of the movie was: "It's a kind of magic." I agree with her that this is not the ideal line for Highlander.

But I think you will agree with me that is a perfect line for Merlin. And it's here. [ profile] norah, watch this vid. It won't just make you happy. It will reclaim Queen's entire oeuvre for you.

And even people who have no issues with Queen should watch this. Isn't being made happy - deliriously happy, particularly in the bit with the dragon, oh dear god, the bit with the dragon - enough for you?

The One about the True, Doomed Love of a Puddlejumper and a Cactus. It's Like Shakespeare. 2 Atoms in a Molecule, by [ profile] zoetrope. Stargate: Atlantis.

I have one thing to say about this vid, and one thing only: John's manpain is SO ADORABLE.

I mean, I think we've all encountered this guy. If we haven't dated him, we've been friends with him. He's all, "Oh, love is so hard and I always get hurt and I suffer much and I have no choice but to go stand in the rain wearing all black and not even try. I'll lead people on, but I won't commit, because of my TREMENDOUS PAIN." In real life, my response to this is, "No, it's because you're a tremendous tool."

Somehow, this vid makes that cute. Not just cute, but funny. I find myself wanting to squeeze John's little woeful cheeks and say, "Oh my god, you are so adorable when you're all emo and pathetic. I'm going to buy you a beret!"

(John would look awesome in a beret, I tell you what. I bet he's worn one, too. I bet there was a five-week period when he was, like, sixteen, and he'd just had his heart broken for the first time. He thought he was going to go to Paris and starve in a garret on the West Bank and write really moving poetry (and sleep with lots of cute boys). And he wore a beret and tried hard to take up smoking and bought some turtlenecks. And then he realized that a) his father was really really rich and it'd be more Common People than the Lost Generation b) he'd need a really rich father to live in Paris, because it wasn't 1920 anymore and c) that he sucked at berets, smoking, and especially poetry. Still. I bet there's photographic evidence. I bet Ronon stole it when they went to John's father's funeral.)

My point is: this vid is John's emo woe made into effervescent joy. I can't think of anyone who doesn't need that.

The One That Shows Us That the Doctor's Travel Agency Is Maybe One You Don't Want to Sign up with, Unless You Just Like Hot Sexin' Adventures for Some Reason. OMG!, by [ profile] obsessive24. Doctor Who.

Here is a true fact: this vid has possibly the best and funniest use of music in the whole history of ever. It sets a mark so high that I am not sure it can ever be equaled.

Here is another true fact: I would probably love if it even if it had used a different version of this song. (Although this version makes it, oh my god, seriously. "I'm just talking over this to prevent bootleggers": AWESOME.) The more I explore Doctor Who - which for me means Doctor Who fanworks, since I continue to ride on the success of having seen the whole first season of New Who (minus one episode) - the more I realize that for me, this is a show about the people around the Doctor. Oh, yes, I love the Doctor, but he's sort of ineffable and unknowable. I don't even want to know him; that would pretty much ruin it. He's a 900 year old superpowerful space alien with a big blue flying box: he's supposed to be distant and weird and kinda twitchy. You would be, too, if the last time you lost your cravat you inadvertently wiped out a galaxy.

But his companions (in which set I include the TARDIS, who is obviously his first and best and truest and shiniest companion) - those folks are. Well. More human, for starters. (Yes, even the TARDIS is more human than the Doctor; that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Look, if you want a rec that makes sense, write your own.) Makes it easier to relate to them, you know? Plus, with every new companion, you get to experience the wonder all over again: holy shit, time travel! Holy shit, infinite variety! Holy shit, this Doctor guy is fun, but kinda crazy!

So I love this vid, because: companions.

And then there's the shiny. And the music. And - well, [ profile] obsessive24 has been impressing me with her vids since I first watched her Hikaru no Go ones, lo these many years ago, and she just continues to amaze me. This vid is no exception. There is brilliance here. And awesomeness. And talking over this to prevent bootleggers. <3!
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Not last time but the time before (although I am still totally on my deadline, so there), I signed up for Sweet Charity. The person who won me was [ profile] adbaculum. Probably everyone who sells herself for charity has a moment of terror when she gets the request, but [ profile] adbaculum's was actually pretty cool. Basically, she wanted me to rec some vids that might show her why vidding is cool, since she doesn't watch vids much.

I thought, I can so totally do that. Then, of course, I got eaten by the Meta Lizards. They come for you in the dead of night and make your posts three hundred pages long.

But! I persevered. I wrote the whole post, hacked pages and pages of meta back out of it (in addition to Meta Lizards, I am apparently tragically afflicted by a writing disorder that prevents me from ever shutting up), and I think - I hope - I now have something kind of close to what she wanted.

In any case, I'm going for it. [ profile] adbaculum, thank you for buying me, for being such an awesome winner, and for having such an interesting request. Most of all, thank you for donating to charity. <3!

Why vids? )
Which vids? )
What's worth watching in vids? )
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
So, the question of the day is whether I will ever forgive [ profile] seperis for posting a link to the video for Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart. I'm thinking I probably won't. If I ever see [ profile] seperis in person, I will sniff haughtily and raise my chin and stride right on by. She will deserve it.

Because, see, the video somehow makes the song very sticky, and it's not so much that I mind going around singing "turn around bright eyes" under my breath - okay, wait. I do. I do mind. But I wouldn't be contemplating a permanent grudge just for that. No, but see, the video changes the meaning of virtually all the lyrics. So I'll sing to myself "I don't know what to do/I'm always in the dark/living on a powder keg and giving off sparks" and then I will have to interrupt myself to shriek, "MAYBE YOU SHOULD STOP FUCKING SCHOOLBOYS, THEN. That might be your problem!"

It was when I shrieked that this morning that I realized that a) I was driving, and thus visible to others as I went into my very emotional anti-schoolboy-fucking credo and b) I was on my way to a place where I would be interacting with others. Who might not understand my need to explain, at volume, that being a little bit nervous that the best of all your years have gone by is no excuse for fucking alien schoolboys with wings. (Seriously. This video is like a live action version of all the anime in the world. In five minutes. Except...not good. At all. Sort of the opposite of good, if you get my drift.)

So, no, I won't be forgiving [ profile] seperis anytime soon. You may say I could just have not watched it, but you would be wrong, because she mentioned dancing ninjas when she linked. Everyone knows that your average person is helpless in the face of dancing ninjas. It's why ninjas dance! So obviously she's entirely to blame, and until I can stop sharing with strangers that, yes, falling apart tends to happen when you spend all your time exploiting underaged lads (and BIRDS - BIRDS!) with mind control powers, I will be holding a massive grudge. I fail to see how anyone could blame me for this.

Obviously, I need help. In an attempt to reclaim the video portion of my brain for better purposes (it's hard to see how there could be worse purposes, frankly), I have turned to vids. Where else? I initially considered doing a Vids That Traumatize set - it would fit in so nicely - but, sadly, those tend to render me unable to speak, never mind type. (I will never forgive Pouncer and Barkley for showing me footage from Xanadu, though. Not ever. The...costumes. The...roller skates. GENE KELLY ON ROLLER SKATES OMG.)

Instead, meta vids. These make me consistently happy, after all. And they make sense. And there aren't any dancing football players in just the shoulder pads without the jerseys. In short: meta vids win.

The One That Will Remind You That We're Living in the Avalanche Times. But We Still Have Each Other. (I'm Sorry! Meta Vids Make Me Really Emotional. Unless That's Bonnie Tyler's Influence.) Us, by [ profile] lim.

Level of fandom knowledge required: 8.

But in this case, don't worry; if you're reading this LJ (and you're not my mother), you almost certainly know enough to appreciate this vid, because the knowledge you need is not about a fandom, or a part of fandom, but just media fandom itself.

And I say "media fandom" advisedly. When this vid came out, I was curious about how it would read to people outside our neck of fandom, so I asked some anime vidders to watch it and tell me what they got from it. I learned many things, some of them totally not relevant to the vid. (Like that anime vidders will always go to the critique place, always; they talk about technique first and content second, which shows you that they're like us but not us.) And I learned that people outside our community can, in fact, get something from this vid. (It was interesting to see what they did get, and what they didn't. If you ever have a handful of anime vidders and you don't know what to do with them, I recommend the experiment.) But they didn't get most of what's in there, not nearly. Which means this is a vid by one of us that's just for us.

Why? Well, partly because you need to be able to recognize what fandom is, and what our particular kind of fandom does: we borrow pieces from the things we love and turn them into new works of art. And partly because you need to be able to recognize the big fannish moments from the sources here. And partly because this is about being a fan: about the struggles we have with them - the people who aren't us.

The One That Proves That What We All Want Is Rupert Giles. Locked in Our Basement. I Put You There, by [ profile] laurashapiro and Lithium Doll, aka [ profile] halcyon_shift. (Password required for download; available without a password in streaming video on IMEEM. At least, I hope it's still there; I can't actually check, because IMEEM hates me, so if you follow this link and it works, will you let me know?)

Level of fandom knowledge required: 2.

Because, seriously, all you need to know is that we love our characters a lot, and stuff to do them sometimes, take control sometimes. Because we can. (And also because of love. Let's not forget that.) This is the classic fangirl story, set to music. With drawings that pretty much represent all of us, and show all the things we do to the people we love: Obsessively collect stuff about them! Chase them! Kiss them! Insert ourselves into their stories! Hate their girlfriends! Lock them up and hit them over the head with heavy objects! (...What? Don't even try to tell me you're above hurt/comfort. I saw you with that angsty epic bookmark you think no one knows you have. Your shame is known to me.)

And this is all set to music, I might add, that is so perfect for this vid that I was astonished to learn that it isn't about fandom, or at least that it wasn't written about fandom. I still listen to it and can't believe it: you mean this isn't about a fangirl? But, but, but - how do you explain that line about real life? And, look, we do put you there! (You, of course, being Rupert Giles. Or, okay, I hear people sometimes like other characters. Whatever.) Us! But, of course, we don't have a monopoly on this kind of love.

That's why this is the perfect meta vid to show outsiders, in fact. Everyone can understand this much of fandom, because, well, nearly everyone who consumes fiction has done this. (At least, I assume they have. If they haven't, they are strangers to me.)

The One That Always Makes Me Deeply Happy to See Lemons. I Mean, Not That I Don't Love Lemons Anyway, but These Are Lemons of Significance. Without Me, by [ profile] mamoru22.

Level of fandom knowledge required: 2 or 6.

Basically, for me this vid is the other side of I Put You There. This is the actor's side: "I've created a monster" must be pretty close to an accurate transcription of their thoughts sometimes. Particularly at cons.

The actor in this case is David Hewlett, and the monster is Rodney McKay, which is curiously appropriate. (He's a monster in some ways. But he's lovable! And he's ours. Aaaaand, oh my god, I just made Rodney McKay sound like a monster from Monsters, Inc., which image will haunt me to my grave, especially since Best Beloved and [ profile] makesmewannadie tormented me this weekend with Sulley/Mike slash. Seriously, don't ever watch an innocent movie with those two; you'll never be the same again.)

The dual level of knowledge is because to get the basics of this vid, you just have to know that there's actor, and there's character, and there's fans. And sometimes there's a complex relationship between the three. But I love so much that this vid throws in another layer: it's also about SGA fandom. See those penguins? Those lemons? Those are our controversies! Those are part of what we bring to the picture! And I just love that.

But to get the add-in cookie bonuses, you really do need to know the fandom; I watched this initially with Best Beloved, who totally got the David Hewlett/Rodney McKay (not a pairing OMG no no noooooo) part of it, and loved the vid, but failed to understand why I squeaked and laughed and just generally acted insanely joyful at, for example, the postcards. (Fandom, how are you so awesome? No, really, how?) So this vid is perfect for any person who can recognize Rodney McKay, but it rewards a close familiarity with SGA fandom. In other words, it's for nearly all viewers!

The One That Will Remind You Why You Big Pink Line Fandom. I Love Fandom, by [ profile] barkley.

Level of fandom knowledge required: 5.

This isn't technically a fannish vid, in the sense that it contains only footage Barkley shot herself (as far as I know). And it's set to a song by Chicago, a song that will never, ever make any favorites list compiled by me. (Although I'll tell you what: it effortlessly displaces Total Eclipse of the Heart. My only worry now is that I'll end up singing a hideous mash-up of the two, and then I will have to be confined for my own good.) But of all the vids in my meta folder, this is the one that makes me sniffle emotionally every single time I watch it. Barkley and [ profile] destina were right; this is indeed the fannish theme song, and here it's set to perfect fannish footage: the computer, the assorted media, the books, the DVDs, the alcohol, the chocolate, the tea. (Also a random clip of something that I believe is called the "outdoors." Ignore that part.)

And, of course, there's footage of [ profile] musesfool's love meme. If you somehow missed it, it's here, and I still look at it from time to time, just because it makes me so happy. But I look at this vid even more.

This is the perfect insider meta vid. (So perfect I actually harassed Barkley to make it available again. Vidders, let this be a lesson to you: hide your email addresses, because otherwise, I will totally come for you.) I'm sure it'd be meaningless to outsiders (though I haven't actually checked this, as with Us). But for me - oh, fandom. You're just the part of me I can't let go. *sniffle*
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
So. I have emerged from my traditional Yuletide-related November and December catatonia to the equally traditional late-December intimations of Yuletide doom. (I have written a terrible story that my recipient will surely hate! WOE.) (No, really, Yuletide is lots of fun, I love it every year and I advise everyone to do it. I just have the dooooooom right now.)

And many people are currently gearing up for either a joyous celebration of goodwill and family or a grim marathon of conspicuous consumption and shouting. (If the former, Merry Christmas! If the latter, courage - Christmas comes but once a year, and on Boxing Day I think you're allowed to hit something.) I do believe it's time for a few good vids.

The One That Proves That Bad Guys Really Do Have More Fun. Don't Stop Me Now, by [ profile] charmax. Doctor Who.

I really do love the Doctor. (Most of all, I love the TARDIS, but the Doctor is a very close second.) I have even seen a whole season of Doctor Who, and I really liked it. So I find it kind of odd that when I truly love a DW vid, it often either a) is about a non-Doctor character or b) has a message I don't actually believe, like "Wow, the Doctor is a total tool." (Like, the other vid I considered recommending in this set was pretty much, "the Doctor ruins lives! If he comes near you, your only hope of future happiness is to punch him in the teeth and flee!")

This is a vid about the Master, who is definitely a non-Doctor character. I know almost nothing about the Master - he's a Time Lord, he's, um, yeah, that's pretty much where it ends - but I will say that, from this vid, it looks like he's the Doctor without brakes. He's also a tremendous amount of fun.

Too often, you see people who are cast down by the burdens of being bad, all crushed under the weight of taking over the world. Which, I mean - live a little, bad guys. No reason to be all angsty. Own your villainy! If you're going to put people in graves, at least have the courtesy to dance on them. And in this, the Master could serve as an inspiration to us all; he does not seem to suffer from Bad Guy Trauma, and he looks like he would dance on any grave you cared to fill. He might even have his own special song to sing while dancing on graves, and if he does, it would be a happy song. I respect that immensely.

And that is why you should totally watch this vid, even if you don't know the canon, even if you have no idea what a Time Lord is, even if you vaguely thought Doctor Who was some kind of medical show focusing on amnesia. This vid will, I promise you, bring a smile to your face even if you're expecting the Doctor to show up with a stethoscope and some memory cards. And if you couldn't pick the Master out of a crowd, not a problem. He's the really happy one. So come! Watch him take over the world with flair and style.

(If you do happen to know the canon, could you tell me what's up with the end bit of this vid, with the kid and the ring? It seems to be suggesting that the Master will rise again, but for all I know it could be a scene from an entirely different source.)

It's Like Slash Goggles for Normal People! Four Years, by Fabella, aka [ profile] wistful_fever. Stargate: Atlantis.


Sorry. That really needed to be said. It's the summary of everything that follows, and, really, you can probably skip all my hysterical babbling and just go watch the vid if you'd rather. (This is the recommended course of action.)

But if you're curious about why I'm recommending this even though everyone else on earth has and also it only came out about five minutes ago - um. I can probably find something to say that isn't just dolphin noises. Let me just take a few breaths first.

Okay. Actual English-language commentary commences now. This is the classic, the perfect slash vid. If, in the future, anyone is looking to define the slash vid as a genre, I suggest just smacking this vid down and saying, "Watch." Fabella here shows what source looks like through slash-o-vision, and she does it a) mostly through body language (watch John!), which made me bounce up and down like a little girl, and b) with a narrative.

Because, okay, let's face it. Slash vids are fun when you're deeply into a pairing, but they can sometimes leave you a little bit, "Um. Yes, they're so totally doing it. And...?" Or, at least, they can if you're me, although I am well-known to be equipped with a heart made entirely of recycled tires and crustaceans. (The Grinch is my second cousin. Heart problems run in our family.) But this vid - there's a story in here, a classic slash narrative, and that just makes the vid, turns it from just another slash vid to the ultimate slash vid.

I mean, yes, fine. It's also perfectly (and interestingly) cut, with a great song choice and brilliant clip selection and all that. Yes. It is. But the heart of this vid, for me, is the slash, the pining, the story. (John is in love, and Rodney needs to be clonked on the head a few times.) And although you probably need to be into this pairing to love this vid, even if you're not, it's worth watching because - well, I don't think it can get any better than this.


The Vid That Will Rise Again, and Keep Rising Until You Just Give in and Watch It, So Download It Already. You Will Not Be Sorry. All These Things That I've Done, by Lithium Doll, aka [ profile] halcyon_shift. Angel the Series.

I dithered for a long time about recommending this one, because it was made for me. But I love it so much, and it makes me so happy, and I've waited almost a year to see if I love it less or want to recommend it less, and - well. Did I mention that I love it still, with all my (non-standard) heart? So, made for me be damned. I am still recommending it.

For me, this is Angel - Angel the series, Angel the person. This vid makes me think of a lot of things - well, I mean, five seasons, one vid, it's going to - but what I really think of is - okay. When I first heard this song, I thought it was just about Angel. When Lithium Doll asked me to explain how I thought it was about Angel, though, I kept talking about other people - Cordelia, Doyle, Wes, Gunn. And now, when I watch the vid, I think of Angel, yes, and I still love that big galoot, but mostly what I think of is something I saw in a Firefly vid: a hero is someone who gets other people killed. And it's interesting to me that a song that I thought was entirely about the hero's journey is actually, in vid form, a lot more about the people who support that journey, sometimes with their lives.

This vid also makes me happy because it's here, and for most of its pre-release existence, it could handily have won the Vid Least Likely to See Tomorrow award. I wasn't involved in the making of it at all, but I got regular updates, and they looked something like this:

LD: I have thirty seconds! Wanna see?
LD: I have a rough vid with blank spots!
LD: ...Now I don't have a computer.
LD: I have a new computer and a new draft!
LD: Um. Hard drives dead.
LD: Hard drives replaced. And now I have betas!
LD: The powers that be hate me and have taken my computer to prove it. Vid just about the only thing to survive. All betas lost. Also my will to live.
LD: I have resurrected the computer and the vid and am soldiering on, ever on. Shall we begin anew?
Me: For the love of god, post it before something ELSE dies.

What can we learn from this? Well, first, that Lithium Doll is a doughty fighter. And, second, that this is the vid that would not die - sort of an immortal, undead vid. But it sure got a lot of the files and hardware around it killed. In retrospect, I suppose we both should have been less surprised by this than we were.

But it hasn't gotten anything killed since its release (that I know about), so it's safe to download it and watch it now. And obviously you were meant to; a vid survives that many major computer disasters for a reason, people.

Sometimes a Cigar Is Just a Cigar. This Would Not Be One of Those Times. Detachable Penis, by the Media Cannibals: Sandy ([ profile] sherrold), Alex ([ profile] alexfandra), Gwyn ([ profile] gwyn_r), Tina (who does not have a journal), and Rache ([ profile] wickedwords); remastered by [ profile] justacat. The Professionals.

Watching this for the first time earlier this year, I fully and clearly understood why [ profile] justacat felt the need to digitally remaster this and thus preserve it for the fannish ages. Few vids have made me start laughing on the first clip, but this did. Actually, I was kind of giggling just from the opening screen, because people vidded this song! I would have bet, if you'd asked me, that this song was totally unviddable. I mean, it's a classic, yes - certainly a classic of penis minstrelsy - but it has spoken lyrics. And it's about a dude misplacing his detachable penis. These things do not say "vid song" to me. But that is why I am not a vidder, and also why the Media Cannibals are geniuses, because this is just about the best vid ever.

And, no, you don't need to know anything about the Professionals to watch this. (Trust me. At Vividcon, [ profile] nestra did a pop quiz on me during a Pros vid. She said, "Which one is Doyle?" I had a fifty-fifty chance, and I got it wrong. My fannish shame is great, but my point is: I don't know from the Professionals.) Here's what you need to know: they're guys. With guns. And the Media Cannibals took those two salient facts and made - well. This vid.

It is wonderful and hysterical. It does a better job of cheering me up than all of YouTube. And it's about guns and penises. I don't see how anyone who calls herself a fangirl could not want to see this vid. And, thanks to [ profile] justacat's dedicated remastering of the classics, you can. Go watch!
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
First and foremost: do any of you have a digital camera you really love? A source of digital camera purchasing advice you really trust? A link to the camera you wish you had? Please tell me. We are purchasing a digital camera, but thus far my attempts to make active steps towards the purchase have followed this process:
  1. Open camera-vending store in tab. (Recommendations for online camera stores also gratefully accepted, by the way.)
  2. Stare at cameras for a while.
  3. Say, "There are really LOTS of camera of in this world. Lots and lots."
  4. Close tab.
Too many choices! Head explodey! Halp!

Okay, and now in recommendations: I had the week from hell. No, really, it sucked in so very many ways - not every way it could have sucked, no, but each day was a new and festive cavalcade of minor and major disaster. I reached the end of the week in a shellshocked state, prone to crying at, well, pretty much anything. In this state, only vids can avail. So today I'm recommending four vids that have made me happy at the end of my awful, awful week.

The One That Proves That, When It Comes to Emo, Gerard Way Has Nothing on Spike. Or on the Bee Gees, Oddly Enough. Tragedy, by [ profile] dualbunny. Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Here's the first thing you need to know about this vid: it is absolute proof that auction winners can use their purchasing power for evil. [ profile] laurashapiro, [ profile] jarrow272, and [ profile] heresluck won [ profile] dualbunny in the VVC auction, and they decided to have her vid the most evil song in the world. Scientific determination of the song's evilness was made in this very household; testing showed that people exposed to it just once sang it regularly for upwards of a week afterward, sometimes in public, no matter what efforts were made to stop. Repeated exposure resulted in seriously unfortunate dancing by the helpless victims of this song's mind control powers. EVIL, I tell you.

But what better for Spike than an emo, evil song? None, I would submit to you. Plus, this is the ultimate summary of Spike's journey, his character, his very personhood. (Vamphood? I don't know. Things get complicated when you're talking about people who are technically dead.) Every time I see this vid, I grow more convinced that this is precisely the song Joss Whedon had stuck in his head when he created Spike. It would explain so much.

And this vid makes me very happy. It is impossible to feel sorry for yourself when gazing at Spike's WOE set to DISCO.

The One with the Best-Ever Use of a Basketball Bounce. You Can Call Me Al, by [ profile] sdwolfpup. Due South.

I will be honest with you. I hadn't previously recommended this because I was convinced that every fan on earth had watched it. And that was right and good and just, and I was pleased. This is a vid that everyone needs. It is gorgeous and hopeful and it fits the characters (both Rays and Fraser, in case anyone was worried about someone being left out) and the show so very well. It's distilled love in vid form. I turn to it whenever I am down and need to be reminded of the good things in this world.

So I was merrily going along, assuming everyone had this essence o' love in their lives. And then I discovered that a friend of mine - a close personal friend who I will not name here because after all public shaming is counterproductive - had not seen this vid. At all. Despite loving the song AND the show. And I was sorrowful and downcast, as I'm sure you can imagine. I tried to put things right for my friend ("DOWNLOAD THIS," I said, "OR I WILL BE FORCED TO COME OVER THERE WITH A BASEBALL BAT" - sometimes you have to be direct about these things), but then I had a horrible thought: what if there is another person in that situation? A fan of vids or due South or just, you know, wonderful things, who has not seen this vid? That would be even more of a tragedy than Spike, I tell you. So now I am recommending it, doing my bit to bring us into a better, happier, more loving world. A world, in short, where everyone regularly watches this vid.

So, hey, no pressure, but if you don't watch this right now, you're standing in the way of world peace. I just thought you should know.

The One in Which Rodney McKay Cain't Say No. Do I Need to Say More to Get You to Download It? I Would Hope Not. Atlantis!, by rache, aka [ profile] wickedwords, and Sandy, aka [ profile] sherrold. Stargate: Atlantis. (Note: Imeem and download links available there.)

First, let me just mention that while I am normally a fan of musicals, I have a tragic allergy to Oklahoma! No, not the whole "no legs, no jokes, no chance" thing, just - I like corn, and I like cheese, but I am not so much a fan of corny cheese on stage. (It's possible that I was just too young for Oklahoma! when I saw it. You know how they say if you feed a kid certain foods at too young an age, you increase the chances that the kid will be allergic to said foods? Well. I suspect that that's what happened to me with the corn and cheese fest, pretty much. I'm lucky I didn't develop an allergy to the entire Midwest.)

Except. It turns out that when rache and Sandy do Oklahoma! SGA-style, I am suddenly and totally in love. Or, okay, to be more precise, I'm laughing helplessly. (But it is loving, sincere, and earnest laughter. Honestly.) You really would not think that SGA had a perfect one-to-one translation with Oklahoma! (And let me just say - thanks to Helene Hanff I know that that exclamation point has been irritating everyone since before the show's premiere, and right now I guess it's my turn to wish it dead. I don't want to put random exclamation points in the middle of sentences anymore. Bad punctuation. No biscuit.), but apparently it does. Seriously, it's amazing. And did I mention funny? Also, it turns out there's a reference to fan fiction right in the musical. It's awesome.

Given that this vid was inspired by Rumble, by [ profile] astolat and [ profile] cesperanza, another vid in which a musical is perfectly mapped onto SGA, I have to wonder if you could do, like, SGA x A Chorus Line. SGA x Sweeney Todd. ...Oh dear god. I need to stop thinking about these things right now.

The One That Makes Biplane Fighting Look Like Ballet. Cathain, by Jill, aka [ profile] klia. Flyboys. (Note: This vid is password-protected, but it takes only one password to get all the vids of Jill, Kathy, Kay, and Lynn, and I heartily recommend them all, so, seriously, get the password. You will get much shiny in return!)

I have a strange, abiding, and intense obsession with the WWI fighter pilots (It's, yeah. It's kind of sad. These things just take a person sometimes.), so when I saw this vid at VVC I sat bolt upright and watched very alertly. I suspect my mouth may have been hanging open slightly, although I hope no one noticed. I was certainly totally entranced. Months later, I still have that reaction. Whenever I watch this vid, pretty much. Because there is nothing like watching planes dance to Irish music (at least, I think that's Irish; feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) to make a person happy, I find.

Yes. Planes dance. It is awesome beyond anything. And, okay, if you are deeply peculiar and thus unattracted to the concept of dancing planes, let me add that there are also characters in this vid, with a remarkably well-cut slashy story. And a lion. Really, this vid has everything you could possibly want.

In terms of sheer rewatching, this is one of my top three vids from VVC 2007, and there's such a good reason for that: it's gorgeous, gorgeously edited, matching movement to music in a way that would totally make my heart sing even if there were not WWI planes involved. It is entrancing, and it is lovely, and I love it dearly. It makes me deeply happy. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
So. Hi! I've been recovering from surgery for the past, um, two and a half weeks. (For the record: ouch. But my defective part is gone now, and I am supposed to be nearly as good as new, at least when the swelling goes away. In the meantime, I have drugs.)

Fandom looks entirely different filtered through pain and pain medication, though, let me tell you. (It all goes really really fast, for one thing. I kept thinking, all the first week after the surgery, "How do they type so much? I can't even stay awake to read it all!" As you will see, though, I have remembered how we all type so much. Yay?)

One thing I did manage to do - in fact, I did it right after the surgery, so there's only a 30% chance any of it makes sense - was the first round of [ profile] strangefandom. I was determined not to miss that no matter how many people came at me with small sharp knives. Because, basically, the minute I saw the project, I thought, "Yes. This was designed for me." See, it's a project where you watch vids in fandoms you know nothing about. And you crazy kids with your "watching of the television," you don't do that all that often. But I pretty much always do.

(Let me pause for a true story: a man came around the other day to sell us a different cable provider, and I was home clutching my stomach and blinking at dust motes, so of course I answered the door. He said, "So, who provides your cable now?"

I said, "We don't have cable." He just stood there, every line of his body clearly saying, "What? Who doesn't have cable?" He quite obviously didn't believe me. I'm not sure if it was just panic or what that made me confess to him that we also don't get regular television, but after that, I could tell he was thinking: "Alien or liar? It must be one or the other, and if I can just figure out which, I'll know if it's safe to leave this porch."

It was awkward, and I wanted to sit down, so I said, in an overly bright and cheerful tone, "Well, we do have a DVD player!" I don't know why I said it. I'd blame the drugs, but the truth is I thought it might make him feel better; I had clearly challenged his whole worldview. A man does not expect this when he enters door-to-door cable sales.

He said, "So, what, you," and there was a pause while he considered what a person without cable or regular TV might do with her life, "go to Blockbuster a lot?"

And I said, "Um. No." And then I apologized, although I'm not sure for what.

We stood there for some long, long seconds, and then he backed away and went to talk to our neighbors, who, luckily, definitely do have cable. I hope it made him feel better.)

Anyway, my point is: vids are often my first exposure to a fandom. Sometimes that's not the case; sometimes I've read stories in the fandom, and then it's all happy discovery: "That's JACK'S CABIN!" I remember squeaking happily to Best Beloved during one vid. "It's REAL!" Sometimes, though, I don't even know what the fandom is. (And, seriously - vidders, you would be doing me a great favor if you put the fandom in the vid's credits. I don't care how obvious you think it is. Trust me. I am capable of missing things much more obvious than that.) In that case, it's all a lot of glorious hypothesizing. (Me: "I think that guy is a bad guy. I mean, do good guys wear hats like that?" BB: "Does anyone wear hats like that?" Me: "Well, obviously in the future they do." And then we fervently agree that it's probably a good thing we won't live to see that particular time, which will likely be called the Century of the Bad Hat.)

My point is, [ profile] strangefandom was just like that, except I got to write my initial crazy ideas down. While I was on drugs. And I think today one of my synopses will be posted, so you should all go over and check it out, because a) did I mention the drugs? and b) oh my god, you have to see the vid. [ profile] sdwolfpup had to promise to explain the fandom to me in small words after it's all over; it's all gay sex and naked men and bad special effects.

So, in celebration of strangers in strange fandoms, I give you vid recs for fandoms that are vid-only for me. In other words, I'm going to suggest you watch vids in which I have no idea what's going on. Trust me! Come on, trust me! (Or just go to [ profile] strangefandom. The people there will probably be funnier.)

Vid recommendations this way. )
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I had kind of a hard morning, what with one thing and another - or, okay, technically it's just been the last hour that's been difficult. But it was really not a pleasant hour.

So I think it's time to trot out some recommendations of things that make me smile. (Seriously, I should just have a separate folder on my computer. It should probably be called something like Oh Hai, Did You Has Bad Dayz? It would save a lot of time when I need to turn to the safety net part of fandom, and I could also store lolcats in there for emergency cheer-up snacks.) In this case, I'm posting about vids that make me smile. This is so that I can subtley segue to a poll.

Because, see, I am going to Vividcon. They gave me a scholarship! I know, I don't understand it either, and I did ask if there'd been a mistake, but apparently not. So I am totally going, and I am deeply excited about this. Also kind of scared. I have never been to a con before. (At least, okay, not a fan con. I've been to the kind of convention where there are poster sessions and bitter arguments over keynote speakers, but it's really not the same, I'm guessing.) And here I am, going to a con with all these rock stars of the fannish world. It is deeply exciting (YAY) and moderately confusing (Why did they pick me?) and slightly scary (OMG ROCK STARS).

So. Poll time!

Segue. )

And now, the actual smile-inducing recommendations.

The One with the One. Man in Motion, by [ profile] renenet. Matrix trilogy.

Availability: off-click, save as, right at the announcement page. Easy peasey.

This one is labeled as a Lord King Bad Vid, in the sense of "Something that speaks to your inner 12-year-old maybe a little more than you want it to. Okay, maybe a lot more than you want it to. Okay, maybe she's crying on the floor from the sheer love of this concept, and frankly you would disown her except you love it, too." And I will admit that there is a component of that, here. Neo is a man in motion! All he needs is a pair of wheels! But it is the definitional opposite of an actual bad vid.

And here's something cool: I have actually seen all the source for this vid. You have no idea how rare that is. Even with movie vids, I often find myself trying to guess what the movie is, usually while muttering unhappily about vidders who apparently have a lot of extra hours in their days, judging by the fact that they routinely do all these awesome things AND watch more source than seems humanly possible. It is unfair for them not to share their magical day-stretching technology with the rest of us.

But here we have an actual vid I've seen all the source for. All of it! In the theaters, too, which was in retrospect not the wisest of choices, for all kinds of unfortunate reasons. You know what, though? I totally don't care that seeing all three of the movies was an agonizing experience for someone. This vid made it all worthwhile. Why, you ask? Well. Did I mention that Neo is a man in motion? Did I mention that he can feel the St. Elmo's fire burning in him?

Okay. If that won't convince you, how's this: remember that We Are Humans; Watch Us Party Down scene? The one that took approximately 14 hours of your life? This vid will make you love that scene, and I bet you thought that was impossible.

Oh my god, I just can't emphasize this strongly enough, people: watch this. You will be in love by the time the second verse is over if you are even remotely capable of love, because, because - Neo! Only he can do what must be done!

Sorry. I can't talk coherently about this vid. It makes me giddy just thinking about it. But if ever there was a vid to make my inner 12-year-old go YAY, this is the one. On her behalf, then, I give you this message: <3! (You might think she'd throw in extra exclamation points, but in fact she would not; my 12-year-old self was such a prim little pedant that she makes me look like the loose floozy of the grammar world.)

The One with a Castrating Laser. No, Really. I Find That Deeply Wonderful. Der Kommissar, by [ profile] giandujakiss. James Bond series.

Availability: download link or IMEEM available from announcement page.

Can I just admit that - look. Technically, I've seen almost all the old Bond movies. But, sadly, that was in the era before I comprehended movies, so mostly I just made up stories that went with the dialog. (There's not a lot of dialog in a Bond movie, either. It's very restful. Just anything can happen in the space between when the villain explains his cunning plot and when Bond throws out a one-liner that is probably a lot more witty if you're processing what you see on the screen in front of you.) I remembered quite enjoying the Bond movies.

Some years later, I made Best Beloved rent one with me. It was - look, it was just not as good when all the action was happening on screen and not in my head, okay? And since then, I've been an unashamed fan of the more recent Bonds. I'm sorry. I know I'm a bad person for liking Daniel Craig better than Sean Connery.

But my point is: the thing that sent Best Beloved and me off into fits of giggles while watching the old Bond movie was, well, the cheese. I mean, I like cheese, but not when Sean Connery is coated in it. Except this vid taught me that okay, maybe I do like cheese, even on Sean Connery, provided it is compressed and carefully edited and set to Der Kommissar. Because this vid - it takes all the things that really do not work in your actual serious action-adventure movies (patently fake snakes, a man wearing what appears to be the collar of a spacesuit and pretending not to be embarrassed about it, a woman with a shoe that has a knife in the toe), and distills them down to the essence of cheese, which somehow makes them work.

Admittedly, this vid does not make me actually want to see any Bond movie particularly. No. But, whenever I watch it, I squeak with glee on several occasions (at the awesome suggestion of Bond guys along with Bond girls, for example - is that one scene seriously as gay as it looks in this vid?), I giggle helplessly on too many occasions to count (For example: FAKE SNAKE. I am a woman easily swayed by a suspenseful battle to the death with a really large, obviously plastic snake.) This vid makes me smile and fulfills my entire recommended daily allowance of spy-related cheese.

The One with Sartorial Choices That Will Haunt Your Dreams Forever. I Only Want to Be with You, by [ profile] keiko_kirin.* The Persuaders.

IMEEM: I Only Want to Be with You. (Streaming will start when you click; hit pause until it's done loading if you have a slow connection.)**

Availability: the download is on a password-protected page. This link takes you to the announcement, which explains how you can get the password. And it is so worth it, so please don't let that whole password thing dissuade you. For one thing, I'm going to be recommending another vid from this site in a couple weeks, and you won't want to miss that one, either. Save time! Get the password now!

I will be the first to admit that I have no idea what the source for this vid is about; I had never even heard of it prior to watching this. If I had to guess, though, I would say it was about two men who have found their calling, and it involves dressing up in ridiculous outfits, swanning around in high style, driving fabulously ludicrous cars, and being completely and totally gay for each other. I'm prepared to hear I'm wrong on all the points but that last one; this vid has convinced me that these guys are so doing it, and it would likely take decades of brainwashing to unconvince me. ("" " - wait a minute, wait a minute, you can't tell me they weren't about to kiss right there. I totally see slash! In bucketfuls!" "" "But I think that one guy's about to give the other one a blowjob. That's - you know, kinda slashy.")

But I'm pretty sure I'm right on the other points, too. Especially the ridiculous outfits; in this vid, we see - just as examples - an aqua toga (yes, it is pretty painful, but it's also very brief - have courage!), what I swear is a lavender paisley shirt (yes, on a guy, who is apparently secure in his masculinity or secure in his total gayness - or, as I suspect is the case, both), and some deeply unfortunate royalesque robes. Either outfits are key to this source, or the costumer designer had access to drugs of unparalleled and certainly illegal awesomeness. (Or, again, could be both. If I had to guess, I'd say both.)

...Um. I totally did not mean to go on a digression about clothes. (AQUA. TOGA. I am quite serious.) I meant to talk about the vid. Which is - wow. It's just fun, people. It's the romping, rollicking, unfortunately attired adventures of two men in love, and it never fails to make me a happy, bouncy person.

I also really admire this vid because it uses an editing style that I am totally sure shouldn't work, and yet it does. See, this vid is mostly really short clips with really fast cuts. And the song does not seem to cry out for that editing style, and, you know, fast cuts, they can get wearisome. But here, they so totally do not - instead, they create sort of a skipping-through-the-park-hand-in-hand mood. I think maybe part of the reason it works so well is that Kay keeps the thematic content of each clip similar (two men, frequently wearing unfortunate clothing, in as close proximity as it is possible to get without warping space), so the short clips are really easy to follow, and it's just - bouncy. Cheery. Fun. Again, this vid never fails to make me smile. (Well, smile and mutter, "Who are these gay men?")

The One with an Enormous Penis. Oh, Don't Even Pretend You're Not Going to Download It Now. Enormous Penis, by Hank Shiffman. (Anyone know if he's on LJ?) Farscape.

Availability: It's at the bottom of the list on this page. I tried to find a link to a vid announcement, but couldn't; if anyone knows of a preferable link, I'd be pleased to hear about it.

Okay. So. I am sure there are many people reading this who are above sophomoric humor, who do not find penis jokes especially funny, who have dignity and poise and sophistication. Those people will wish to skip this recommendation entirely, as they may find it distasteful. (Or it may undermine their commitment to higher thinking, which would be tragic. Someone has to produce the great thoughts of our time! And it won't be me, as I will be busy with porn and juvenile humor for - pretty much ever, as far as I can tell.)

The rest of us, though - well, let me put it this way. We started with a vid that makes my inner 12-year-old squeak with joy, and we're ending with one that makes her die with laugher. I mean, really, I cannot speak for your inner child, but mine finds this video consistently hysterical. Because it's D'Argo! And he has an enormous penis!

Yes, that's really the whole vid. It's wonderful.

I remember the first time I watched this vid. It was long before I had seen any Farscape, and I was like: *snicker*. (Yes, just like the way people used to snicker during sex ed in 7th grade - and note that I did not do any snickering then; I was too grown-up. This whole maturity thing seems to be working in reverse for me.) I thought it was amusing. Big guns = enormous penis! This is an inherently funny equation.

And then I actually watched some episodes of Farscape. The next time I saw this vid, I died. Because while it is inherently funny that guns = enormous penises, it is much, much, much funnier when it's D'Argo - who just has to be well-endowed, if his species swings that way - waving around the big guns and having a giant dick.

Basically, this vid has the same effect on me as an enormous penis apparently has on men: it's got the cure to all of my blues. (And in particular, there is a shot of John Crichton in here - well, let me put it this way. When I don't smile at that, please view it as a cry for help.) (Also, there's a bonus cookie thing at the end that just...HEE. Oh, I love Claudia Black so much.)

* Thanks, [ profile] terrio and [ profile] par_avion!

** Thanks, anonymous!
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Yes. Because what is meta about anime vid feedback without anime vid recs? And these come in sets!


Here's the thing about FLCL (Fooly Cooly). I have watched many vids using FLCL, and I have come to the conclusion that it contains infinity. It's a short series - 6 half-hour episodes - and yet AMV makers have created vids in just about every mood, theme, and style you can imagine using only that footage. (The, um, actual plot of the anime defies description - it's just, you know, an allegory about growing up, about the complications of life and love. And about having a giant robot burst from your forehead after you're hit on the head by an electric guitar. I think we've all been there.)

So for FLCL I've got two vids for you, and taken together, they represent almost everything I love about anime vids.

The One That Emphasizes the Importance of Keeping Your Eyes Peeled at All Times for Vespas. You Cannot Trust Vespas, People. Jerk It Out, by LenWidleheyt.

This is, in a word, spectacular. Except, of course, that I've got a lot more words, because when am I ever brief about anything? (I can be brief, for the record. I simply choose not to be. And, um, I've been making that choice pretty consistently since I learned to type, which is why it sometimes seems like - you know what? I'm not making things better, here. Time to move on.)

This is the shiny - and, really, "shiny" seems like much too mild a word; possibly instead I mean "explosive" - side of AMVs. It's flashy, effects-driven, fast-paced, and sharply edited. It also pretty accurately reflects the source - it's basically a souped-up, super-condensed, intense version of the series itself.

I love this vid because of the instant jaw-drop factor; it's stunning on the first watch, because it really shows off what anime editors (with pretty much infinite effort, patience, time, and - I'm assuming, here, but I feel it's a fairly safe assumption - beer) can do. This is the AMV equivalent of taking off on a rocket ship, basically.

And because it's FLCL, that rocket ship is powered entirely by sexual confusion and electric guitars.

The One That Got Me This Close to Writing a 5-8 Page Paper. Thank Whatever Power You Believe in for LJ Character Limits, People. I Mean It. Progress and Stress and Dream, by jbone. This one - well, okay, first: notice how it feels like it came from an entirely source than Jerk It Out. I mean, yes, the characters are the same, but everything else is different. See what I mean about FLCL? It is all things to all editors.

And what it is to this editor, in this vid - well, on the very basic level where my brain struggles with vid interpretation, this AMV uses footage from an allegorical anime to tell a related but different allegory, and oh my god that was just about the most boring sentence on the earth, wasn't it? I couldn't have made it more boring without using phrases like "constructivist objectivism." Wow.

So let me skip the descriptions (Adjectives! I'll miss you!) and move on to the song, instead. It's gorgeous (and I keep meaning to find a download of it, but at this point I expect I'll be watching this vid in my head whenever I listen to the song) - a sort of slow, sexy, intense, know what? I'm right back with the adjectives. Let's skip this part, too.

Take three. What I can tell you is what I love about this vid, what I love to death about it. And that is the editing - the way the footage is matched to every single element of the song, from the story it tells to the music to the lyrics to the vocals to the everything. Because I'm not so good with visuals, it took me a long time and many repeat viewings to see everything that was happening on the screen, here - and yet this vid is the absolute opposite of frenetic. It's just - rich.

If Jerk It Out is a rocket ship, then Progress and Stress and Dream is a big vintage motorcycle, rumbling through the back alleys of some fantastic city on a distant planet. And it's powered by, well, Progress and Stress and Dream.

Yami no Matsuei (Descendants of Darkness)

Note: If you've never seen the series, my advice is to watch these vids in the order listed. On the other hand, if you have seen the series, you've probably already seen these vids.

The One That Shows That Nothing Goes with Violins Quite Like Pretty Dead Boys. Danse Macabre, by SarahtheBoring.

When I first watched Danse Macabre, I had no fucking clue what Yami no Matsuei even was, or why it was sometimes called Descendants of Darkness (answer: English title), or what it was about. Also, I spent a goodly portion of the AMV wondering which one of them was female (answer: none of the above). This shows how new I was to AMV watching, because now they all look unquestionably masculine. Anime. You learn as you go.

Anyway. This vid is a lovely summary vid - uses the music gorgeously and subtly to showcase seriously effective clips. And it pretty much tells you what the whole anime is about. (If you want to know in advance: a pair of dead bureaucrats who fight evil, their somewhat complex relationship with each other, and the many added complications introduced by Dr. Muraki, a not-dead mad scientist type who raped and killed one of the guys and is obsessed with the other one. (He blackmails him into a date, and then expects the date to go well. That's just the kind of awesomely mad scientist he is.) If you want more detail, either rent the series or read the intro notes to this vid.) It totally showcases the best parts of the series. (Fighting! Magical summoned beings! Crazed violinists! Vampires! Boys kissing! Really, if you want it, it's there. Unless you want, I don't know, a pony. I don't think there are any ponies. It's probably just as well for the ponies.)

The One That Conclusively Proves That There's No One Who Can't Work Multi-Colored Nail Polish. DDR Project 2nd Mix Track 05: Boys, by AbsoluteDestiny. (First, I need to explain something. This is a single track from one of the major multi-editor projects, Dance Dance Revolution (2nd Mix). So the parts at the beginning and the end sound weird because this AMV was designed to be played as part of a continuous mix of music vidded by different editors. The DDR projects are totally worth downloading, by the way.)

So. You know how, when you're a serial killer mad scientist - constantly working on your various projects of profound darkness, always with a lot on your twisted mind - sometimes you just need to unwind? By making yourself look pretty and chasing after equally pretty boys? That's a relatively universal experience, I think, and that's what this AMV is about. Trust me, you can totally relate to it.

The One That Asks, "How Far Would You Go for Your Country?" And Clearly Explains Why the Answer Should Be, "Not That Far, That's for Sure." Quid Pro Quo, by IcyCloud. It's, um. It's incredibly funny, and I can't really give you any details without spoiling it. Well, I think I can say that the casting is perfect, something you'll appreciate better after watching the other two vids. And that it's one of the few audio-clip-from-another-source humor vids I've seen where the vid is funnier than the original clip.


I know, I know. Crossover vids have a bad rap in the live-action world. (I suspect that's mostly because people use them to tell of the forbidden love triangle between Daniel Jackson, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Harley Quinn. Which, No, I must be strong.) But they can be way neat, in live action or in anime, and these are definitely the height of neat. (Memo to me: find a better word for this than "neat." You sound like a fugitive from the '50s.)

So. Let's start with a classic, shall we?

The One That Gives Me an Entirely New Theory about Krispy Kreme. Tainted Donuts, by E-Ko. Cowboy Bebop x Trigun.

Now, first, I want to tell you a story. When I downloaded this, I knew nothing about anime. I watched it with Best Beloved. We had never seen Cowboy Bebop or Trigun; in fact, this was the first AMV we'd seen from either source. (If you're in that position - these are two of the most popular series out there, and they are quite extensively vidded, which is why it's weird, but don't worry. We all start out weird. And then, if we watch enough vids, we get weirder.) We had no idea who Vash the Stampede was.

And yet it was totally obvious that we were watching a work of great crossover genius.

Now, now, I can watch this and see the massive work that went into this, the brilliant way the creator combined two sources to make them seem to interact, work together, tell a coherent story. But then, I just barely saw the crossover. Mostly, I saw the story.

The story, for the record, is about bounty hunters pursuing a man who loves donuts.

Trust me when I tell you that this is extremely appropriate for both canons. Truly, these series were MFEO.

The One That Made Me Listen to Vanilla Ice. Until the Day, Everyone Would've Sworn It Could Not Be Done. Dueling Videos: Under Ice, by Scintilla. FLCL x Neon Genesis Evangelion.

And this was the first vid I'd ever seen use a mash up. I seriously thought my head would explode from joy. (Also, if my 6th grade English teacher had used this as an example of the compare/contrast form, well, I think we would've been spared at least a quarter's worth of lectures and examples and repetition. Or, at any rate, the repetition would've been way more interesting. Of course, she could not actually have done that, because a) she'd've been fired and b) this AMV hadn't been made yet. But still.)

Because it's a mash up, it's not exactly a crossover of the series - it's more of, well, a delightfully frothy blend of the animes. Like, you know, one of those disturbing beverages Starbucks comes up with. Except this one is mixed up in a beaker by a mad scientist. Who is probably giggling to himself while he does it.

And here's the thing: when I first watched this, I didn't recognize either source, which is almost as bad as not knowing Cowboy Bebop and Trigun. Didn't matter. (Of course, it gave me a seriously erroneous impression of Evangelion, but luckily there were three thousand vidders with Linkin Park on the spot to correct my misapprehension.)

The One That Explores Pizza As a Totally Valid Lifestyle Choice. I Approve. The Prince and the Kappa, by SarahtheBoring. Revolutionary Girl Utena x Saiyuki.

This one is just - I can't - okay. Here's what you need to know about these two sources: in Utena, there is a guy called Touga. To the best of my knowledge - and fuck knows I've never seen the series - he's rich, handsome, and popular, and he thinks he's the hottest thing since a dick in a box, but he is not quite all that. In Saiyuki, there's a guy called Gojyo. He's your basic whoring, smoking, drinking low-life. (And thus, obviously, an ideal role model for all.)

And what SarahtheBoring did is cast these guys as the Prince and the Pauper. As performed by Moxy Früvous.

I'm not sure I can convey in text my delighted glee at this concept - I was watching with Best Beloved, and we had to pause to let the wonder sink in - but I can try. It is - it is - it is a house made of bricks made of an entirely new element, Awesomium. (Chemical symbol: Wow.)

Sadly, I must convey a warning that may save you from the same dire fate I suffered: this song will latch onto your hindbrain, wrap its tentacles there, and never let go. Days after you view this vid, you will find yourself musically informing your pets that once you were the king of Spain.

If you are extremely unlucky, there will be other people present when you do this. My advice, although it didn't work out too well for me: feign a head injury.

Bonus: You Get a Cookie!

No anime music video set would be complete without a special add-on bonus cookie.

The Cookie for People Who Like Boobies. Or Who Have to Be Around People Who Like Boobies. Or Who Have Actually Seen Any Anime. Oh, Hell, Just Watch It. Fanservice Commercial, by MaachaQ. Multiple sources, but trust me - for this one, it doesn't matter what they are.

Nor does it matter that the visual quality is kind of low. Or that some of the effects aren't perfect. Because this video is fucking hysterical. (For the record: if you don't get what it's parodying, go here and start clicking. I recommend this one particularly. Also, SGA fans - someone needs to do something with Rodney McKay and this one.)

thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
My annual bout of vid-meta came on early this year. Also, it's another feedback project. And, further, it's on a topic that's not going to be of great interest to many of you.

There is a specific person to blame for this, and that person is not me. I'm a totally innocent party, here. (As you will see, I fought this whole thing like - well, kind of like a first-level magic user who doesn't know how to cast Magic Missile, but I tried, is my point.) That person (the Party You Should Blame) is Scintilla, aka [ profile] scintilla72.

See, many moons ago I made a post about anime vids for media fans, and in it, I sort of vaguely implied that you don't need to leave feedback on anime vids, and in fact it might be better not to. Actually, let's just revisit my exact words, okay? They're kind of key to this whole thing. I said:

You don't need to leave feedback. [Ed.'s note: the writer was lying up above when she said she only implied this.] That's kind of a controversial statement, but - anime vidders seem to want, and get, very detailed opinions from other fans, and by "detailed" I mean "you need, at minimum, a master's degree from a reputable film school in order to give them." If you have such a degree, I encourage you to go check out ZeWrestler and Iserlohn's Guide to Opinions. Everyone else, well. My advice is to just use the star ratings on AMV, and concentrate your actual written feedback on live-action vidders. You don't need an eight chapter guide to do that.

Scintilla found this post eight months later, and said: not so.

And thus was born Yet Another Goddamned Project. Surely there's medication for this condition. )

Oh my god, TFV, screw the meta. Just take me straight to the AMV recs, please.

thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Yes, yes. I know from the recent poll that many of you are right now whimpering, “What, more vid recs? Where are the stories, damn it?” (I also learned that a surprising number of you apparently need only animals to make your lives complete - penguins, llamas, puppies, whatever. Have I mentioned recently how totally awesome you all are?) But a) I had this post in progress before the poll, so it’s not like I’m deliberately taunting you, and b) I have a good reason for doing a vids set today. (There will be stories soon, though. Really.)

See, this is the first day of [ profile] vidvent, which is a really cool concept - giving vid feedback for the holidays, basically. (To learn more about it, go to this post. You can do as much or as little as you like; it’s a very low-key challenge.) I’m going to make my own attempt to do this, although, given how much I suck at coloring inside the lines, odds are good that I’ll make an honest effort, sure, but what will really happen is that I’ll send 24 pieces of vid feedback on the same day next March or something. Still, I’m going to try. (Shut up, Yoda.)

And it would be cool if some of you did, too. Doesn’t have to be for vids, either. You could do it for stories, too, because - well, I sometimes wonder if feedback doesn’t decline a bit around the holidays. I know that for me December is basically one long streak of Yuletide angst followed by a totally obscene, off-the-charts FF binge. I’m not sure what happens, precisely. I come out of my binge sometime in the middle of January, all covered in fragments of text and with only the vaguest memories of what I did. I just have to hope I didn’t, you know, get naked with someone’s Scrooge/Cratchit story or whatever. My point is that during December I am even worse than usual about leaving feedback. (I suspect that for much of the month I don’t actually meet all the statutory requirements for being alive, never mind actually communicating on any subject whatsoever.)

But this year, I plan to try. Wish me luck. My next conversation with you may be a slurred, “Augggh what did I do last month and oh my god is that a jingle bell piercing?” sometime in January, but the effort will be there.

And, to celebrate the first day of [ profile] vidvent, here’s some vid recs!

The One with the Eye-Fuckingest Cowboys I Ever Did See. Big Country, by [ profile] gwyn_r. Magnificent Seven, Chris/Vin.

You so don't need to know the fandom to love this vid, and I am the living proof, because I love it - it makes me deeply, deeply happy - and I will be the first to admit that I do not know from this fandom. I gather that it's about cowboys. I gather that there are horses. I gather that there are these two guys who ride on horses a lot and are so totally doing it. Also, one of them quite clearly has both Trauma and Issues. Needless to say, I gathered all that from this vid. There could be lions and tigers and naked slave boys in the parts of the canon that Gwyn didn't use, and I would never know it.

Except I almost did know it, because this vid damn near made me snuffle around looking for Magnificent 7 recs; it is a bundle of pimpery in a very pretty package. (Shush. I meant the gorgeous camera work and the, well, big country. Country, people. No actual packages, big or otherwise, are showcased during the course of this vid.) This is pretty amazing, given that it is, going by the vid, a Dreaded Hat Fandom. (See, I have a hard time telling people apart, and most TV shows are cast with people who look exactly the same. I know, I know, it's terribly speciesist of me to say "all you humans look alike," but you mostly do, at least when it comes to your faces. So I have to look for identifying details that I can easily pick out in close-up shots. Like hair. Hair is key. Unfortunately, in some fandoms, hair is covered by a hat, and I spiral into hopeless confusion. So until somebody kindly creates a TV show in which every single character is a different color, and I mean like green or purple, or wears his name on his shirt in large block letters, I basically have to wince away from Dreaded Hat Fandoms. But, wow, this one almost got me, hats and all.)

Because, oh, it is so gorgeous. And slashy. I have no idea which one is Chris and which one is Vin, so I think of them as Issues Boy (he has the trauma) and Country Boy (Gwyn, at any rate, links him to the earth and the sky a lot). (No one should start singing "thank god I'm a country boy" here. No, really not.) And I tell you this: judging by this vid, Issues Boy's issues are obviously going to be resolved through some time in rugged terrain with Country Boy, and I do mean with Country Boy.

Seriously. Watch this vid, and the fan fiction will write itself in your head. Gwyn titled her announcement post "cowboys in love," and I just can't put it any better than that.

The One That Asks, "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Gregory House? I Mean, Without Killing Him or Turning into Him?" Bukowski, by Shalott, aka [ profile] astolat. House.

I just - let me just quote from the song here: "God, who'd wanna be such an asshole?" Now. If you know anything about House - and what I know could be written on two sides of a quarter, but I don't let that hold me back from the sweeping authoritative statements - you know that this is perhaps the most perfect song choice in existence. (And apparently we have [ profile] tzikeh to thank for that, so thank you, [ profile] tzikeh.)

And, wow. I think maybe House is a tough show to vid; I get the sense that its appeal comes a lot more from dialog and a lot less from pure visuals. (But, hey, I could be wrong. I'm basing this entirely on what I've gathered from vids.)

But this one? This totally works, probably because of the magical combination of perfect song choice, fabulous editing, and House's remarkable, um, clarity of character. (Seriously. Has the actor won an award yet? He should have. He has the best damn body language I have ever seen on a TV character.) For me, this vid pretty much sums up why, in another time and place, House would be one of my main fandoms: House is a character I'd love despite myself, a character I'd love even though he was anything but lovable.

And this vid captures that character perfectly.

Plus, come on. It's set to a song about Charles Bukowski. Can there be a better reason to download it?

Is It Hot in Here, or Is It Just This Vid? Boom Boom Ba, by [ profile] charmax. Xena, Xena/Gabrielle.

I mentioned this a while back as a vid everyone must see, but I realized just today that I'd never written a proper recommendation for it. So here it is, the proper recommendation:

This is the sexiest vid you will ever see.

Oh, I have other stuff I could say - the use of color in this is jaw-dropping and the movement, my god, I could write a fucking essay on the way Charmax uses movement to create mood and the illusion of continuity and direct the viewer's eye and match the music. But that essay would only distract you from the central point, here, which is that this vid is sex. And dancing. And the dancing is also sex. So, basically, this vid is pure sex.

Download it, and you will not be sorry. I don't care if you haven't a clue who these people are. (Xena is the dark-haired one. I think she's maybe a god, and I also think she used to be bad but she isn't anymore. Gabrielle is the blonde. She's not a god. She writes scrolls. That's what I know, and it's more than enough to get this vid.) My only regret is that I missed the super-high-quality version Charmax had uploaded for a while, but trust me, the 50 MB one is just fine.

So, so much more than fine. Also, did I mention the sexiness?

The One I Watch When I Think a Day in My Life Has Been Hard. I Mean, It Could Always Be Worse: I Could Be Psychic. A Day in the Life, by Shalott, aka [ profile] astolat, and Speranza, aka [ profile] cesperanza. Dead Zone.

When I re-watched this so I could write up the summary for it, my first thought was: "Oh, I need to warn people this is canon-dependent." And then I remembered that when I first watched this vid, I hadn't seen any Dead Zone. And, sure, I missed some nuances, but I got the gist of it just fine. (The gist: it's hard to be Johnny Smith.)

This is another vid I'd commend for song choice, but doubly so, because - seriously, I wouldn't have imagined there was a way to make "A Day in the Life" (by the Beatles) into a coherent single-fandom vid. Switches in mood and - um, can I say narrative about a song? Well, I'm going to, and if it's wrong, someone tell me what I should have said instead - narrative are critical to vids, yes, but this song kind of takes that to extremes.

But then, Johnny Smith's life is not exactly without its switches and sharp 180s, you know? So, as it turns out, he fits with this song really damn well. (All together now: “Poor Johnny.”)

Actually, this vid was one of the things that finally convinced me to watch some Dead Zone; any single canon that contains all of the stuff in here had to be worth seeing, you know? (For the record: it is. At least, the parts I’ve seen are.) And the same goes for the vid; there’s a lot of stuff packed into it, and it is both dense and rich. And, okay, that made it sound kind of like the fruitcake of the vidding world, but here's the thing: you'll actually like this.

(No offense to fruitcake-lovers, of course; I honor and respect your culinary perversity.)

The One That Allows Masks to Take Their Rightful Place Beside Clowns, Mimes, and Puppets in the Pantheon of Massively Creepy Things. Meds, by Destiny, aka [ profile] dcallingchaos. Nip/Tuck, gen. (The vid’s at the bottom of the page.)

I feel kind of like I should warn for disturbing content here, except, well, the disturbing content is the vid. And, see, I have no idea what the vid’s narrative is exactly; I think you’d have to know more about the fandom to be sure. What I know about Nip/Tuck is that, going by the YouTube snippets [ profile] misspamela posts from time to time, there are two guys on this show, and they are the gayest two straight guys ever.

But the gay is not quite so evident in this vid, which is, as far as I can tell, about a serial - um, not killer, since he doesn’t kill. Cutter? A serial cutter of other people’s faces. Who is crazy, and maybe his crazy is kind of contagious. And, yes, that's creepy.

The vid makes it much, much creepier, though. It is quite effects-intensive, and those effects combine to create this kind of insane, jerky, god-what’s-even-true-anymore atmosphere, with lots of twitchiness and tension. And the thing is, what you see on-screen isn’t even that disturbing. (It’s not fluffy bunnies, either, mind you. Did I mention the serial cutter?) But the vid itself kind of magnifies the disturbingness, and what you get is - well, a vid that puts you slightly on edge. A bit more on edge if you re-watch it late late at night while you’re writing the rec for it, actually. Um. Yeah, I’m looking over my shoulder from time to time, here.

So it's an impressive use of effects, plus the equivalent of an entire suspense movie in three minutes. You want to see this vid.

(Side note: me being able to rec this at all is a total triumph of fannish networking over my own disorganization, by the way. I apparently originally got this vid on a rec from [ profile] cupidsbow and then immediately forgot that. So when it came time to rec it, I didn’t know the fandom and couldn’t figure out who did it. I wandered over to [ profile] vidfinders, where three separate people figured out what the fandom was and who the vidder was and basically did everything but tie my shoes for me. The moral of this story: lost vids can be found, folks. So if you’ve been avoiding sending feedback on something because you have no idea who to send feedback to, fandom is here to help.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
So. I'm in a vid mood. And, seeing as Yuletide is a-comin', I thought maybe celebrating small fandoms was the way to go. For arcane and strategic reasons (read: they are at the top of my vid folder), I have decided to go with small movie fandoms.

Also, I've accepted that I will be recommending vids as a regular thing, that I won't just wake up one day and say, "Huh. Vids. I totally don't get them anymore." (Look, with me that was a distinct possibility for the longest time, okay? I'm not good with visual media, folks.) So I am no longer isolating my vid recommendations in unnumbered posts, and that is good. It was causing me all this angst - I kept thinking, should I maybe have a separate numbering system for the vid posts, starting at one? Should I, like, give them letters? Or, hey! I could color code them! Or name them after animals, so I'd have, like, the Bunny set, and then the Whomp Rat set, and - wait, no, no, totally stupid.

And then I realized that if there were telepaths - not that I am saying there are, mind you, but if there were - then this whole train of thought would be Exhibit A in my committal hearings. So I'll just be numbering them like any other recommendations post from now on, and with luck, that will be evidence in my favor. Not that this will save me or anything.

So. Vids. Shall we?

Oh, wait. One last thing. As I mentioned, it is that Yuletide time of year, which means that it's going to be my birthday soon, and then there will be all these holidays, and then we will all stagger into (OMG, OMG) 2007. It's the traditional gift-giving season, but I'm not going to be making a wishlist this year.

I've been so lucky, in fandom and out of it, that I would feel weird asking for anything more. So instead - if you feel like giving me something, the thing I want this year is for you to send feedback or a comment for a vid you love. It would make me very happy.

And now I'm finished blithering. Vids, ho!

The One That Provides 11000% of Your RDA of Adorable. I Walk the Line, by Abby, aka [ profile] tv_elf. March of the Penguins.

Penguins! Walking the line! I can't even imagine what else I might need to say to get you to download this.

Okay, wait, I can think of one thing you might want to know, because I really did, going in: no penguins are harmed during the course of this vid. This is why I haven't seen March of the Penguins - there's a real risk that at some point a penguin might be hurt, and then I would die.

I am not good with animal harm. No, I mean like really not good with animal harm. There's a series called the Blue Planet that I got from Netflix - because oceans! Teeming with life! How can this be a bad thing? - and Best Beloved looked at the disc, then looked at me and said, "You know, fish eat each other."

I opened my mouth to insist that I could, in fact, totally handle that. And then I remembered certain tragic incidents in my childhood and shut my mouth again.

And then we sent the DVD back.

I'm just saying. Animal harm is my absolute deal-breaker. So, if you are like me: the parent penguins are fine! The fluffy baaaaaaaby penguins are fine! Everyone is fine! And they walk the line!

The One That Proves That the Key Ingredient of Technological Advancement Is Childhood Trauma. One Angry Dwarf, by AbsoluteDestiny, aka [ profile] absolut3destiny. The Incredibles, Syndrome.

So. I'll admit it. When I watched the Incredibles, I wanted to kick Buddy, and that was before I knew he came back as Syndrome. (Actually, I liked Syndrome better. A lot. I mean, I can respect an evil genius.) I know I was supposed to have sympathy for him, and I don't usually have the urge to kick small children, but in fact my reaction to him was equal parts intense irritation and creepy-kid squick. (Creepy kids are the creepiest of all humans, providing you don't consider clowns human, which I don't.)

This vid changed that.

The alternate point of view is one of the oldest tools in the fan fiction toolbox, but it's a lot harder to do (successfully) in vids. I think that's especially true in movie vids, because, let's face it, if you're working with a single movie, your footage is quite, quite limited. In this vid, that problem is overcome in large part by a perfect song choice; this pretty much is Syndrome's song, right here. Combine that with some truly splendid cutting (and the equally splendid animated emoting of Syndrome himself - I mean, he's Rodney McKay! Kind of! Except evil, and also with hair that would make John Sheppard's develop a crushing inferiority complex and maybe cry a little), and you have a masterful vid of great genius.

And I respond by developing a sudden sympathy, not just for Syndrome, but for Buddy. Which is proven by - okay. The ending of this vid bothers me. And yet it's the same ending the movie has (excepting the epilogue thingy), and in the movie it fills me with glee. Shows you what a change in point of view can do.

(Technical note: for reasons unknown (to me), this vid does not play well for me in the most recent version of VLC, which is normally my vid playback tool of choice. If you have this problem, try MPUI.)

The One That Makes Plastic Fantastic. Beep Beep, by Jackie K, aka [ profile] jackiekjono. Starship Troopers (hush), and - um. It's gen, or maybe het, but basically whatever canonical pairing is in the movie. I guess. (Note: if this is your first visit to, you'll need to get a password, but it's on an automailer, so it will be both fast and impersonal. And that - um. Didn't sound so good. I truly did not mean to liken contact with vidders to an anonymous handjob in the back room of a bar, people. Accident!)

So. I've heard many bad things about Starship Troopers, and they may all be true. But this vid is a thing of great beauty, and not just because of Jackie's inspired decision to set future SF to Louis Prima. Somehow, this vid takes the movie's mediocre bluescreening, the unfortunate straight-from-the-Barbie-box appearance of the main characters, and the, um, plot-thing, or whatever that is, and makes it all fun. Louis Prima + Starship Troopers is like a chili-chutney-fried egg sandwich: it shouldn't work, but it does. It becomes right. In Jackie K's hands it becomes, in fact, a refreshing delight.

Sadly, after several re-watchings of this, I even found myself sort of - um. Sort of caring about the characters. And maybe even a little curious about the movie. Okay, god, fine, I admit it: I added it to our Netflix queue.

Please don't tell anyone. It was Jackie K's fault! I was helpless against her vidding wiles! Oh, god, have I lost all credibility forever?

Wait. That assumes I ever had any credibility, and for some profoundly unfair reason "credibility" is not synomous with "recommends porny stuff on the internet." So obviously nothing to worry about there. Carry on.

(Caution: even if you enjoy this vid - and I think you will - do not actually attempt to eat a chili-chutney-fried egg sandwich. I can vouch for the vid. I'm still very afraid of the sandwich.)

The One That Shows a Clip Involving Chains That Makes Me Wonder If Maybe I Should See This Movie. Um. My Prerogative, by [ profile] yuna_firerose. Once upon a Time in Mexico.

First things first: this is Agent Sands set to Britney Spears singing My Prerogative. I just want you to take a moment to revel in the beauty and brilliance of that before we move on, because otherwise it might overwhelm you.

Breathe. Yes. There we go.

And then I want to reassure you that it is not the whole song. (Yes, this is yet another movie I've never seen, but I'm pretty sure there isn't enough Sands footage to make the whole song work. Also, you might end up overdosing on Britney Spears. I hear that can get ugly.)

So. I'm not sure what else I can say to sell you on this vid. I mean, if the image of Agent Sands shooting and sleazing and strutting to My Prerogative isn't going to do it for you, what will? I mean, really, what on this earth will? So instead I will tell you a story about the major question this movie raised for me.

See, my mother wanted to see it. And she wanted me and BB to see it with her. And we had to spend an entire afternoon convincing my mother, who does not like violence and thought Jumangi was too scary and disturbing, not to see it. Eventually, I had to resort to saying (in that tone that you only ever hear from adult women when they are talking to their mothers), "Mother! He gets his EYES taken out! EYES, mother! EYES!" And even then, she was only kind of convinced.

And why did she want to see the gory violent movie with the eye-removal scene? She knew one thing about it: that it had Johnny Depp in it. (She thought it starred Johnny Depp, and I had to tell her that maybe it did, but only in the scene-stealing sense, and it was actually about someone else.) My point here is that Johnny Depp may in fact have unholy powers akin to vampiric hypnotism, and he may be using them on innocent persons around the globe.

Also, I cannot help but notice that he does not appear to be aging as such.

So what I want to know is: has anyone checked to see if he shows up in a mirror lately? Or maybe searched his attic for a hideous portrait? I'm just. You know. Wondering.

The One That Will Make You Want to Give a Great Big Hug to the Nearest Girl You Can Find, So You Might Want to Check Your Environs for Suitable Candidates Prior to Watching It. Whatever It Takes, by Eunice, aka [ profile] just_eunice. Bend It Like Beckham, Jess + Jules.

This is a purely happy-making vid, and is on my short list of vids that make me beam for a long time after I'm done watching them. I actually have seen this movie (I know! I'm as shocked as you are!), and I enjoyed it. But not as much as I enjoyed this, which is basically the distilled essence of the movie, so it's like this amazing super-powered booster shot of sheer joy. Kind of like vitamins. Except fun. And about football.

Okay, you know what? That metaphor wasn't working out. Let's never speak of it again.

My point is that this is the kind of vid I can't analyze at all. No matter how many times I see it, I just react to it: I smile, I feel inspired, I do a little chair dancing. (The song, by the way - "Whatever It Takes," by Sinead Lohan - is addictive all on its own, and does anyone have a copy?)

I think this vid is about what parents must dream of (and kind of fear) for their kids. And I also think that this is adolescence as it should be: a trip to the moon. On your own terms.

And that's really all I have to say about this one, except that it should be downloaded by everyone who isn't outright allergic to fun. (And even then, couldn't you just take some antihistamines before you watch it?)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Okay, first I just need to say something to the people on my friends list who are weirdly obsessed with Bruce Springsteen and Thunder Road. I downloaded it a long time ago, about the 18th time one of you announced that it was the Best Song in the Whole History of Ever and that anyone who had never heard it could not technically claim to be alive. But I have a rigid system that determines what never-played music I am allowed (or required) to listen to, and for a long time that system did not turn up Thunder Road, and I was just as happy that way, frankly.

Except. Today it did. And I listened - okay, maybe a touch resentfully, because I do not like Bruce Springsteen, and, yes, I know several of you are right now wincing and hitting defriend. But I listened, okay? I'm prejudiced, but I'm not unreasonable.

And. Well. It's a pretty good song.

Okay. Maybe I found the volume inexplicably creeping up all on its own, and maybe I did an utterly humiliating at-my-desk version of Paul Gross arms at the end, and maybe I went back and replayed it in total defiance of the system. (Which, of course, immediately exacted its horrible revenge, about which the less said the better, except - some of y'all are sick, and especially the person who posted that song, and I admire you for it. But from a distance.) And maybe I felt inexplicably uplifted, which I really needed, because I've had a bad day (any day in which plumbers start drawing you helpful diagrams and sketches is a bad day in my book, and the sad part is, I've had enough of those days to know it for sure).

So I apologize to you Springsteenians and Thunder Roadiacs for the resentfulness with which I downloaded the song. And now I'm saying thank you.

And now we move on to the actual content of this post, which is: SG-1. See, [ profile] katie_m is a wonderful person. She is very wonderful, and when I asked her what she wanted as tribute to her wonderfulness, she said: an all SG1 recs set. I have no idea why she wanted this; the odds I'm going to link to something she's never read are slimmer than the odds that Daniel's next death will be peaceful, at his home surrounded by his loving family, and permanent. But it's what Katie wanted, and it's what she's getting. (I'm just grateful she didn't ask me to finish the SG1 Fandoms I Have Loved.)

The thing is, though - almost all of my SG1 stories were on my old bookmark/database system, as opposed to So this meant looking at the 3000 imported bookmarks I have at; I imported them when I had a fever, and when sanity returned I dedicated a small portion of my mind to pretending I had never done any such thing, because oh my god the chaos. But Katie is cool enough to be worth facing the horror of (some) of said chaos.

My actual intention was to wait until I had sorted through all my SG1 bookmarks. Last night, Best Beloved very kindly pointed out to me that that was an idea that reached new all-time best heights of stupid and crazy.

BB: Just post.
Me: But -
BB: How many stories do you have?
Me, angling the screen so that the list is not as readily visible: Um. It's not as many as it looks like, because [ profile] paian -
BB: Oh my god. Just post.

So I'm just posting. Katie, I hope you enjoy it. Everyone else - SG-1 = fun. Read some today, won't you?

The Gateverse Pimp Vid to End All Pimp Vids. Cartoon Heroes, by [ profile] mamoru22. Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis.

Am I cheating by including this? Yup, totally - it's SG1 and SGA both. But, in all honesty, there's going to be another crossover in here, and it's weirder than this one by 18 orders of magnitude. So best to work into this slowly, I think.

And, okay. This vid hits one of my few vid squicks, and in fact until I saw this I thought it was a bulletproof squick. (And, by the way, I've never managed to enjoy a vid that hit it since, so I still think it's bulletproof. This is just, like, the vid equivalent of armor-piercing rounds.) It shows actors and characters at the same time. Worse, it shows actors in costume but palpably not their characters. Generally, this makes me want to die. In this case, it made me want to fill the entire screen with giant pink hearts and sparkles. (I refrained. I want to hear some thanks, y'all. It's just like with dogs - if you don't praise them for being good, eventually your floor is covered with giant pink hearts. Or something.)

It's just - it's the most joyous celebration of the Stargate universe ever, and I wanted to start with it for that reason.

Plus, watching it now I - I teared up. I admit it. At a certain line. I'm not going to tell you which line, on the grounds that you will openly mock me and I will deserve it. But, but, but - oh, Stargates. You make my heart sing.

The One That Proves That Sometimes, on SG1, You Can Fuck Them All. And Be Royally Fucked-up, Too. Still Life with Cliche, by Komos, aka [ profile] paian. Stargate: SG-1, Daniel Jackson/Sam Carter, Daniel Jackson/Jack O'Neill.

It's true. The SG universe really does make my heart sing. Just, sometimes it also makes me want to cry, and this story - this story so does that. It's gorgeous and perfect and it turns this cliche inside out. And also pretty much does the same thing to my heart. Aliens make them do it. Sort of. And the world is really never the same again.

This is a good story to start with, I think, because you can read this one if you don't know SG1 canon at all. It will probably work just as well for you; it's long enough and good enough that you can get everything you need from context. Except - if you do know SG1 canon, the last line of this story is a kick in the gut. From a Clydesdale. With razor-sharp shoes. And the first time I read this, I was bopping along, expecting the happy ending, expecting it all to work out, and then it connects up with canon and - boom. The glass shatters. I believe my original comment on this was something intelligent like, "OMG OW OW OW," and I stand by that assessment.

But did I mention gorgeous? Did I mention perfect? I think I did. Did I mention that it isn't all pain - I mean, if it was, I wouldn't have been able to read it, never mind rec it - and it's very definitely worth it? I did not, so I'm telling you now: read this. You won't be sorry. I'm addicted to happy endings, but I love SG1 fandom in part because it produces stories just like this.

And, by the way, you cannot go wrong with [ profile] paian; it was absolute agony choosing just one of her stories for this set. (In the end, I copped out, and Best Beloved chose. For the record.)

The One That Cruelly Libels Pasta. Yet Another SG-1 Adventure, by [ profile] minnow1212. Stargate: SG-1, gen.

I also love SG1 fandom because it can give me emotional whiplash like no other fandom out there. (Okay. It's more accurate to say that I can take the emotional whiplash better in this fandom. Any fandom I love can gut me or make me laugh until I'm dizzy. But only SG1 can make me love either one just as much.) So, from the sublime to the, well, ridiculous.

This is late canon; Cameron Mitchell is on the team, and Jack's watching from the other side. And, really, I think Jack is very grateful to have missed out on direct, hands-on experience of this one. Am I going to tell you what he's grateful to have missed? No. Not at all. But this story starts with General Landry saying, "So we haven’t seen anything like this before," and this late in the canon, that line guarantees that whatever follows has to be really spectacular.

(Seriously. This late in the canon, the canon writers themselves must be getting pretty desperate for novelty. I kind of imagine them sitting around a table, all:

Writer 1, reading from a brainstormed list: How about we make one of them a god?
Writer 2: Think we did that.
W1: Okay. No problem. Suggestion two: we make one of them a kid.
Writer 3: We definitely did that. Oh, come on, am I the only person who remembers season - um, whatever it was?

[There is a long, strained pause around the table.]

W1: Moving on. Suggestion three: we make one of their underlings a god.
W3: First season!
W1, getting snappish: Fine. How about we make one of them a child god of underlings?
W2: Why is there no alcohol in this room?
W3: Do I need to remind you what happened when there was?

[There is a collective shudder.]

W1: Those - those were bad times. God, I still have nightmares about the pointy hat.
W3: Exactly. So - what are we writing about? People?
W2: Maybe they could have a secret mission to, um, save the earth from, from, poisoned - spinach.
W1: Poisoned spinach?
W2: E. coli. You know. It's topical and suchlike.
W1, holding head in hands: Oh, god.
W3, suddenly inspired: That's it! We could have a god!
W1: We've been through the whole Deities and Demigods already. We're done. I'm not writing about SG-1 taking on the Yak Goddess of the Mukluk tribe, and she's what we've got left.

[There is a pause.]

W2: Well, what about if the Yak Goddess wore a studded leather bikini?
W1: Vala.
W2: Damn.

[There is a more hopeless pause.]

W3: You know, I think there's a random SG1 plot generator on the internet.
W1: *Googles*
W1: *clicks*
W1: *reads* "On a mission, SG-1 is involved in a brawl because of a lecherous sentient animal. A team member is imprisoned. Sam and/or Daniel race against time to solve the mystery of an evil painting of an outlaw prostitute bent on revenge. Teal'c and/or Cameron and/or Jack and/or Vala fight a wicked monk attempting to resurrect a goddess via a game in the conservatory. Back home, they must create an element from a fairy tale or fable because of a long-lost relative who has turned evil."
W2, in delighted tones: By god! That's our mid-season two-parter!)

But, just to bring this back to the story - no random SG1 plot generator story could be as delightful as Minnow's is. Read it. I can't promise it will make your heart sing, but it will make you laugh.

And possibly also make you want to limit your carbohydrate and protein intake for a bit.

The One That Will Make You Say, "Fanboys? The Stargate Writers? You're Joking." The Stargate Cantina, by [ profile] brihana25. Stargate: SG-1. And, um, warning: spoilers. For Star Wars.

So. This is not a crossover, and it is therefore not cheating. It's an entirely SG1 vid designed to prove that SG1 is nothing like Star Wars, despite Certain People's allegations to the contrary. I think you will all agree that it does a fine job, although I have to warn you that the song it is set to is an earworm to end all earworms. So I'm not responsible if you chew your own ears off, okay?

And a note for people who, like me, downloaded their copy a while ago: this is a link to a remaster, and it is different - not just upgraded source, although there's that, too. Some clips are different, the intro is - um, different, and I think I need a new word for that now - and it's an .avi. So, you know, worth a download even if you've seen the .wmv version before.

Sadly, there's nothing more I can say about this; everything else will spoil it. Just - everyone who has ever seen SG1 or Star Wars needs to download this, and if you've seen both but you haven't seen this, I think you may be officially relegated to second-class fan status. Also be warned that viewing this with friends and loved ones can cause some strife; I first watched it with Best Beloved, and we spent the next twenty minutes debating casting choices, even though we have never seen the canon. Best viewed in private.

Also, learn from my sad experience and keep your mouth completely free of liquids at all times.

If Snow White Made You Suspicious of Trees, This One Will Make You Move to a Desert. Leaving Time, by [ profile] janedavitt. SG-1, Daniel Jackson/Jack O'Neill. (Yes, I have pairing preferences. Also, this set is for [ profile] katie_m, so it seemed wrong to include any of her stories in it, but she's written many of my favorite gen pieces. Blame her.)

I also love SG-1 fandom's tendency to write about really fascinating aliens, and alien cultures, and the team's interactions with said cultures. Of course, first contact can always be a bit dicey - sometimes it's all wacky beverages and naked hula dancing, and sometimes it's...not. This would be one of those "not" times, for the record. There is nakedness, yes, but it is not really the focus, per se. The focus is on a mission gone very wrong. It's also on Jack, and Daniel, and how sometimes they can be in total disagreement and (at least in my opinion) both be wrong. (As would say: "Jack and Daniel - Better Together." Or, as I would say: "Jack and Daniel: When they're at odds, god help the universe.")

This story also hits my "Ancients: skeevy? Or really skeevy?" buttons. I am convinced that those glowy fuckers are unworthy to be called squids, and I sort of want to punch them most of the time. This story makes me feel good about that. In short, I blame the Ancients for all of this. Well, that and the apparent motto of the SG universe. ("Oops.")

The One for Everyone Who Doesn't See the Daniel/Jack. And Everyone Who Does. Be Like Water, by [ profile] butterfly. Stargate: SG-1, Daniel Jackson/Jack O'Neill.

For me, this is the vid equivalent of a Daniel/Jack pairing manifesto - by which I mean, well, that it explains why the pairing is so wonderful, and tempting, and right. And it also shows how they keep missing each other.

But even though this is a pairing manifesto, it's not about a pairing, not for me. For me, it's about Jack, about him trying to follow the rules, about him doing the right thing and losing the right thing in the process.

I have a lot of other stuff to say about this vid - about the clip choices, about the way the effects contribute to the mood, about the way the colors in this seem more beautiful to me than the colors in most other SG1 vids. But I think this vid best stands alone, without commentary. And even I know when to shut up sometimes.

The One That Makes Me Stamp My Foot Like a Four-Year-Old and Say, "I Want It That Way and So It Is That Way." Please, No One Convince Me Otherwise. No More Sad Songs, by [ profile] destina. (The link takes you to the Triptych Vids front page. If you don't have a password, hit "New Visitor" for instructions on how to get one; an auto-responder will send it back. Login, click on Stargate, and scroll down.) Stargate: SG-1, Jack O'Neill. And Daniel Jackson/Jack O'Neill.

I recommended this vid alongside Be Like Water deliberately. Or, actually, more like out of necessity, because this is the other side of that coin. This is Jack - in my mind, Jack during his retirement (I can pretend. Boy, can I ever.) or, more canonically, Jack during the post-SG-1 era. He's not doing the right thing anymore; he's having the right thing. And I tend to watch this back-to-back with Be Like Water because, hey, did I mention my need for happy endings? For me, this is Jack's happy ending.

But then, I don't see - okay. I'm going to be blasphemous for a minute here. But, for me, SG-1 needed Jack more than Jack needed SG-1. He can still be who he is without being on the front lines, without being at the head of the team; there are things he needs, but in my head, that's not one of them. (Guess what is one of them? Yeah, yeah, and no points for getting it right. I am nothing if not Little Miss Predictable.) I don't see his transfer or retirement as a sad thing - or, okay, sad for us, most definitely, but not sad for him. I want this to be Jack's ending.

And so, in these parts, it is. Because, hey, this is my head, and I can do what I want.

The One That Makes Me Feel Sorry for Death. No, Really. Untitled, by [ profile] daegaer. Stargate: SG-1 x Discworld. Gen.

Yes, this is the one I warned you about earlier. It's the crossover that could not work, am I right? Except, oh my god how it does. You do need to know Discworld, I think, and you need to know - well, basically, if you've made it this far in the post, you already know enough about SG1 to read this. (If by some tragic turn of events you don't know Discworld, go read Terry Pratchett's books - okay, some of them, and I recommend Guards, Guards and Pyramids - immediately. You can thank me later.)

This rec is a difficult situation for me, because the story is a short, short piece, and I don't want to get into that deal where I write more words about the story than are in the story. I know this will surprise you, but I do that sometimes. I can be wordy. You might not think it, but it's true.

But I do want to say that part of the reason this works so damn well for me is - well, the characterization. [ profile] daegaer may actually be the secret lovechild of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; that's how well she writes their characters and their voices. (No, I cannot adequately explain why their lovechild would be Irish. Possibly they wanted their child to be closely acquainted with Peig Sayers. It would be like them, in my opinion.) But, also, this story says some things that truly need to be said to a certain someone.

And it gives that someone a nickname that I will treasure forever.

Okay. I'm over the story's word count. Shutting up now.

The One in Which Someone Else Out-Talks Daniel for Once in His Life, and He Learns What Happens to People Who Don't Always Get the Last Word. Five Conversations Daniel Never Had, by [ profile] teand. Stargate: SG-1, gen.

It wouldn't be an SG1 recs set without a couple references to the current incarnation of SG-1, including a certain, um, interesting character introduced in the last few seasons. (Let me put it this way. That outlaw prostitute bent on revenge I mentioned earlier? I think they already have her in the canon.) And while for some reason vids featuring Vala generally don't make me happy, stories featuring her really, really do.

Here, Vala says to Daniel what no one else would. (Most likely because any sane person familiar with Daniel's history would shudder, say, "There are some things no one was meant to know. Or say," and go out for a stiff drink instead. I mean, calling Daniel cheerful is just - perverse.) And word gets around at the speed of wormhole travel, because we all secretly suspect that the SGC is just one big high school where most of the students are heavily armed and they get transformed, mutated, killed, or comically dressed about every second week. (Oh, wait - Joss Whedon already wrote that one. But, well, SGC as Sunnydale High? That works for me.) And we are right.

And, of course, Daniel's co-workers (present and former) are there to stand by him during his hour of, um, probably wanting to strangle Vala, and they're always ready to lend a helping hand. (To support him. But also probably to help strangle Vala, in some cases.)

The One in Which Daniel Says, "Maybe I Want It to Be Difficult." And I Say, "Oh, Daniel, Truer Words." Encoded, by Tallulah Rasa. Stargate: SG-1, gen (basically).

And I finish with this AU future for SG-1, where things went off the rails around season 7. Tallulah is one of my favorite writers in SG1 - it is quite honestly worth getting into the fandom just to read her stuff - and I say that despite her history of breaking my heart about every third story.

This isn't one of the stories where she does that. She takes care of the heartbreak in the prologue, and then picks up about five years after that - never say that Tallulah doesn't know where to start - and puts it all back together again. A little bit different, sure, but different, as SG-1 has taught us over the years, can be good.

So, really, there's no heartbreak in this story. (There are some broken hands, sure, but with this team, that's a remarkably low butcher's bill.) What there is instead is - well, this, more than any other story, proves to me that SG-1 (version 1.0) is meant to be together. Doesn't matter if they burn out, fade away, or mutate; Daniel, Jack, Sam, and Teal'c are stuck together in ways that - okay, sure, they can come apart. But I truly believe that they end up together again.

And after you read this one, I think you will, too.

So. Thus endeth the SG1 set. It got out of hand, it got long, and it still doesn't cover even the teeniest fraction of what this fandom has to offer. Plus, hey, if you ever run out of fan fiction, I hear there's ten years of a TV show, too, and that might keep you entertained for a bit. So if you haven't tried SG1, maybe it's time to start.

And to SG1, the fandom, the canon, and the characters, I say: thanks. It's been a wild ride. And I'm not done with you yet.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
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 [ profile] 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 [ profile] 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: [ profile] 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 [ profile] pipsqueaky and [ profile] 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 [ profile] sherrold and [ profile] wickedwords. Stargate: Atlantis.

(Note: this vid was made for the Vividcon remix challenge, and was inspired by [ profile] astolat and [ profile] 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.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Okay. Here's the deal. Y'all had plenty of vids to rec to me when I asked in the poll, and I was impressed and joyful. And now I want you to rec that same vid (or, hey, an entirely different one) to your friends list, who will likely also be joyful. It's important to me, and I plan to be difficult and obstreperous about it, but I'm also providing this handy guide. So there's a carrot and a stick, here. (Carrot: the handy guide and my eternal love. Stick: pouting.)

This is a basic recommendation: "I liked this. [link to vid announcement]"

That's all you do. You post to your LJ or other fandom-associated location. You say: "Hey! This vid is good!" And you provide a link.

But, okay, I understand only too well how hard it is to say nothing but that when you rec; I've never managed it with anything ever.

You can also say lots of other stuff - what you liked specifically, who it might appeal to, why you think it appealed to you. You can say what fandom it's in, what the song is, who the characters are, what the point of it is. The world is your oyster. You can type four words ("Jack hot. Panties wet.") or you can type until the post limit runs out ("And I think the crucial symbolism here is found within the overall color scheme, or, more specifically, the color scheme's progression from red to green, thus revealing the manner in which the relationship..."). Your choice. Whatever comes naturally to you, really. (If the latter comes naturally to you, I am so nicknaming you the Professor. Or maybe Doc.)

So. Are you convinced? Are you ready to rec? Then you can skip all the rest of this, though you may wish to check out the list of vidders who basically volunteered to be meat for recommending purposes (provided said meat was treated with basic fannish good manners).

If you have objections, though - in short, if you are not going to go right out and rec like a good little carrot-fixated bunny, thus averting what will be, I promise you, a terrible case of pouting on my part - read on. (And if you don't find your objection covered here, let me know. I am happy to add to this list pretty much eternally. I want everyone to rec at least one vid, people. I am very very committed to this concept. Also, I am stubborn. Best just to state your objections clearly so we can get them out of the way.)

"I don't know what to say."

I said this myself for quite a long time. Because vidders have special terminology, right? They have, like, all special words and secret chants and mystic prunes1 and they will mock you ceaselessly and mercilessly if you use even one single intonation incorrectly, right?

Wrong, actually. There is indeed some technical jargon that vidders know. Much of it relates to specific programs. (Although, frankly, from what I've seen, that is often more obscene than mystical, all: "You evil fuckware, I do everything you want, everything, and now you won't fucking load? Give me vid or I kill with FIRE, you binary Satan that the damned call Premiere!") Some of it is from the film industry and can be learned from any film school. Or book. Or documentary.

But here's the thing: You don't need to know that stuff. (You'd better not need to, because I sure don’t.) Vidders will know what you're talking about no matter what term you use, and are actually more likely to get descriptive terms ("Camera goes swirly! Watcher goes YAY!") than technical ones, since mostly they didn't go film school, either.

More importantly, your readers, your actual recs users, will almost all be non-vidders. They don't need to know about the camera going swirly, no matter what you call it, and they probably don't know the right term for that anyway. For them, you focus on the watcher going YAY. That's what they need to know.

So don't bother with the detailed critique of vidding technique. (Unless you just want to, in which case it's a review, not a rec.) You wouldn't do it for fan fiction you recommended, either. Talk about how the vid made you feel or what it made you think. Mentioning the swirliness of the camera is totally optional.

"I don't watch a lot of vids."

Okay. But how about a vid? Have you seen a vid? Good. Did you like it? Excellent. (In all fairness, I have to warn you that the ratio of watched:liked will not continue at 1:1 forever. Appreciate it while you've got it.)

So where's the problem? You don't need to be an expert in all of vidding to rec vids; I am the living, breathing, recommending proof of that. I started recommending vids when I understood absolutely nothing about them, and I have progressed all the way to not knowing much, but knowing what I like. Do I let this stand in my way? I do not. Do I look like an idiot some of the time? Almost certainly. But you know what? I would anyway; it's my gift. And, you know, I've been called an idiot for recommending various stories, but no one has ever said anything nasty to me because I recommended a specific vid, or vids in general.

And, let me remind you - most of you had at least one vid to rec to me in the poll. (And may I just say, you people have excellent taste.) Why not rec it in your LJ, too?

"But if I haven't seen a lot of vids, how do I know I'll always like it?"

Maybe you won't always like the vid you like right now. So what? If you like it, odds are good that most of your friends list will, too - after all, they generally share some of your interests or tastes or they wouldn't be your friends list. So tell them about it. Later, if you decide it sucks, you can look back all ironically and marvel at your naiveté. You can even wear a beret. It'll be bags of fun.

"But why bother?"

Well, because it's a nice thing to do for your friends. It's hard to find recs of vids that match a specific interest; vid recommending is much more in its infancy than fan fiction recommending. So if you find a good vid, letting everyone else know it's good - that's nice.

And, hey, it's content. Are you telling me you don't occasionally veer into the toenails, GIPs, and pictures of cats type of LJing? Well, here's something to reward your readers for giving you advice about that toenail fungus. (Note: To the best of my knowledge, no one on my friends list actually has a toenail fungus. My friends list is 92% fungus-free. That's just a general remark, because even if someone did have a fungus, I would likely suppress that knowledge.)

And it's a nice thing to do for vidders, to let the world know they did something cool. (That goes double if you encourage your friends list to leave feedback for the vidder.)

And it's important. Because, okay, perhaps you have the fastest internet connection in the world and a million billion trillion gigabytes of hard drive space, but not everyone does; they can only download so many. How do people know which vids are worth downloading and which aren't? Recommendations. If you took the trouble to download it, you might as well let that effort pay off for your friends. And how do people who are new to watching vids know where to start? Yup, that's right: Recommendations.

"But I don't recommend stuff."

You don't have to be a formal recommender, with a recs journal and an obsessive organization scheme and a backlog of stuff to rec, in order to provide the occasional link to an excellent story or vid or piece of art. It's part of what we all do in fandom - we link our friends to stuff we liked.

(Yes, some of us do it more than others. We have a disease. It's very tragic and sad. But I don't think you can catch our Recommending Obsessively Disorder through casual recommending. You can't even catch it by being around those who have it, for which thank god, or we'd be forced to ring bells to warn people we were coming. It's just, you know, something that some of us were born with. We try not to let it get us down.)

"But vidders are scary."

I totally acknowledge this. It's the mystic prunes, I think. It makes them special and different and weird and smelly.

Also, I hear they sacrifice kittens.

No. Look. They are fans, just like everyone else in these parts. Some of them are probably jerks, although not any of the ones I've talked to. Many of them are very nice. Most of them are forgetful and overcommitted and totally convinced that certain people are So Doing It. They squee and flail and headdesk regularly. See? Just like the rest of us.

Some of them will even share their mystic prunes if you ask nicely.

"I don't know who did the vid I love, so I can't figure out where the vid announcement is."

Allow me to direct you to the brand-spanking-new community [ profile] vidfinders, which is for "Have you seen this vid?" type posts. [ profile] makesmewannadie recently asked for vid recs, and loads of people rec'd vids without credits, so they knew only the source and the song. Every one of those was rapidly identified by someone else reading the comments. Lost and unattributed vids can be found.

"But my friends list is very small and they've already seen everything I have. I mean, I've only seen the really well-known stuff, anyway."

They have not. Truly. I know it seems that way, but, honestly. There is a fangirl somewhere out there who has not seen Boom Boom Ba (by [ profile] charmax) or Failed Experiments in Video Editing (by E.K.) or Heart of Funkness (by [ profile] absolut3destiny) or Hello (by [ profile] merryish) or Holding out for a Hero (by [ profile] marycrawford) or Jolene (by [ profile] z_rayne) or Loaded Gun (by [ profile] gwyn_r) or Moving Right Along (by [ profile] sdwolfpup) or Pretty When You Cry (by [ profile] lierdumoa) or Take Me Out (by [ profile] barkley and [ profile] destina) or Whatever (by the extremely holy duo of [ profile] sockkpuppett and [ profile] sisabet). Odds are good that you can reach that poor fangirl simply by posting a link. Won't you help her out? (Picture a waif, here. With big ol' sad eyes. Staring pathetically at an empty computer screen. Or maybe a puppy staring pathetically at an empty food dish. Whatever gets the guilt flowing.)

Also, recs have a cumulative effect. Somebody might say, upon first seeing a rec, "Oh god no I am not watching an Apocalypse Now vid set to disco. I still have some sanity left to me, and by god, I treasure it." After two or three recs, that person might very well break down and see the Apocalypse Now vid set to disco (Heart of Funkness, linked above, and "Apocalypse Now set to disco" works as both warning and summary for it), and fandom will have brought the crazy (the good crazy) to one more soul.

It makes you feel all warm and happy inside, doesn't it? And you can be part of this glorious fannish cycle.

"But it's work!"

This was my objection until very recently. But now that we know we have Freedom to Rec, vid recommending is as simple as making a link and typing some words. Are you seriously telling me you weren't going to do that anyway at some point this month? Or this year, even? So make one of them a rec. One. Pretty please?

Otherwise, there could well be whining. Or pining, even. From me.

You won't like me when I'm pining, people.

The List )
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Long ago, when the world was young (okay, about two years ago, but in fandom time that's like 37 generations), I developed the Urge to Rec Vids. (This was associated with, but not a direct result of, my attempts to learn how to watch vids. But that, my friends, is a meta of a different color, and that color would likely be beige enough to cause ennui-related brain damage.) But I was aware, from my hesitant proddings at the fringes of the vid world, that linking to or recommending vids was a different deal than recommending fan fiction.

(Note: This might have been true then. It's definitely not true now. Sorry; I just had to throw that in there. It's very hard to stay in a chronological first-person narrative without a lot of lapsing into "Ah, but had I known!" and "This is where I made my first mistake" and "In retrospect, that's when I should've started taking the malaria pills." God only knows how fictional narrators manage.)

So I looked around and found some discussion of this - as I recall, one post, with comments, about somebody linking to the poster's vid without permission, one essay, and one "Where Did My Vids Go and Why Aren't They Coming Back?" type statement on a website. The conclusions I drew from these sources:
  1. Vidders did not necessarily relish having their vids linked to or recommended, and really did not relish this happening outside the vidding community. (Actually, I kind of concluded that vidders did not much like non-vidders, period. But I'm now very aware that this was wrong, and also it was kind of stupid of me to believe it in the first place, so we will pretend that I never did, okay?)

  2. If anyone, but especially a non-vidder, wanted to link to a vid, it was absolutely mandatory to obtain permission first.
This was a problem for me. See, for me, there's fannish interaction - leaving comments, sending feedback, writing email, asking permission - and then there's fannish activity - writing, recommending, etc. I am fully functional when it comes to fannish activity. Interaction, though, not so much.

(Side note: You might think recommending would count as fannish interaction. But you would be wrong. As I've said to several people already, sending feedback is striking up a conversation with the smartest, wittiest, most attractive stranger in the room. Recommending is standing on the street corner shouting to myself about weasels. And I, as it happens, am much more comfortable in crazy-bag-lady mode. I mean, you all are invited, even encouraged, to stop, listen, and comment ("No, no. Everyone knows that ferrets are superior to weasels! And also, they are far sleeker!" Or, as it is known to those who, in a freaky timeline inversion thing, even now carry the scars: WeaselWank 2011.), and I'm delighted when you do (although I understand that 2011's going to be a tough year for comments), but I'm not expecting you to and I don't feel bad if you don't. Also, when I'm recommending, I don't feel like I have to be smart or impress anyone - random weasel-related blithering is perfectly fine. Whereas with feedback, I feel this horrible weight, this need to be as articulate and clever and all-around nifty as the person I am sending feedback to, which is obviously never going to happen. It makes me tense.)

So. Time progressed. I conquered a number of vid-related fears (accessophobia - fear of asking for vid site passwords, clickophobia - fear of sending feedback, oculomoronophobia - fear of looking like an idiot, divxphobia - fear of new codecs, etc.). I recommended some vids every now and again. And all was well.

Then, somewhere along the line, I discovered anime music videos, and oh my god the joy. Not only were they pretty and shiny and wondrous to behold, because live-action vids are that, too, but they were pretty much designed for people who didn't want to talk to other people. I didn't need to ask permission to rec. (And I actually couldn't send feedback to the creators, what with my intelligence not being up to the task of giving AMV opinions, which are in themselves quite the fine and demanding art.)

It was heaven. I recommended many anime vids and the occasional live-action vid, and there was happiness in the house of TFV.

And then one day quite recently I was talking with [ profile] cupidsbow about the Issue of Recommending Vids. And she said (and I'm paraphrasing so severely that I might very well fuck up her point, so if you don't like it, that's probably my fault) that she'd never asked for permission when she recommended vids, and she didn't want to start, as she highly values the free flow of ideas and discussion and thinks permission requirements might inhibit that.

And I thought: Huh. (Yes, precisely like that. You see why I fear situations that require feats of linguistic virtuosity?) Because the thing is, I'd seen vidders link to other people's vids in a casual way. I'd seen recs swarm across my friends list even when I knew the vidder was unavailable to grant permission to rec. And I started wondering - is it different because I'm not a vidder? Is it different because I am a recommender? Or, hey, is it different? Do I actually need permission at all?

On LJ, my motto is: when in doubt, poll.

So I ran a poll asking vidders about vid permission and a poll asking vid watchers about vids in general. And what I learned was - well. Let's discuss.

First, as of this writing, 108 vidders have taken the vidder poll. Only 7% of them said it was necessary to ask permission before linking to a vid announcement. Even more significant, though, is that 51% of them - half! - had never even heard of this weird alien ritual of asking permission to link to a vid announcement. And 93 of the vidders - or just over 86% of them - gave blanket permission to rec or link to their vid announcements (provided people respected basic fannish manners - no hotlinking, no stealing, proper credit given, etc.).

So, no matter what was true two years ago (or what I thought was true two years ago, and such is the tragic nature of time and observers and all that physics whatnot that we will never know for sure which), what's true today is: a vid is a fanwork like any other fanwork, and you follow the same rules when recommending it as you would for recommending a story or a piece of art or whatever. With one major exception, that is: with stories, generally we link directly to the file. With vids, we link to the announcement page.

And that is really all there is to it. You, my friends, have the freedom to rec vids. In particular, you have the freedom to rec the vids of the 93 vidders who gave blanket permission. In general, you have the freedom to link any public vid announcement that doesn't say that you can't; in other words, permission to link is implied by the act of publicly announcing a vid, unless or until permission is specifically withdrawn, as long as you are linking within the general fannish community.

But some of you are probably wondering about the vidders who do think permission is necessary and didn't give blanket permission. You're in luck! I'm going to talk about them now. You folks who only wanted to know the general gist of the results should feel free to leave (and go rec something), but if you're curious about the Deeper Issues, stick around. There's poll analysis and thinkiness and potentially incorrect theories. Fun for the whole family except the sane members, is my point there.

Further vid meta that is so long and so boring that it is under a cut tag for your protection. Click only if you have permission from your doctor to read 20-year-old computer manuals and earnest screeds on economics from the 1920s. )
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
This is the counterpart to the poll I posted earlier. (It, uh, had to undergo some revisions after the results of that poll.) And this one is for anyone who has ever seen a vid.

Again, feel totally free to pimp. I'd love to get a range of responses on this one.

After this, there'll be a round of vid meta coming out, but then I swear we'll go back to fan fiction. I'm really starting to miss recommending the written word.

[Poll #800594]
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Recently, I have been doing some codeine-enhanced pondering of vids - specifically, linking to them or recommending them, and how we do that, and how we get permission to do that. (This was inspired by a discussion with someone, but I won't be mentioning her name unless she indicates that she wants me to.) Because in media fandom, my understanding is that fannish etiquette requires you to ask permission before you link to or recommend a vid. But I could be wrong. I have yet to get my hands on [ profile] miss_manners161's Guide to Fannish Etiquette. That thing is so damned hard to find.

So, in the absence of a definitive ruling, I thought I'd ask vidders.

There aren't, however, a lot of vidders reading this LJ, I don't think. And I'd like to get responses from as wide a cross-section of the vid-making community as possible. So, if you are a vidder (or, as AMV people put it, editor) - or if you aren't, but a lot of vidders read your LJ, or if you have the password to the Secret Clubhouse where all the cool vidkids hang out - could you please link to or pimp this? Great would be my joy and appreciation.

Obviously, only those with LJ accounts can take this poll, but anyone can comment anonymously. (Or, heck, email me if you like - thefourthvine at livejournal dot com will find me.)

And, just to repeat: this poll is for those who have vidded only. There will be a poll for non-vidders, though, coming soon.

[Poll #796561]
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
So. I have, like, three almost-finished fan fiction recs posts, and - yeah. I just am not getting there on any of them, in part because, well.

See, last night BB pointed out to me that my posting has pretty much not happened lately, and I said, woefully, "I don't have braaaaaaain." (I mean it. If I tried to commit, for example, an act of FF commentary right now, I'd probably end up with a keyboard key stuck up my nose, all, "For reasons that we won't be exploring at this - or any other - juncture, the rest of this post will have to be written without the letter that comes between C an' E. Curse you, tricksy letter!")

So BB said, "Then why not anime vids?"

Wait, wait, that sounded wrong. Lord knows I love the anime vids! I in no way meant to imply that they are suitable solely for the brain-done-gone crowd. They contain deepness! It is possible to write deep thoughts about them! It's just, they're the easiest kind of post for me to write, because, okay, I can't write deep thoughts about them. It's basically an endless repetition of, "Vid shiny. Watch now." I don’t need my brain to type that.

I sense that I'm only getting myself in deeper trouble here. Let's just drop it while I can pretend I have some dignity left, shall we?

Okay, so. Last time I gave you all some basic AMV and anime tips. Here and now I will just reiterate that you’ll need membership at to download these vids, and frankly I recommend you seize that membership. It’s free, they don’t seem to sell their members’ information to Satan’s Spam Service or whatever, and, hey, it’s got enough anime videos to choke a chibi. What more could you want?

Anime Vid Recommendations: The Main Section

Hold Me Now, by Tidirium Studio. Princess Tutu.

[ profile] laylah recommended this vid to me after the last Festival o’ AMVs, and oh my god there are not thanks enough in this world. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve watched it since then, except I’m not embarrassed, because it is just that good. And, really, you don’t need to know the plot at all to understand this vid - there are spoilers, but you’d need to have seen the anime to get them. This vid is, in addition to gorgeous and perfectly cut and almost hypnotically wonderful, notable for two main things:
  1. While watching it, and for the first time in our entire lives together, I figured out something visual before BB did. (BB has this weird vid-fu thing. Like, the first Smallville vid we ever watched, back when all either of us knew about the show was that it had something to do with Superman, had a clip of the bridge-car-smash-rescue-”Thank you, God, for sending me this gift of hotness” sequence in it, and BB said, “Oh! That’s how they met.” This was, as you all know, entirely correct, but I still maintain that it’s weird to figure that out based solely on a ten-second clip out of context.) What did I figure out? Well, okay. There’s a duck in this vid. I figured out that the duck is also the girl with the brownish hair, and I figured it out before the vid makes it obvious. You may be rolling your eyes right now, but for me this is a triumph roughly on par with learning to fly.

  2. We became so entranced by this vid that BB is now watching the anime. And I’d give you a plot summary, but it would break us both. (You need brain for this plot. It’s like the complete works of the brothers Grimm with a lot of ballet and some quacking.) Just trust me - it’s got a plot, and it’s a damn fine plot, too. With characters. And ballet. And stuff. You’d probably like it a lot.
A God-awful Small Affair, by Absolute Destiny. Metropolis x Metropolis. (Yes, really. Both Metropoli in one vid.)

The last time I recommended AMVs, I basically demanded that you all go download Urban Ragnarok and watch it a million times and acknowledge it as a true and complete work of genius. (I hope you all did that, by the way. That is so totally going to be on the test to get into heaven.) I believe I also noted that I’ve never seen the anime Metropolis. I have, however, seen the 1926 movie version of Metropolis, and it was kind of like 1930s dentistry: loud, painful, scratchy, mystifying, and with a 40% chance of killing you dead. (Okay, I made that last part up. But, seriously, I had to watch Metropolis, and it had been excessively touted as this Great Work of Genius, and all I saw was a lot of fuzz and random people doing the Funky Chicken in slow motion. Plus the clock. Oh, god, the clock. I theorized at the time that its constant presence was a reminder that you, the viewer, were losing valuable eons of your life that you would never get back watching this unending torment. I still have a deeply unfortunate association between this movie and "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman.")

I actually went and read the vid notes for this one before recommending it - Absolute Destiny has a very low likelihood of writing bad vid notes. (I define “bad vid notes” as ones that make you not want to watch the creator’s vids. Or, in extreme cases, ones that make you want to punch the creator in the mouth.) The ones for this vid were, as expected, quite good (Informative! On topic! Entirely wank-free!), but they revealed the horrifying fact that AD likes the 1926 version of Metropolis, and in fact thinks the target audience of this vid is people who haven’t seen the anime Metropolis but enjoyed what we might describe as the live-action Metropolis (for some questionable definitions of the word ‘live’). Possibly the version he saw was better than the 80th generation VHS videotape OMG that I watched. Possibly he is simply frothingly insane. Either way, though, I promise you that you don’t need to have liked, or indeed understood, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis to love this vid. And the creator himself says it’s better if you haven’t seen the anime. In short, you, media fangirl, are likely the perfect person to watch this vid. And it’s really, really good, what is more.

(The clock. It haunts me. As does the goddamned Funky Chicken.)

Sex and Caramel, by Kusoyaro Productions. Noir, Mireille/Kirika.

So. This is a gorgeously sexy femslash (known in anime circles as ‘yuri’) vid. And that alone is reason enough to watch it, and love it, and make it your best fucking friend forever. But wait! There’s more!

Like, okay. This song? In live action, I would consider it nigh unviddable. Really slow songs that are almost all vocals tend to crash and burn in live-action vids. (There are notable exceptions, of course, including a few vidders who seem to be at their best with these kinds of songs. But what you usually get is looooong clips, often way slowed down, where almost nothing happens, and eventually you feel like - look, I’m not making another Fritz Lang’s Metropolis comment here, so just know that in my opinion songs like this can lead to prepare-to-grow-old vids in live action.) And Kusoyaro does, actually, rely heavily on clips without a lot of action in them (in itself another feat, as this particular anime series could be justifiably be described as “action-packed,” and in fact has some scenes that have weird resonance with the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith). But the vid is not boring. Far from. And that’s because the movement, the action, occurs almost entirely outside the clips, if you see what I mean. (If you don’t see what I mean, you probably will after you see the vid.)

Also. See. In AMVs, you don’t get so much of the “We will now revel in glorious subtext” vids, where vidders do - okay. You know that thing where you cut pieces out of folded paper and it reveals the paper’s inner snowflake? Well, vidders in our part of fandom are remarkably adept at cutting pieces out of source to reveal the inner massive, massive gayness. (Except for those sources that are basically an embarrassment of gay riches. Yes, The Sentinel, I am looking at you.) It's fairly rare to see that in an AMV, though. But this one? Totally does that. It reveals the girl-loving core of the source so well that it completely changes how you view the actual anime. (It really isn’t the incredibly true adventures of two assassins in love. No matter how much my inner shipper wants it to be.)

Mitternacht, by Pwolf. Hellsing, Vampire Hunter D, and Blood: The Last Vampire.

Important note: the version I’ve linked above is the best one. But you will not be able to play it unless you have the latest edition of the VLC player. If you don’t, you should download this Mitternacht instead. This might also be the best course of action if your computer is old, cranky, or prone to fits. (More fits than just the usual “WHY do you make me run Windows? WHY GOD WHY? Taste the blue screen of my rage!” type tantrums, I mean.)

This one was recommended to me by [ profile] daegaer after my last bout of AMVs, and she was entirely right. Of course, when BB and I watched it, we had never even heard of Blood: The Last Vampire (and, having heard of it now, I can’t say as I have any strenuous desire to watch it). So we had to work out for ourselves that this is a multi-anime vampires-who-hunt-vampires vid. Or, okay, honesty time: BB sussed it out somewhere during the opening sequence. I played Devil’s Advocate until the situation became hopeless:

BB: They’re obviously vampires.
Me: No, wait. I think that one is crazy.
BB: I’m pretty sure you can be both.


BB: Also, all three of them just popped game face.
Me, losing with as much dignity as ever: I don’t think you’re supposed to call it game face unless it’s Jossverse.

[further pause]

Me, meditatively: You know, it’d be funny to see Angel and Spike up against these guys.
BB: And by "funny," you mean "the end of the world as we know it."
Me: Not necessarily. They could have reasoned discussions! “Guys, guys, guys. We’re all on the same side here.” “You are definitely not on my side. We would not have you.” “Oh, I’m hurt.” “You will be.” “Bloody hell. Can we just skip the oh-so-witty banter and go straight to the fighting?”

(You get eight points if you can identify who said what in that reasoned discussion, by the way.)

Through Time, Through Space, by Koopiskeva/Random Variable Productions. Voices of a Distant Star.

Last time, my brain entered a mode that might best be described as “terminal Koopiskeva vacillation”; I couldn’t choose between Euphoria (Everyone recommends it! With very good reason! It is extremely shiny!) and Waking Hour, which I happen to like better than Euphoria. Euphoria shows off anime vidding better than Waking Hour; Waking Hour is, in my opinion, far more appealing to and accessible to media fans.

Eventually, I used the time-tested strategy of simply not picking either, which was perhaps slightly less than optimal. This time, I’m proud to say, I managed to choose.

Yeah, okay, so technically I chose one that wasn’t on the menu last time, but I don’t care. This is a fabulous vid. It’s the first vid I watched by Koopiskeva, so I kind of imprinted on it, and it’s the one I come back to watch again and again. Also, it’s the most plot-driven of the three, always a bonus when selecting AMVs for media fans. (Okay, no, not exactly. Let’s say instead that I think the plot is the most obvious on the first pass through; plot-wise, it’s basically on par with Waking Hour.) It also draws from an absolutely lovely source - I mean, Waking Hour does, too, but - look. I made my choice, and I’m damn well staying with it. So there.

Although, for the record, you would not in any way be wasting your bandwidth if you elected to download all three.

One thing I promise you: after you’re done watching the vid, you’ll never look at cell phones the same way. I mean, this vid manages to make cell phones and text messaging deeply romantic and touching and sweet, and the way they both hold onto their phones is like, meaning of life stuff, and also the OMG dramatic! moments when the cell phones light up, and - well. This vid (and its source) has mecha and spacecraft and stuff going boom and a freaking war with aliens, but the cell phones are really the focus. And after you see this vid, you will totally understand why that is as it should be. (Hint: the cell phones are the whole relationship for the second half of the source. And “Voices” is a relationship and character driven anime.)

Anime Vid Recommendations Bonus Section: You Get Cookies!

This section is dedicated to vids that I also want you to drop everything and watch, but only for certain definitions of “you.”

The Cookie for People Who Like NC-17 Slash, Slave Stories, and/or Bondage. Intrusion, by Staces. Ai no Kusabi.

Note: this is a wee bit more explicit than your average vid, but less explicit than your average Queer as Folk vid. If you're, like, twelve or whatever, you probably shouldn't download it. (You also probably shouldn't read this LJ. Go frolic outdoors, hypothetical 12-year-old reader! You can develop RSI when you're older.)

So, first, here’s what I know about Ai no Kusabi, which should help you decide if this is the right vid for you. It is a story about this guy (who is blond, which means he’s super high caste on his planet), who rescues this other guy (who has dark hair, which means he’s basically subhuman) from being killed, even though he has no reason to. Dark-haired guy, as a thanks for the rescue type deal, offers to be blond guy’s slave (“pet,” to be precise, and if that word has no special connotations for you, you probably haven’t been in the same fandoms as I have these past few years). There is sexin’. And bondage. And also, of course, Forbidden Love That Very Well Might Change the World. That’s the canon (to the best of my knowledge - I haven’t seen it, though if anyone has time to watch it and provide a better summary, I can get it for you). The vid is - the canon, basically, except shorter and set to Alanis Morissette.

Unfortunately, the source quality is bad. Also, the source itself has an undefinable but, to me, very noticeable ‘80s look to it (and, no, it wasn’t made anywhere near the ‘80s, so I’m as mystified as you are) that makes me kind of giggle, which is why I haven’t watched it. (Plus, I have - this is so pathetic, but do not mock my shame - a hard time following visual sex scenes, especially ones as vague as a lot of these. They’re almost as confusing to me as fight scenes. Yes, this makes 95% of Hollywood’s output a giant sea of confusion for me, but I choose to view it as a bonus. I mean, it takes a lot longer for fighting and sex scenes to get old for me, given that I have to watch them several times - and, often, have a running narration - to figure out what the hell is going on. But this is why I prefer my sex and my violence, not to mention just about everything else, in written form: these scenes lose a lot of their impact when you have someone whispering in your ear, “Okay, that’s the one guy. Remember him? The star of the show? Right. And that’s - do you see the mostly naked girl? The one from earlier, with the briefcase? Okay, she’s over on the couch. Do you see her now? Good. They’re going to have sex.” “What do you mean, how do I know they’re going to have sex? Everyone knows.” “Well, when I said ‘everyone,’ I didn’t mean you.”)

The Cookie for People Who Have a Sense of Humor Like Mine. (And How I Pity You. You Totally Deserve a Cookie.) A Total Waste of 6 Minutes 35 Seconds, by Xstylus/Project Thunderstroke. Serial Experiment Lain, although you really shouldn’t expect this to have anything in common with the actual anime.

Okay. First things first, and this is very important. Do not read the video notes for this one until you’ve watched it. It’s a humor video, and I think knowing what it’s about beforehand would suck all the humor right out of it.

So how do I intend to write a vid summary for it? I totally don’t. Instead, I will tell you what happened to me when I watched it.

Basically, I spent the first minute being confused, the second minute being very doubtful, the third minute being mildly amused, and then the amusement kind of built until I collapsed laughing on my keyboard. Seriously. It played out by itself the first time, with me not even seeing the last bit; I was busy holding my stomach and facing imminent death from acute hypoxia.

But I have no idea if you, specifically, will find it funny. (Best Beloved did, for what it’s worth.) I’m just saying - this nailed me so hard in the primitive thing I use in place of a sense of humor that I almost died. I suspect that this is one of those either you get it or you hate type humor pieces, and I can’t promise you won’t hate it. If you do, you’re probably right to do so. It’s definitely not the best vid ever made. But it has a rustic native charm. And some of the funniest footage ever.

Once you’re done with the vid, go back and read the vid notes. (Not beforehand! I mean it! There’s nothing in here that could be triggering or upsetting for anyone - the worst you’ll face is boredom, but the boredom is about three thousand times more likely if you read the vid notes first - so you don’t need any warnings. Nor do you want them. Trust me on this.) Even if you hated it, still read them; you will find much in there to make you feel better. (And if you loved it, it will prove to you that the joke is exactly what you thought it was.)

The Cookie for People Who Have Watched Fullmetal Alchemist. Tsumibito no Kashou, by Tyler/Fantasy Movies. Fullmetal Alchemist.

In the main vid recs section, I continued to limit myself to vids that work just as well - perhaps better - if you have never seen the source, mostly because I suspect the readers of this LJ generally will not have seen it. (If I’m wrong about that, hey, let me know.) This one is merely shiny if you haven’t seen some of the source, but if you have - well. BB has seen FMA, I haven’t, and our reactions to it were 180 degrees off the first time through. After I realized (read: was told) what was going on, though, my reaction matched BB’s, and that reaction was: Wow. Also, ow. Also, OMG Ed NOOOOOOOO!

I guess I could try to explain what’s going on here, but - no. Just, if you’ve seen the series, you’ll get basically immediately that this is the perfect song for Ed. (The song, for the record, is not in Japanese, even though the title of the vid itself is; the song is half French, half English. And it’s by Placebo. I have no idea what the title of the vid means - anyone out there know Japanese well enough to clear that up?)

And, hey, if you haven’t seen FMA? You could download this vid anyway, for the sheer shiny of it. It’s gorgeously edited, as all of Tyler’s vids are (or all the ones I’ve seen, anyway), and well worth a watch even if you don’t get the message. But if you do - it’s a gorgeous gut-punch, basically, and it is stunningly wonderful.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I am having a total I-suck day. And apparently I'm not alone. Did anyone not have a job disaster today?


I am going to cheer myself up, or at least get past the I-want-to-die point, with totally self-indulgent recommendations. From the general look of the old friends list today, I am not the only one who needs this, so I refuse to feel guilty.

The One in Which a Bowl of Soup Changes Everything. Marry into the Family, by [ profile] julad. Smallville, Clark Kent/Lex Luthor.

This story never fails to make me smile. Possibly it's the line "Say ten 'Hail Luthors' and perform an act of Callous Economic Rationalism." Possibly it's just - come on. Maybe your day was bad, yes. Maybe mine was. But I think it's safe to say that none of us came out to both Lionel Luthor and Jonathan Kent today, and don't you feel better already?

Story summary? Well, please just imagine an announcer doing a voice-over that says, "In a world where real love is sometimes real hard, Lex Luthor is about to learn that a bowl of soup can make all the difference." But it's not the plot that gives me the hit of pure joy when I read it; the joy is in the details, people. First of all, there's the way Lex totally throws Lionel for a loop, thus proving that soup and the love of a good man really can make your strength as the strength of ten. And then there's the scene with Clark showing that he learns entirely too well from example. (Oh, Clark. You're the archetypal impressionable youth.) And then there's the way that the ending of the story is actually the beginning of it, so by the time you find out that Lex and Clark are in a certain amount of trouble, you know it ends happily. I just - is there a better definition of comfort FF than this story? I would say no. (And if you'd say yes, please please give me a link.)

The One in Which J.D. Doesn't Quite Get a Unicorn Called Sparkles and Feed Her Gum Drops and Candy Canes. My Space Adventure, by [ profile] skoosiepants. Stargate: Atlantis x Scrubs. And in my opinion, this is gen, because, well, everything that happens here could happen in Scrubs. Including the unicorn.

You know, until I read this, I had never once thought to myself, "J.D. is a perfect fit with Atlantis. I don't know why he isn't already there." But now I see clearly; only in Pegasus can J.D. achieve a true match between his life and his fantasy world. Actually, it'd be kind of a cage grudge match: J.D.'s twisted imagination v. Pegasus Galaxy. They'd go 40 rounds for sure.

This is another joy-is-in-the-details story. Like, of course Ted would have an iPod filled with motivational podcasts. (And a few prime time theme songs, I'd wager. You know, I hadn't heard of Charles in Charge prior to that particular episode of Scrubs, and - well, am I the only one who thinks that the show pretty much had to be about the wacky BDSM dungeon hijinks of a Master and his crew of misfit slaves? Oh, don't look at me like that. You're totally wondering what channel that's on.) Anyway. My point is - J.D. is a natural for Pegasus, and so is everyone else in the cast. Dr. McKay and Dr. Cox were clearly meant to have a tense, hostile, sarcasm-filled relationship until they night they get drunk together on Athosian krrrrup and spend three hours arguing about whether J.D. or John Sheppard is the greater burden on a sane man who wants to keep all his limbs attached. And Elliot would obviously be sent to Atlantis because no one could think of a place that was even further away. It's just - it's fabulous. You need to read this story.

The One in Which We Learn That There Are Two Types of Kids in This World: Those Who Take Applied Science Way Further Than It Should Ever Go, and Those Who Always Know Where a Fire Extinguisher Is. Aviation, by [ profile] penknife. X-Men movieverse, gen.

(Yes, I'm trying to figure out which kind of kid I was, too. And - wow, I can hear Best Beloved laughing from all the way across town. But! Seriously! I could very well have been a fire extinguisher kid! I was just very accident prone. And, okay, slightly too interested in things that burn, but...) This story makes me happy in that quiet, joyful way where I just want to hug my monitor. Because - Scott! Being grown-up and worried! And Hank! Being HANK! It just does not get any better than this, people.

And, on another level - the very small number of levels that aren't totally occupied saying OMG HANK I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, which is, believe me, a very few of them when I'm reading any story in which the Real Hank appears - there's also substantial Xavier love in here for me. Which is something I don't feel that often, mostly because I do not like telepathy. Or telepaths. They just - seriously, I have a major telepathy phobia. (I have actually told Best Beloved, on more than one occasion, "If you develop mind reading powers, it's over." And I meant it, too. See why Best Beloved is a three-state smiling and nodding champion?) But I love Xavier most when he's displaying the wisdom telepathy has given him, and here he so does that, and I just want to kiss his shiny, shiny head.

The One That Manages to Make MREs Romantic. I Am Totally Not Kidding. You Will Never Look at Military-Produced Eggs and Cheese the Same Way Again. (Actually, I'm Hoping You'll Never Have to Look at Them at All.) Downtime, by [ profile] merryish. Stargate: SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson.

What with [ profile] destina_fic and the Jack/Daniel ficathon, SG-1 has been my total happy place lately. And I do believe that this story made me the happiest of all the ones I've read (thus far - that's a wondrously massive backlog of brilliant FF, folks, so it'll be some time before I've managed to process it all). It's like all the things that drew me to this pairing - the crazed missions, Jack's determination and quirky sense of humor, Daniel's intelligence and astonishingly deep kindness, missions gone awry, inexplicable aliens, involuntary camping trips, convoluted excuses for Jack and Daniel to get some alone time together off-world - packed into one glorious story.

This story made me so happy that I was genuinely depressed when it was over. And then I remember that there's a surefire cure for that, and I scrolled right back to the top and started reading again. And, you know, it made me just as happy the second time. This really is almost everything I love about these guys, and if there's a sadness there - I mean, as far as I know, the canon has closed the door on this pairing - it's the kind of wonderful ache that comes from thinking, "I was really, truly happy there" about a place you know you can go back to. And, oh my god, I need to stop before Hallmark offers me a job. (Of course I'd take it. But I'd probably end up making cards with pretty pictures on the front and verses like, "You were tortured/By a cruel snob/Let me heal you/With this blowjob.")

The One That Proves That Anime Vidders Don't Always Have Their Minds Fixed on Higher Things. Unless the "Higher" Applies to the Vidder Himself, As in "He's Been Higher Than Me Ever Since He Got the Really Good Crack." Waka Laka (for Osaka), by Scintilla. Azumanga Daioh.

Okay, anime vid recommending day was - um, back whenever I did it. But. I dug out a bunch more links for [ profile] elishavah (And she's in a place of great weakness right now, people, so if you've got any shiny pretty anime or anime vids to show her, seize this moment.), and in the process I rewatched this one. And then I did it again. And I learned a great truth: this is the vid equivalent of cotton candy. Substance? Not so much. But it's sweet and wonderful and as soon as it's gone you want a lot more. Obviously, I watched it a few more times today.

And then I learned a second truth. A horrible, hideous truth, at that. Namely: this song is just - wow. It burrows into your skull and sets up home in your cochlear nuclei. And, as we all know, there are only two cures for persistent earworms. First, you can try to pass it on to someone else. I'm giving that my best shot here. (And, truly! Do not let the song dissuade you! This is all things shiny and pretty and you don't need to know a thing about the canon. It's cotton candy crack, basically.) Second, you can listen to the song a whole bunch of times and pray that you'll build immunity through repeated exposure. So, um...does anyone have this song? It's Waka Laka (E=MC2 Remix) by Jenny Rom vs. Zippers, apparently.

Bonus: Speaking of songs - the title of this post comes from Code Monkey, by Jonathan Coulton. (As far as I know, this is a totally legal download - he encourages people to share his music. I, in turn, encourage you to visit his website and maybe buy stuff from him.) If you haven't heard this, you so need this song. Especially all of you who have been having work problems lately. It's just - well, it's yet another thing that's making me happy today.

Courage in adversity, people.

Also, if tomorrow isn't better, I'm going to bite someone.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
(Note: this was going to be a contribution to an UnCon vidshow, but it got out of hand. Badly out of hand. So I figured I'd post it here and spare all the virtual con-goers a lot of scrolling.)

Anime vids are wonderful. And they are totally worth watching even if you don't watch anime.

For one thing, they're very, very pretty. I tend to think of them as the way live-action vids will look in a few years. (Anime is easier to work with, and especially to do effects on, than live-action source. I think. I mean, Jesus, don't take my word for it, since all forms of vidding look equally - i.e., infinitely - difficult to me. If you want actual facts, though, I'm guessing you'll be reading another LJ, or at any rate another post. This post will not be fact-intensive.)

For another, they are surprisingly accessible to the non-anime watcher. When we started watching anime vids, Best Beloved (my unindicted co-conspirator in all vid watching; I need a co-conspirator because I am, basically, very very slow on the uptake) and I had not seen any anime at all. And, sure, we had some conversations like:

Me: Um. How many characters are there in this vid?

BB: Four? There's, let's see. Purple hair guy, blue hair guy, green hair guy, and blond hair guy. Four.

Me: Those are guys?

BB: Only their doctors know for sure.

[There is a pause.]

BB: Well, and the character that's feeling the other character up right now probably knows, too. Or maybe he just isn't very picky.

[There is another pause as we watch two people with fabulous hair make out while flying through air filled with cherry blossoms.]

Me: My god, this is like watching a documentary about salt water fish. They're very pretty and very colorful and completely mystifying.

But we also watched a lot of vids in stunned, awed silence. In many cases, we understood what was going on perfectly - making out while flying through air filled with cherry blossoms is pretty much a universal experience, after all. Sometimes, we were just hypnotized by the pretty. And eventually we acquired a basic understand of anime themes and tropes:

[We watch Girl A shoot Girl B.]

Me: So now they're gonna kiss, right?

[We watch Girl A kiss Girl B.]

BB: I guess some things really are universal.


Me: Hey, look! It's a Gunfighter Who Walks Alone!

BB, nodding appreciatively: He walks a lonely road. It's only him and he walks alone.

Me: ...Except for that girl right there in the sailor outfit.

BB: And the three talking yellow circles with beaks and triangle feet.

In short, we began to trust anime vidders and love anime vids. (Not to mention the actual anime itself, which turns out to be a) good and b) fun. Or so Best Beloved tells me; since the last disc of Trigun, I've stuck to just the vids.)

And if I can understand anime vids, anyone can. Even the salt water fish would have decent odds. So. Give me a chance to persuade you, okay?

First - and LJ-cut for those of you who already know it - I present two guides for any beginners out there.

Things It Would've Been Really Useful to Know Before I Started Watching Anime Vids )

A Nearly Useless Guide to )

So. Great vids. Accessible to all. Do you need another reason? Then try this: anime has a huge preponderance of ninjas, pirates, cowboys, gunslingers, assassins, robots, gay boys, lesbian girls, purple hair, and floating chicken-computer librarians. It has genderfuck, pandafication, angst, hurt/comfort, and more feathers than you could find in an entire archive of wingfic. Basically, anime is like all the glorious parts of fan fiction made canon. And anime vids pack these same things into four minutes. Anime vids: the primary reason you will never be bored again.

Bachelorette, by Kusoyaro. Revolutionary Girl Utena: the Adolescence of Utena. (More information about this movie. Thanks, [ profile] strangerian!)

The source for this has canon genderfuck femslash (I told you it was like fan fiction in motion!) and, well, who doesn't love canon genderfuck femslash? Not me, people; when I'm in meetings where I have to introduce myself and list three things I love, "canon genderfuck femslash" always makes the list, generally preceded by "canon genderfuck boyslash" and "copyright infringement for fun, not profit." I am so professional it hurts.

But I want you to see this one because of the movement. It's - this is one of the first anime vids I ever watched that completely hypnotized me; I had to watch it three times just to get to the point where I start with most vids. (Which is, basically, asking who and what and where and why and also what is up with all the rose petals?) It's's really, really gorgeous, without having that kind of "I'm going to use another effect here because it's anime so I can nyah nyah nyah" feel that anime vids sometimes get. Am I allowed to say a vid is lyrical? Probably not. So, okay - this is, in effect, an instrumental type vid; yes, there are lyrics, but the vid's focus is matching music and images, not words and images or plot and images. I'm not sure exactly why the creator went that direction, but oh how it works, and it requires absolutely no background knowledge at all.

Urban Ragnarok, by jbone. Metropolis.

I'm not sure why it is, but Metropolis (the anime) has produced so many excellent vids it should have been a struggle to pick one. But it wasn't, because this vid wins at everything: effects, music, cutting, tone, beat, depth, everything. I mean, the mood switches alone are just...and also, OMG, the content, and...see? I'm incoherent. This vid will do that to you. You need to see this, and I don't care if you've never heard of either Metropolis.

(Although if you have, and it's the live-action Metropolis - okay. Everyone who has a degree in film, please move on to the next vid summary right now. The rest of you - if you stared in total bewilderment at Fritz Lang's Metropolis and finally agreed that it was a brilliant classic just to get the person who showed it to you to shut up before your brains ran out your nose, this vid will hold a special extra pleasure for you. There are no very fuzzy scenes of random jerky people doing something that, yes, might be an allegory for the human condition in a technological society, but also might very well be an early version of the Frug. And the amazing visuals? Are actually there. If you watched Metropolis like I watched Metropolis - at the behest of a person with an unexpected sadistic streak, basically - then this vid will heal your soul.)

Here Comes the Sun, by Daniel Chang. Multifandom.

This is a gorgeous tribute to Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli (makers of Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, Kiki's Delivery Service, etc.). There's no special reason you need to have seen any of the sources to see this vid, although if you ever tell a real anime fan you've never seen a Ghibli movie you will bring pain into the universe. Possibly your own pain. (And also, roughly three times out of five, you'll get an extensive lecture about the evils of Disney. Sometimes with PowerPoint presentations. And it's not that the anime fan will be wrong, it's just that after the first hour you will be searching desperately for the emergency eject button. Myself, I'd just lie.)

But. My point is, if you have seen some Ghibli - and I'd recommend at least Spirited Away - you'll know that they aren't all sunshine and roses (more of a flying and fantasy kind of thing, really), but this vid is pretty much pure sunshine. (Plus a lot of flying. It is Ghibli, after all.) It's sweet, sentimental, and gentle, and I defy anyone to get all the way through it without experiencing a certain warming of the heart. (Warning: this may be an unsettling experience for my fellow I'm-not-a-cynic-I'm-a-realists.) What I find most fascinating about this vid, though, is how using the works of a single studio with a consistent style provides visual and thematic continuity that you just don't get in most multifandom vids; these sources just go together in a way that becomes very, very clear when you see them next to each other.

Right Now Someone Is Reading This Title, by Doki Doki Productions. Multifandom.

This is a perfect bridge between media fandom and anime fandom. Because, okay, it's a series of in-jokes set against clips from about 50 sources, and it should be the least accessible thing in the world. But you don't need to know the sources, because 75% of the jokes are actually about fandom and fans. I get most of them even though I know nothing about anime or the anime fan world. Plus, it's one of the talkiest vids I've ever seen - in terms of words on the screen, I mean - that worked, and it works so well. That alone is downright amazing, because generally if there's more than a few words on the screen I find myself wondering why the vidder didn't just go ahead and write fan fiction. There are some stunningly brilliant exceptions to that, though, and this is one of them.

(Side note the first: watch for the appearance of the Disney/Ghibli - and I know what you're thinking, but trust me: no one should write that pairing - thing. You will feel cool! At least, you will if you are a dork like me.) (Side note the second: Best Beloved swears this song had an actual music video very much like this one. Can anyone point me to a download of it? Or something? Because there are wistful remarks every time I play this, and, seriously, there's only so much wistfulness a girl can stand.)

Die Another Day, by VicBond007. Noir.

I wanted to be sure to include at least one special effects intensive vid, and - well, wait. All of these are special effects intensive, most of them actually much more than this one, but this one has what I believe will be the most noticeable effects to a new watcher. It's fast, it's action-packed, and it's easy to follow even if you have no idea what Noir is about. (Assassins! Amnesiacs! I'm telling you, anime fans don't have to smoke crack, because the canon creators do it for them.) And you can really appreciate the sheer shininess of the tools that anime vidders have at their disposal.

Plus, okay. See - I have a weakness for pairings in which one person tries to kill the other but they love each other anyway. I'm sorry. I have no idea what twisted part of my psyche believes that true love means having to wear Kevlar. But I do know that this vid hits that kink in spades; sure, mostly they're fighting on the same side, but that opening scene where they're pointing guns at each other? My reaction to this is: OMG SQUEEEEEEEE THEY ARE SO IN LOVE! In other words, my inner fangirl totally emerges and starts drawing little hearts on the screen. (Those of you who have seen Trigun will now understand why I liked that series so much. Up until the last disc. Damn you, last disc!)

Failed Experiments in Video Editing, by Elizabeth Kirkindall/Big Big Truck Productions. Cowboy Bebop and original drawings.

You really don't need to know the source to get this vid, since it is in fact not about Cowboy Bebop, but I am providing a link so that those of you with any soul at all can add it to your Netflix queues. This series has Ein in it. Ein, possibly my favorite character in all the world. (And, oh my god, I just realized: there totally needs to be a Cowboy Bebop x due South story in which Ein and Diefenbaker, another of my favorite characters in all the world, meet. This is Meant to Be, people.)

So. This is what meta looks like in an anime vid; it's a vid about vidding. I'm sure this is even more funny if you have ever actually made a vid of any kind, but really you only have to have seen a couple, live action or anime, to appreciate, for example, the "Down in the River to Pray" sequence. This vid makes me happy when skies are gray. Or, more specifically, when I have watched too many vids in which the works of Evanescence are used to explore the theme that John really, really loves Rodney. (Or that Buffy really loves Angel, or that Diefenbaker really loves doughnuts. Whatever. Because that's the beauty of the Classic Evanescence Rite of Passage Vid: no matter what source you choose, you get a vid consistent in quality and theme with all other CERPVs.) And I'm actually trying to avoid saying anything more about the vid, for fear of spoiling it, so I think I'll go with the time-tested method of doing that and shut up. (Yes. You are allowed one relieved sigh. But only one.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Okay, first, a public service advisory: I am having a blast bidding on the folks over at Sweet Charity (and this despite the fact that that site is responsible for the way "Sweet Caroline" keeps boinging through my head, killing brain cells and generally laying waste to my fragile neurochemical makeup as it goes). Mostly, I'm bidding on vidders, 'cause who hasn't wanted a personal vidder? I'd take that over a personal chef any day.

But here's the thing: you people don't want me to win a vidder. It's better for us all if I don't. Because every time I bid on one, I say to myself, "Yes...and if I win her, I will ask for SGA set to The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. That will be my first choice, I think. Yes." And it's a different idea every time I bid, and it's always a terrible idea, and frankly I think you all owe it to the world to go out there and overbid me.

If you don't, I don't want to hear any whining later on.

And now, on to the recommendations. (Yes, I know: actual recommendations. It's a stunning, stunning thing.)

I've been feeling kind of, well, bummed lately. Don't know why. Sometimes the squee just doesn't happen. So when I went to write up this set, I thought to myself: what brings the sunshine back to my fannish day? And the answer was, of course: crack. Crack makes everything better.

So I wandered over to the to-be-recommended crack stories and noticed that there was a set that was not marked rec'd that I really thought I'd already done. Genderswitch and genderfuck stories? Is this ringing anyone's bells? Because it's ringing mine, and yet I can't find the set where I recommended these. So I'm going to assume I'm having some weird posting version of deja vu (I guess that'd be deja...huh. What word do people use in French to describe the act of posting to one's journal or blog?), and just plunge ahead with the posting. Let me know if I'm wrong, though, huh?

The Story That Really Makes a Disturbing Amount of Sense, When You Think About It, and Wow. What Does That Say About SGA? Human Vacillation, by [ profile] trinityofone. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay. And, okay, I don't want to spoil this one too much, so can I just kind of, I don't know, talk around this story rather than about it? (Yes, fine, go right ahead and say it. "That's what you always do anyway." Thank you very much.) What I can say is that for once we have a minor character changing sexes. (I mean, relatively minor - we're not talking about that Canadian, um, you know, console guy or anything*.) Which is interesting to me because we get the reaction not from the point of view of the character (and, damn, writing this is hard because pronouns just totally suck monkeys in English) who has been genderswapped, but from the bystanders.

This story is also very, very much worth reading from a stylegeek perspective. See, when you start it - or, okay, when I started it the first time I read it - it seems kind of slow, kind of like there are parts missing. (And not just Lorne's parts. Yes, I did have to say that. I did.) And then there's this moment of epiphany, and suddenly it becomes very, very interesting. At which point you can go back and read the beginning part and it won't be dull at all. I've read this story maybe three dozen times to track the reasons why that happens and the things that change meaning, and it's fascinating. To me, anyway.

The Story Featuring Daniel Jackson Among the Women. Going Native, As It Were. This Is the Alternative, by [ profile] scrollgirl. Stargate: SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson. This is a two-for-the-price-of-one genderswitch story - Jack and Daniel both get switched (and the story doesn't really say how, but after all this time reading SGA, all I could think was, "Oh, those wacky Ancients"). Daniel, of course, views it this as the ultimate anthropological opportunity: he will live among the women and discover their arcane rituals. (And also paint his toenails.) Jack, on the other hand, pulls an Achilles and spends three days sulking in the Colorado Springs equivalent of his tent. (And, yes, then they have sex. You can trust me, people; when I rec a story that should have sex in it, by god, the sex will be there.) Classic genderswitch, my friends, classic. (And I find it interesting, too, that Jack is probably the oldest character I've seen swapped - I mean, biological age, not chronological, 'cause I've seen girl Spike and so on. Gives rise to a lot of gender and age related random geekery that I'll spare y'all.)

So I have, obviously, a whole bucket of love for this story. (I love the Daniel Goodall thing more than words can express. I once even wrote a comment on this story with extracts from his Secret Field Research Journal: "Today, the 'pod' of women has accepted me as its own. Perhaps I will at last be able to divine the mysteries behind the ritual known as the 'chick flick.'" I deleted the comment without posting it, thank god, but I will totally own my dorkishness in just writing it at all.) But I also have love for the other story I see lurking inside it. Because I totally want to see the AU version, where Sam and Teal'c got genderswapped. Because, okay - Teal'c would make a fucking fabulous woman, and Sam would get a good, solid, first-hand look at how much easier things are in her chosen fields - science, the military - when you're male. So, really, this story is not just two genderswaps but also two loves for the price of one. Economical and fun.

The Story That at Last Answers the Burning Question: What Would a Mountie Do If He Was Sent to Buy Panties for His Temporarily Girl-Parts-Enhanced Boyfriend? Girls, Girls, Girls, by [ profile] brooklinegirl. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. And this, right here, is why I will always love dS. Because BLG starts off this story with, "for reasons that didn't need exploring at this juncture, Ray had breasts." And every dS fan in the world nods and is just fine with that - thinks, like, "Okay. Probably some kind of Inuit story or magical realism thing in there, but no big deal, no need to explore it at this juncture. Ray has breasts. Fine and dandy." You have to love a fandom in which explanations are totally optional. (I suspect that you could start off a story with, "For reasons that didn't need exploring at this juncture, Ray was a zebra, and he just hoped like Christ he wasn't in the Chicago Zoo, because he was living outdoors now, and it was September, and if Fraser didn't get his ass to this zoo soon, well, Ray didn't want to have to live through a Chicago winter outdoors as a zebra. Far as he could tell, they weren't designed for the cold." And everyone would be like, "Okay, cool, zebra. I can go with that.")

You also have to love a fandom that can produce so much excellent genderfuck in the first place. Because when [ profile] ds_flashfiction started the genderfuck challenge, I said: "Not for me." But then people started writing it, so of course I had to read it, and it turned out that I can get down with the random assorted parts swappage. (Just another boundary forever destroyed by fan fiction!) And this, actually, is the story that made it happen. I read the Very Special Note about beta-reading and I had to read the story. And when I was finished with this, I had to go read everything else in this challenge, and then loads of genderfuck in other fandoms. Which led, absolutely and completely, to this post. (Yup, this does mean you should blame [ profile] brooklinegirl if you don't like the topic of this post. Not my fault! Hers!)

The Vid That Turns Grey Skies to Blue. Blue Skies Filled with Men in Drag Flying Via Parasol, to Be Precise. Holding out for a Hero, by [ profile] marycrawford. Hercules: the Legendary Journeys, and, um. Hercules/the Widow Twanky? Yeah, that's pretty much the pairing, I guess. So, okay. This is a vid, not fan fiction. And you need to download it right now. Don't even try to get out of it by saying you don't like Hercules, or you don't know from Hercules, or you get hives when you watch Holding out for a Hero vids, because, seriously. This vid is the best thing ever. Don't download it for the song, people, or for the characters: download it for the breakdancing demigod and the sequined matador outfit and the giant bitey snake head of doom. (Don't miss the flatly terrified expression on Hercules's face when he's being touched by girls, either.) Most of all, download it for its mood elevating effect, because, seriously, if you tried to score this on the Joy-Inducing Pharmaceuticals Scale, it would end up in the "strictly illegal but seriously fun" category. Get the vid now before the FDA takes it off the market!

Also, I want you to think about this: I'm recommending a vid in a genderfuck set. Which means that there has to be some kind of canonical genderfuckery, since we can't randomly swap parts in and out on the characters in the actual source. (Soon, my pets, soon; the technology just isn't there yet.) And I - I don't know, cannot even imagine what possible rational plotline could have produced the Widow Twanky (or most of the other shots in here), but I don't need to be able to. (There's also canonical speciesfuck, apparently, as Hercules is transformed into a pig in a clip in this vid. English has no words sufficient to express my glee at the pig's little Hercules costume.) I can just watch this and revel in the pure, pure cheesy goodness of it, and also apparently the series from whence it came. (Which - wow. It makes Wisconsin look totally cheeseless. It's like our nation's secret stockpile of truly excellent cheese, stored up for a time when the world is sad and lonely and bereft of dairy goods.) And you should, too. Go forth and download. You'll thank me later.

* Although that'd be hysterical: all the minor characters on Atlantis change sexes. I can picture the senior staff meeting now:

Weir, looking tense: "Maybe a counseling program? Group therapy?"

Sheppard, looking helpless: "The Marines keep coming to me because we don't have enough regulation bras. What am I supposed to do? And one of them tried to hug me yesterday. A Marine tried to hug me."

McKay, looking like someone who has just solved a challenging crossword puzzle: "You know, I thought something was different around here!"
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
First, a tiny request for help. See, I am currently typing this while seated on a chair that - okay, no one is allowed to laugh - has a tendency to collapse in a way that dumps me on my butt on a hardwood floor. Like, this has happened more than once. This week. Also, it makes these very ominous noises when you sit in it, or move it, or look at it too closely. And parts keep coming off of it, and some of them are bound to be important.

So - anyone out there have recommendations for a good computer chair? Something comfy and, you know, ergonomically correct. That wouldn't just fall over from time to time. Ideally, something with rolly feet, although I don't insist on it. And, also - is there a decent online source for these things, or am I going to have to venture into the real world to buy one? Help me, people. I am on tenterhooks, here, and not because I'm excited, but because I'm very likely to fall over backwards at any moment. Makes it hard to recommend things, although I persevere nobly. (It is so noble. The recommender's calling cannot be defeated by mere chairs!)

Okay. Now. Vids.

This is the last damn post in the giant series of vid recommendations. I have recommended at least one vid for every fandom (except books and ones I haven't seen vids for) that topped 150 votes on the poll. I feel accomplished. If you managed to wade through these posts, you should, too.

And you know, I'm really looking forward to recommending some FF, for a change. I think the vids are getting to me. I've started to have vid fantasies for every song I hear. Elvis says, "a little less conversation, a little more action, please," and I immediately think of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Mike Doughty says, "It's your misfortune that sweetens my song," and I think about Brokeback Mountain, a movie I haven't even seen. (But I've read the story! And you could so vid the story to that song! If, you know, it was possible to vid something that had no visual source.) Nick Cave talks about a man with a red right hand, and I think of Yami no Matsuei, and the thing is, I don't even think you could vid Red Right Hand. I know damn well that I can't vid anything. And yet it's become the 24-hour fandom vid show in my brain. Clearly, I need to stop thinking about this for a while. Also maybe lie in a darkened room for a bit.

Will I be recommending more vids? Probably. It gives meaning to my compulsive vid-watching habits, for one thing. Plus, I'm starting to have the same reaction to really good vids that I do to really good fan fiction: I feel this overwhelming urge to share, to get everyone on earth to enjoy this. I'm like an Amway saleswoman, here, except that I still have some part of my soul.

So. On to the vids. No obligation to download! Try before you, um, don't buy!

Previous parts of this series: one, two, and three.


I've never seen X-Files. I never will. I barely know who the main characters are (although I'm learning!), and all I knew about the show itself before this month is that it was long, complicated, and very popular. But I developed an inexplicable fascination with it while I was doing this project. I can pretty much trace it to the comments on my third post in this series, wherein [ profile] runpunkrun and a number of what I can only assume are members of her evil cohort revealed to me that Scully is really cool and even shoots Mulder once. Punk is a bad, bad woman, and never let anyone tell you otherwise. So I've pretty much gone from "X-Files? Um. It was a TV show, right?" to actually persuading Best Beloved to watch it in the space of about two weeks. (And wow has this combined badly with my current 24-hour vid show deal; I keep saying things like, "Why can't I find a Scully vid to I Am a Scientist?" In other words, I am mentally vidding for a canon I have never seen and know nothing about. Fandom is a cruel mistress, people, and you only learn this after she's driven you crazy.)

The Vid That Suggests to Me That the Smart X-Files Character's Motto Is "Fear Everyone." Harder to Breathe, by Xandra Zander, aka [ profile] xandra_ptv.

Availability: All the time, and that link will take you straight to the vid page.

So. I've seen this song used in vids in several fandoms; I almost picked one of those other ones to recommend in this Vid Recommending Extravaganza (perhaps I should call it the Rec-o-rama?). But when X-Files crossed the 150 mark (you people obviously have dark, dark things hidden in your pasts), I knew I'd have to pick this one. Now, here's the part that is either cool or pathetic (feel free to make the call). Remember, I don't know anything about this show. So I'm watching a vid about a character I'd never even heard of prior to seeing it. And Alex Krycek does not seem like my kind of character. In this vid, he seems, um, and I don't want to offend anyone who loves him, but - he seems scary as fuck. And yet - this vid made me sympathetic towards him anyway, and I don't know why. It's just, well, okay, obviously he's an evil little fucker, and he kills and betrays and, um, has really mutant eyes on occasion, but...I feel for him. I almost, um. Like him. I know this is probably very wrong, so, - am I allowed to blame the vidder? She used her talent to force me to like him! I was the innocent victim of nefarious vidding! It's not my fault! Except it probably really is - some kind of moral failing or something. But this vid definitely had something to do with it. It's well-edited and it tells a story. (And, based on that story, I have to say that Krycek's motto should probably be: "It's always darkest just before something really terrible happens. But that's fine. I like it dark.")

The One That Suggests That the Smart X-Files Character Will at All Times Keep His Eyes Peeled for an Iguana with a Fan Taped to His Back, Filmed in Extreme Close-up. Science Fiction Double Feature, by [ profile] stellar_dust.

Availability: All the time. Scroll down until you see it.

Okay. It is time to introduce a theme that will be recurring throughout this post: I am just - I am totally the bitch of anything that can make me laugh. If it's funny - to me, I mean, and I think it should be made clear up front that my sense of humor has been described as everything from "sadly warped" to "completely absent" - I will serve it faithfully and also possibly perform indecent acts at its request. And, see, this makes me laugh. And it did this in a fandom where I always go into vids braced and wary, because I never really know if it will be about a sweet, repressed romance or a vicious eyeball-sucking squid. And then it - well, it has this ending. See, normally I'm kind of opposed to including sound clips from the source in the vid, but here the vidder uses it as an end-of-vid cookie kind of thing, and so that's all right. And this cookie - okay. It made me love Scully, because what she says? I said almost precisely that, just before she did, the first time I saw this vid. (Mulder clearly has issues, people. That's all I'm saying. Also, the boy needs to get out more, although, given what I've seen in the vids, I don't blame him for staying inside.) Um. And reading this over, I realize that I have once again managed to write a summary that doesn't summarize anything - I consider it a personal specialty at this point, actually - so, just to provide some actual information: this vid is The X-Files as a '50s SF B-movie. Complete with giant, um, unpleasant creatures (look away, is my advice on that one) and assorted oozes and dubious special effects and very interesting headwear. What could be better than that?

The One That Suggests That If You Can't Believe the Impossible, You Probably Shouldn't Be a Character on the X-Files. Not Only Human, by Killa, aka [ profile] killabeez, and Laura Shapiro, aka [ profile] laurashapiro.

Availability: All the time. You will need to request a password if you download it through Laura's site; you can also find it under "Other Fandoms" at Killa's site, which doesn't require a password. (I linked to the LJ entry because it's the easiest place to leave feedback. Hint.)

You know how you can love something so intensely that you can't really explain why? Like, it's obvious to me that everyone should love lettuce and reading and my dogs, and when people don't, I don't argue. I just kind of stare at them, wondering how I can have a planet in common with this person who is so different from me, because loving those things is pretty much like breathing oxygen in my mind. It's how things are. I love this vid that way. Which means I don't have much to say about it, because it's the kind of love I can't analyze. But I do watch the vid regularly, and I think everyone else should, too. (And if you don't like it, feel free to tell me. I won't dislike you, but I will ask you for details about your homeworld and your species. Just out of curiosity, really.) Given my policy of silent adoration of this, it's kind of hard to write a summary for it. I can say (See? I can always find something to say. It's my secret power!) that this is about Scully, although when I first saw it I thought her name was Molly. (Um. The X-Files turns out to be enough a part of popular culture that even the utterly clueless will know a few syllables of it. Given that this is me, though, and I bring cluelessness to the level of an art form, it's really no surprise I got those syllables wrong.) And there are two ways I can see the vid. Either it's about being a skeptic in the world where everything is true, or it's about asking the questions that don't have answers. Either way, it's about belief and knowledge, and the places in our lives where faith and proof intersect. And I - I have a great and inarticulate love for it. And if you breathe oxygen and are carbon-based, I think you will, too.

Stargate: SG-1

The Vid That Makes Me Think the Writers of SG-1 Will Never Need a Punching Bag as Long as They Have Daniel. Another Train, by [ profile] barkley.

Availability: This will take you to the entry page, where you'll need to enter user name hiro and password protagonist in order to get to the vid listing. (I have Barkley's permission to give the password here, so please no letters informing me this is rude, wrong, or illegal. Seriously. I mean it.) Scroll down until you see it.

This vid is, okay. Sweet and sad and it makes me love Daniel a little more each time I see it. (And given how many times I have watched it in the course of picking vids and writing them up, well. Let's just say that my cup o' Daniel love o'erfloweth. Fortunately, I know the cure for this: OMG-poor-pwecious-widdle-Daniel fic should bring me back into balance.) Because Daniel's life (well, along with all the other members of SG1) is about getting up and trying one more time, about finding one more thing to try, and this vid shows that very clearly. (I've said it before and I'll say it again: he gets knocked down, but he gets up again. They're never gonna keep him down.) But I'm recommending this vid now, out of all the other SG1 vids I have and love, because it also makes my jaw drop open in astonishment each time I see it. (This is after the Daniel love increases. There's a strict order to this; it's not just some haphazard series of reactions, you know.) This is a vid to an a capella song, people. And it's slow, and percussion-less, and just generally the song that should not be vidded. But the vid works, and it's gorgeous. I don't even miss the cutting on the beat, because Barkley has found a way of making the editing and motion of this vid match the vocals. This is - this is the vid that proved to me that there's no such thing as an unviddable song in the hands of the right vidder. Just, wow.

(Side note: does anyone have a copy of this song? Does anyone even know who is singing it? Because there are several million versions of this song out there.) Got it, thanks!

The Vid That Makes Me Wonder What the Hell the Writers of SG-1 Can Possibly Do That They Haven't Already Done. Twice. Often by Giving Someone an Unfortunate Outfit or Haircut. Eight Years On, by Brihana25, aka [ profile] brihana25.

Availability: All the time. Don't try to play this one in VLC.

Part of me feels bad for recommending this, because it's a context-dependent vid. In this series, I've been trying to pick vids that anyone can get, even someone unfamiliar with the source. But to understand this vid, you need to be familiar with most or all of the references in Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire," and it would probably also help to be at least a little familiar with SG-1. (I myself am only marginally familiar with the canon; I've watched vids but I've never seen any eps of the show itself. But then, I'm probably missing a lot in this.) But I am damn well going to recommend this anyway, for two reasons. First, it makes me laugh. (Yes, there's that predominating theme again, but let's just say it's probably a good idea to have a peppy vid after "Another Train.") I mean, any vid that has a shot of angsty, he's-not-crazy-he's-just-seeing-things Daniel in the padded room matched to the lyric "Catcher in the Rye," that's a vid I'm going to keep and watch again and again. And, second, it makes me nostalgic. Which is impressive, since it's nostalgia for a place I've never been, or rather, a show I've never seen. But this is Brihana25's celebration of the first eight years of SG-1 (what you might call the "Classic Team" years), and it's just - I watch this, and I need to go read some nice solid team-centered fan fiction immediately. In short, this vid makes me love the source. And that's why I need to recommend it, and why you need to watch it. But, uh, only if you can tell Jack from Daniel and you know who Boris Pasternak was.

(I can't help you with the Jack from Daniel thing. But this site has links for all the references in the song. Warning for non-Opera users: the site is eye-breaking. Warning for Opera users: switch modes the second this loads, because otherwise ow ow ow. And if anyone has a better, less migraine-inducing site for this, let me know, okay?)

Some TV Shows Not Mentioned Above (Look, It Was a Category on the Poll, Wasn't It? And It Got More Than 150 Votes. Technically, It Counts.)

The Vid That Will Spring to Your Mind, No Matter How Much You Wish It Wouldn't, the Next Time You See a Member of the LAPD. Bawitdaba, by Melina, aka [ profile] melina123. The Shield.

Availability: All the time. Scroll on down.

I once saw this vid described - and unfortunately I don't remember where - as the ultimate action vid. And it is, no doubt; if you want to see a strong action song with an even stronger action source (apparently; I mean, I make no promises about the actual source, but the clips Melina chose are sure, um, action-packed), watch this. But I actually like it for the contrasts and the narrative progression. I have no idea who the bald guy is (We'll just call him Baldie, shall we? Although he'd probably prefer Bald Eagle), but this vid is about him, and the weird contrasts in his life: his grim, dirty working life and his normal family, and his job, where he's supposed to be one of the good guys, but frankly it's sometimes pretty hard to tell the difference between Baldie and the people he arrests. (Aside from the badge, of course; that's always a helpful clue.) It's also - I know better than to say "the song choice is so perfect," because it's not all that persuasive, but I'm going to say it anyway, because it is. I mean, it just pretty much sums up the whole vid (and says some interesting things about the source, I would think) that Bawitdaba is so perfect for a cop show. It could've been written about this show, although possibly Kid Rock had other ideas. (I wouldn't know. Even if I could read minds, Kid Rock's is not one of the ones I'd choose. I have limits.) This is one of those vids that makes me want to know much, much more about the source.

The Vid That, Because of My Tragic Past, Brings Me Right to the Brink of Writing a 12-15 Page Paper (One Inch Margins, Double Spaced) Every Time I See It. Circles, by Laura Shapiro, aka [ profile] laurashapiro. The West Wing.

Availability: All the time. You will need to email Laura for the password to her vids. (Seriously. You want the password for her vids.)

Laura's pretty much done Don Quixote one better, here; she's vidded the unviddable fandom. See, I've never seen The West Wing, but I've seen Sports Night, and I know that the strength of a Sorkin show (Or, you know, whatever. Show that was originally by Sorkin and still kind of bears his footprint even if he's moved on.) is the dialog. And you can't vid that. So any vids based on this show should pretty much look like actual footage from the White House: boring, repetitive, and slightly worrying. This vid? So very not. I don't even know these characters and I'm entranced by this. She's - see, okay. I'm struggling here, because in my dark and murky past I wrote not one but two papers about circle symbolism in Moby Dick, and that kind of thing marks a woman for life. So I'm really afraid that at any minute I'm going to stop talking about Laura's brilliant use of movement and the way the circles are literal and figurative - and, see there? I was about to do it - and start talking about how the concentric circles are metaphors for the progression of the...and of course you've already tuned me out, and you may well be having hideous flashbacks to freshman English. I'm sorry. Let me back away from my little issue here, and just say: you have to see this to understand what I mean. This vid could probably be used as a textbook on movement within clips and the matching of movement to music. You need to see this. And I need to stop talking about it, because I feel the Moby Dick madness coming on again.

The Vid That Is Just Like Billy the Singing Bass, Except That It's Actually Funny and Good to Have Around. Bright Future in Sales, by Gwyneth, aka [ profile] gwyn_r, Jo, aka [ profile] feochadn, and Christy, aka [ profile] movies_michelle (Thanks, Killa!). Wonderfalls.

Availability: All the time. You will need to email Gwyn for a password to get into the site.

This is another vid that makes me deeply curious about the source. See, I picked this one in large part because it makes me laugh. It's a very funny vid, and not in the "OMG Aragorn and Legolas are the Princes of the Universe!" way. (Not that there is anything wrong with that. Not at all. I adore joke song vids; I have many and watch them regularly.) It takes a very deft hand (or, in this case three hands, or do I mean six?) to create a vid that showcases the humor of the source. Even if the source is like nitrous oxide in TV form (and I guess Wonderfalls could be, but it seems unlikely), that generally doesn't carry over to the vid. But in this one, the humor so totally comes through. I have no idea why or how, but I'm betting song and clip choice have something to do with it. This vid is 50% the perfect (by which I mean perfectly hysterical) reactions the main character has to her weird, weird life, and 50% singing animal statues, and I just don't know of a better recipe for joy anywhere. And when you have reactions to the singing animals? In a store? While the song is talking about a bright future in sales? It goes well beyond joy, into that sublime and perfect ecstasy that fic characters mostly experience during their One True Sex Scenes. But this vid, this is better than se - okay, no. I was about to go too far, there. But it's definitely funnier than almost all the sex I've ever had. And, face it: you need to watch a vid that has animal statues singing a song by the Fountains of Wayne. Don't even try to deny it.

Some Movies Not Mentioned Above (Likewise, and You'll Never Know How Sad I Was That Anime Didn't Also Make the 150 Mark)

You Know All Those Stories in Which a Male Character Is Described as a Thirteen-Year-Old Girl? This Is the Vid That Does the Same Thing. My Happy Ending, by Katheryn, aka [ profile] tallulah71. Gladiator.

Availability: All the time. Scroll on down - it's near the bottom.

Yes, this is the Avril Lavigne song. Yes, I mean that Gladiator, the one with Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix. No, these two things should never, ever work together - but oh my god how they do. This vid pretty much had me from the second clip, because I was just - Avril says, "So much for my happy ending," and Maximus goes thonk on the ground and I laugh and laugh and laugh. It is absolutely perfect and the knowledge that it should be so very, very wrong just makes the whole thing sweeter. (I told you I had a thing for "Why Does This Work, God? Why? Why?" vids, right?) But I warn you: once you have seen Maximus as an angsty, love-sick teenaged girl, there is no going back. Oh, you can watch the movie seriously - I have, in fact - but at the back of your mind there will always be this little voice reminding you that Commodus is everything, everything that he wanted, and you will giggle just a tiny bit. Or maybe a lot.

(Side note and dire warning: Shortly after I first watched this vid, I visited my dentist, who has an extremely annoying in-house video thing, where they play a handful of movies, and always in the same order, so that if you make a series of appointments at the same time of day, you will always see precisely the same thing, which sucks because whoever selects the movies must do it by throwing darts at the IMDb. Anyway, on that visit, the movie I got to see was Gladiator. Really. No, I have no idea why they showed this in every room in a dentist's office - I mean, something a little less gory (and more PG-rated) would seem, you know, a bit more apposite. So I was sitting there having my teeth cleaned and trying not to give in to the impulse to run away now now now, and over the dentist's shoulder I saw Maximus going thonk, and suddenly I was giggling. Not a good idea when someone else's hand is in your mouth, for the record. Although my dentist took it pretty well, but then I'd already bitten him a few times. So it might be better not to watch this if you go to my dentist.)

The Vid That Will Destroy Your Entire Childhood in the Course of a Single Verse. Don't Worry, You'll Be Laughing Too Hard to Care. Frigging in the Rigging, by Skud, aka [ profile] damned_colonial. Muppet Treasure Island.

Availability: All the time.

This is another recommendation that arises from my tragic love affair with highly inappropriate vid songs, except that this song is right. It's just also very, very wrong. Like, you can't really know the definition of wrong until you've seen this vid. The first time I saw this, I spent the first portion desperately trying to believe it was any other movie, and then the first shot of actual muppets showed up, and, and - okay. I can't speak of it. The trauma is still too real. But oh my god how this puts a whole different complexion on every damn shot in the vid, from Kermit looking noble and captainy at the wheel to Long John Silver chasing Jim. And I love the muppets, I really do - Beaker is one of my favorite characters anywhere, right up there on the list with Ein from Cowboy Bebop. (Um. Not that I have a preference for characters that don't speak an actual language or anything.) And I adore Kermit. And yet I love this vid, even though it strongly implies things about Kermit that I can't even bring myself to type. Oh, and this one has a cookie at the end that you absolutely must see, because it's a shot of Sam Eagle (Sam the Eagle?) doing exactly what you yourself will be doing by the time you're done watching. But don't let the wrongness dissuade you! There are muppets! Cheerfully singing about buttfucking! No, really, you have to see this. Don't let your kids anywhere near it, though, or you'll be answering hideous questions about Kermit's relationship with Fozzy forever.

The Vid That Makes Me Say, "Oh, James, You Tragic, Cracked Shell of a Crime-Fighter." (Which, of Course, Takes Me Immediately to a Very Unfortunate James Bond/Batman Place. But We'll All Pretend I'm Sane Anyway, Right?) This Is War, by [ profile] lithium_doll. GoldenEye.

Availability: All the time. The link will take you to the vid page. But you might want to hurry and download this one, because the vidder wanted to take it offline, like, a year ago, and I asked her to leave it up so I could rec it. Now that I (finally) have, she might take it down.

See? I'm not only posting comedic vids with songs that should not work, because this is not funny and the song is absolutely damn perfect for this source. I love the way this vid is cut, and I love the clear narrative here, but most of all I love the way the combination of song and source juxtaposes (oh my god, listen to me, I sound like I think I know what I'm talking about) the personal and the - hmm. Professional? Which is something that this movie did better than any other Bond movie I've seen. And it's weird, because somehow giving Bond something to be genuinely conflicted and angsty about makes him look cold and dead and vaguely creepy. (And also kind of gay, but we aren't talking about that.) Or maybe it's just that when you subtract the shiny and put Bond up against some more realistic music, you get to see what he really is. Which is, um. Well, let's just say I finished this vid with a much greater understanding of why I found Alec Trevelyan more compelling and sympathetic than Bond himself. (And, no, it was not because Trevelyan was played by Sean Bean. Shut your mouth.) This was one of the vids I watched in the first month or so of compulsive downloading (TFV: fucking her bandwidth through the floor since April 2004), and I'm astonished at how much more I get out of it now; I still adore it, but I can see a lot more of why I love it. I can be taught! This is very exciting. In another four years or so, I might also understand cutting on the beat, and then there will be no stopping me.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The sad part is, I'm still not done. But this is part three of the Insane Vid Recs Project (no, I did not pick January for this just because of all the Insane January Vidding Projects going around; it's just a happy, crazy coincidence). Feel free to truck on back to parts two and one. You will particularly want to read the explanation of why you should not be taking my vid advice, which is back in the first one. (Short answer: I have no idea what I'm talking about. But I'm enthusiastic. Which unfortunately doesn't really make up for my total lack of any kind of, you know, actual vidding knowledge.)

Before we begin, though, another community rec. You (and, yes, I do mean you specifically) should check out [ profile] vidder_weekly, a new all-fandoms vidding newsletter that seems to be working like a combination of the standard fandom newsletter - all the vids your bandwidth can handle! - and [ profile] metafandom, but with just vidding meta. (Yes, there is vidding meta, and the skilled LJer with pretty much infinite time and a mouse finger made of steel and coiled springs can find it on her own. For the rest of us, though, it's nice to have the summary.)

Lord of the Rings

The Vid I Love Even Though the First Time I Watched It I Managed to Screw up So Badly That the Audio and Video Tracks Weren't Synched. I Could Still Tell It Was Good - Seriously, That's How Good It Is. But I Really Loved It After I Fixed My Little Configuration Issue, Let Me Tell You. Desperation Song, by Wolfling, aka [ profile] wolfling, and Magpie, aka [ profile] mogigraphia.

Availability: All the time; scroll down until you see it. Also, that thing about emailing Wolfling for the better-quality version of the vid? Do that. The bigger one is gorgeous and wonderful and just so, so much better. Definitely worth the time to drop Wolfling a line. (There's no qualifying test or anything, either; she just emails you the link. I feared some kind of, I don't know, trivia question, or maybe a close examination on the condition of my soul. But, no, turns out not. Which, given my soul, is just as well.)

Sometimes I watch vids and think, "Oh, that song would work in any fandom." Sometimes I think, "Um, vidder? Why did you pick this song for this fandom?" (This is actually a fairly frequent occurrence in LotR vids; I tend to think of this as the Fandom of Inappropriate Song Choices.) But sometimes my thoughts are more along the lines of, "Oh my god so perfect." This is one of those cases; this vid inextricably welded Desperation Song to Lord of the Rings in my mind. (To the point where I have to make a serious mental adjustment when someone uses it in another fandom. I always spend the first thirty seconds going, "But, but, but! Where's Gandalf?") It's just - well, not to belabor a word or anything, but - perfect. If you're not familiar with the song, just consider the title alone. Desperation is pretty much the key note of the entire trilogy - well, that and friendship. (I know. I know. But we're just ignoring the slash for the moment. I realize this is a revolutionary concept coming from me, so feel free to take a moment to wrap your mind around it.) The strength of the trilogy really is the relationships between the characters, and that's what this is about. Plus, you know, havoc, destruction, swords, and rings. Which is also a big part of the trilogy. Look, this is pathetic; I'm on the verge of saying "general-interest vid," which is the lamest term ever, because I can't think of another way to say "like the movies, only shorter." Just - go. Watch. And I'll stay here and contemplate my inadequate vocabulary.

The Vid That Gives Me Extremely Unfortunate AU Ideas. I Mean, Ideas Even Worse Than the One Where Sheppard Is Aragorn and McKay Is Gandalf and Ford Is Frodo and There Is No Sex of Any Kind. I Alone, by Jenn Miller, aka [ profile] zeromuchjenn.

Availability: All the time.

I have a confession. I love the One Ring. I mean, yes, I know it has, like, a seriously evil, soul-sucking, menacing menace of Menaceville thing going on, but that is why I love it. So small! So pretty! So round and helpless! Except for the way it is totally, totally not. It rises above its handicaps to achieve serious fucking scariness. You have to admire that. Or I do. (My unfortunate AU idea involves re-writing LotR as a tragedy: the plucky little ring overcoming long odds as it desperately works its way back to its one true love, only to have defeat snatched from the jaws of victory by various people who are either much too dirty or much too pretty to be at all trustworthy.) So I have a special folder of vids that pay tribute to the almighty One Ring (we will not at this time discuss the other folder, the one with Ring pairing vids, because really my Ring fixation is already shameful enough), and this is, I think, my favorite. I mean, seriously: who could hear the words "I alone love you, I alone tempt you, fear is not the end of this" and not think One Ring? Okay, possibly the songwriter had something else in mind. But I can't see what. It is the Ring! To the life! And its unhealthy relationships with a wide variety of people! Go watch. And admire the One Ring That Could.

The Vid That Starts with Elvish Titles. It Is the Coolest Thing Ever, and, Um. Did I Just Make My Total Pathetic Geekhood Irrevocably Obvious There? Disappearing Man, by Melina, aka [ profile] melina123, and Jo, aka [ profile] feochadn. (Sorry, Jo!)

Availability: All the time - scroll down to the LotR section. And if you're going to download all the vids in this post, which I obviously recommend, then keep this page open.

Melina makes gorgeous Lord of the Rings vids. I don't want to devolve into third-rate movie reviewer language here, but, seriously, lyrical is one of the few words I can think of that really describes them. She has a wonderful way of matching movement to music, and of making seamless clips and edits - I can't describe it (well, obviously), and I sure don't know what she's doing, but her vids give me a palpable sensation of being moved through a story the same way I am when read: I don't notice my eyes moving, I don't notice the physical progression, but the movement is there, and the story just flows along with it. For someone as non-visual as I am, that is a rare and wonderful thing. And although I adore every one of her vids and fully intend to rec them all (if you're going to be downloading them now, let me warn you that I cannot even stand to watch "When I Go" right now, because it is somehow even sadder than the Boromir portions of the actual movies), I think this one may be my favorite of hers. I love the way it focuses on just one piece of the trilogy; it's the story of Aragorn, Arwen, Eowyn, and Faramir, and somehow it's a much more moving, coherent tale when it's presented on its own like this. The vid acts as, like, a magnifying glass, turning these three romance arcs into one complete, full story. And in that, Melina does one better than either Tolkien or Peter Jackson, and I love her for it.

(Side note: does anyone have a copy of this song? It's Disappearing Man, by Dave Carter and Tracey Grammer. Please?) Got it, thanks!


The Vid That Probably Makes Best Beloved Somewhat Nervous These Days. Don't Mind Me, by Killa, aka [ profile] killabeez.

Availability: All the time. Scroll down to the Highlander section. And don't close the page yet. We're not finished.

Killa has a gift, and she uses it for evil. Specifically, she uses it for bending people to her every whim. I just - seriously. Watch her vids and you will develop an interest in her fandoms totally against your will. All her Highlander vids are excellent, but this one is a special favorite of mine, because it is the archetypal slash vid. This - this is how vidders force us to switch our stance on a given pairing from "really, really not interested" to "OTP of great and lasting permanentness, and death to she who violates it in any way." Although, in all honesty, I should warn you that I am perhaps not 100% normal on these things, because, okay, see. I was discussing with Best Beloved which HL vid I'd be recommending, and we had the following conversation:

Me: Oh, Don't Mind Me! That's such a fabulous vid! And it has the best clipping and song lyric choice ever for my favorite Methos/Duncan slashy moment. [Note: Going, um. Solely on vids, of course. There may be better slash moments in the actual canon.]
BB: Oh, the thing where Methos looks like he's going to come from having Duncan's [hee!] sword at his throat?
Me: That's a great moment, but no.
BB: The nose-painting thing? Is that in there?
Me: Partly, and no. Although, again, fine and excellent bit.
BB, making a face of thoughtfulness: One of the [nine million] times Methos obviously checks Duncan out? [Best Beloved is not kidding, here. There are many, many shots in which Methos might just as well be saying, "Oh, to hell with this whole swordfighting thing. Let's spend the rest of eternity fucking. Starting right now, you big lug, you." Often there is a pause in the middle while he inspects something roughly at the level of Duncan's waist. His sword, probably.]
Me, in a tone of voice that may have been, in retrospect, perhaps just the teeniest bit too sincere: No! It's the scene where Methos shoots Duncan.
BB: *surprised face*
Me: It's just very...see, and then he shoots him, and it's just...okay. I think it's a sign of true love.
BB: *look of transfixed horror combined with a kind of "How did I get myself hooked up with this person?" expression*
Me, muttering defiantly: I don't care. It is a wonderful and slashy scene. It is.
BB: *departs, presumably to search the house for guns*

So, you know, obviously I'm not right in the head. But I love the way Killa uses that bit in this one. I also love her other editorial choices, here. Truly, this should be required viewing for all aspiring slash vidders. And Highlander deniers. And also everyone else. (And don't miss the shooting scene, people! It's very romantic! Really!)

(Side note: I also would be delighted if anyone had a copy of this one. Don't Mind Me, by Lucy Kaplansky.) Thanks!

Star Trek

The Vid That Is So Wrong It's Right. Seriously. If You Came up with This Vid, You'd Sedate Yourself, and You Would Be Right to Do So. But Somehow It Works As Few Things Have Ever Worked. It Is One of the Great Mysteries of Vidkind. Closer, by Killa, aka [ profile] killabeez, and T. Jonesy. Does anyone know if she has a LiveJournal or something?

Availability: All the time. As you might expect, you can find this one in the Star Trek section. And that's it for that page, so you can close it now. Although there are many other excellent vids there. For the record.

I'm hoping every single person out there has already seen this. If you have not, do not read further. Go download and watch this right now. Go. The link is up there, and you will not regret it, and do not give me any crap about how you don't like Star Trek, or you don't know Star Trek, or you can't tell a Klingon from a...whatever the other thing is. (No, really. Don't even try. I had to look up how to spell Klingon and I love this vid.) Spock's the taller, slightly slumpy one who wears too much eyeshadow, and Kirk is the shorter, yellower one, and that's all you need to know. Go on. You will enjoy this even more if you are unspoiled; I was, and I can still taste the shock and joy.

Okay. So now everyone has seen this, yes? So I am spoiling nothing when I say that this is an example of two of my favorite vid genres. First, we have the "There's no rational way that could work in this fandom, and yet somehow..." genre, which applies to everything in this vid, from song choice to concept to the sepia tone. Sepia! In science fiction! No. Except, oh my god yes. And then we have the "changing the meaning and tone of the canon completely" thing, which, again, yes. I just - I really like that, okay? I love that someone can take source that is (Am I allowed to say this? Will it instigate a riot?) a wee bit cheesy (And, look. If you are going for the pitchforks and torches right now, keep in mind that I've just seen the one episode, and it was from early in the first season, so maybe later on they got a production budget. Also, I'm entirely willing to grant that that woman's hair probably looked cooler in the 1960s. And, you know, the writing - which was basically fan fiction, minus the actual sex-orgy-angst - made it well worth the overexposure to aluminum foil.) and turn it into - well, this. I mean, Jesus Christ. Spock does things to Kirk that I am quite certain he never did in the canon, and yet I could almost swear they show it in the vid. (I know they didn't. But I still think of this vid as the one with the non-con buttsex, which shows how suggestive really effective cutting and song choice can be.)

Ocean's 11

The Vid That Makes It Very Clear That Rusty Needs Only One Thing, by Which I Mean Only One Person, and No, That Is Not Just My Personal Bias Speaking. Or It Might Be, but If It Is, Don't Tell Me. Let Me Stay in My Happy Place, Okay? Tumbling Dice, by Gwyneth, aka [ profile] gwyn_r.

Availability: All the time. You will need to email Gwyn for a password. It's worth it, I promise. And she has many excellent vids, including one I hope to be recommending very soon, so, really, you might as well get the password now.

The thing about Ocean's 11 that is very hard to address in fan fiction is the, um, feel of the movie. I don't really know how else to describe it. (Actually, this is something that's true in lots of fandoms; the vids convey the feel of the canon better than the FF can. It's one of the many reasons why I strongly advocate vid watching for those of us who may never see the canon even though we read a lot of the FF.) And for me, Ocean's 11 feels - retro. Not, like, old-fashioned, but deliberately, intensely retro. (It could just be Rusty's shirts, which are an education in the shinier periods in the history of men's fashion, but I don't think so. It's the lighting. And, um, stuff.) And I really like it when vids acknowledge that or play with it, which is exactly what this one does, from the font of the credits through the nifty sliding-screen thingy (um, I don't know the term for it, but when the screen slides to change clips, that's what I'm talking about) to the music. (And oh my god. I just watched this vid for the nth time to find out what the music was, and it's the Rolling Stones. Thank god I checked that before I used the phrase "vaguely country, vaguely funky music," as I am pretty sure that's not an appropriate way to describe, you know, these guys. Who I have nearly forgiven for being my mother's favorite band. I'm working on it, anyway.) And this vid focuses on my own personal favorite aspect of Ocean's 11, which, um - did I need to tell anyone that that was the pairing? No. Okay. I love the way Gwyn captures just about every eyefuck and do-me-do-me-now look between Danny and Rusty and then backs them up with the music in such a way that, to me, Rusty seems to be asking Danny to roll him. And I could give you other reasons for watching this vid, but after that, do you need them? I mean, loads of retro + scads of sexual tension = Ocean's 11 to the life + very compelling reason to watch this vid. An equation of sheer sexy joy!

The Vid That Will Remind You of That One Time (Surely It Was Just the One Time, Right?) When You Took Some Moderately Illicit Chemicals. Do Not Adjust Your Monitor. It's the Vidder Who Is on Speed, Not You. Would You?, by Shalott, aka [ profile] astolat.

Availability: All the time. Scroll on down.

Okay, let's get the disclaimer portion of this out of the first, shall we? See, I have, um, beliefs about Ocean's 11. The movie, I mean. Like, to me the whole caper seems basically like Danny's sorry-gift to Rusty. Sort of like flowers, except instead it's the vault of three casinos. And because of the way this vid starts out and the song it uses, I tend to see it as supporting my point of view. Extensively. But I am not, you know, totally biased; I can also see the vid Shalott actually did make in here. It's a general interest vid! (Yes, my vocabulary is still inadequate. Someone want to give me a Vidding Word a Day desk calendar?) And shiny! And it uses a song that is just perfectly suited to the source, what with the retro and sort of, um, brassy sound. (Seriously. I need that calendar.) And also there's the whacked-out thing with speed (not the drug, the, um, passage of time thing) that Shalott did. I mean, who makes a vid where most of the shots are speeded way, way up? Well, Shalott, apparently. And it works; this is another one that feels just like the movie. The pacing matches, somehow. That's pretty much what Ocean's 11 was - a lot of shiny stuff going by really really fast so that no one would, um, think about it too closely, and then everything slowing way, way down when two people looked at each other. (Like, for example, Danny and Rusty. Not that it was only them! No! I understand that it was everyone, that the glory of a movie like this isn't the plot but the people and how they work and play together. All the people. Not just, you know, two guys who happened to have enough sexual chemistry that they required their own OSHA regulations.) So this is one of those vidding concepts that would never work on paper but that works wonderfully in practice. You want this vid. Almost as much as Danny and Rusty want each other.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Yes, welcome back to Vids You Really Should Watch (In the Opinion of One Who Probably Doesn't Know). But, hey, before we get to the downloading portion of the post, let me rec a community to you: [ profile] the_reel, which is kind of like [ profile] crack_van, except it's for vids, and also there's con-crit on vids upon request. Go sign up to rec something, people. Or just watch the community, because this is a very cool idea. I'm not saying it will save me from this totally out of control vid-reccage spree, because it won't (oh my god Ocean's 11 and X-Files tipped the 150 mark since the last post and I will never ever be done with this), but it will make me a happier human.

And. On to the vids. If you haven't read the disclaimer that explains why I don't know anything about vids, you should head back a post. Short version, though: if I was stuck in an SGA-style exceedingly improbable life-or-death situation, where my knowledge of visual media was all that stood between John and Rodney and a very shiny death in each other's arms, they would be fucked.

Harry Potter

The Vid That Always Makes Me Want Some Chocolate. I Can't Say Why, Exactly. It's Just This Thing. Remus? A Little Help Here? Year Three: Under Ice, by [ profile] ashinae.

Availability: That link will take you to Ashinae's main vids page; this one can be found in the Harry Potter category. (Hands up everyone who is surprised by that. And, if you have your hand up right now? Um. You need a nap.) Ashinae has been having some server problems, but everything should be dandy and sleek and trouble-free by now. If it isn't, please let me - or her - know.

Okay, see, Harry Potter is one of those fandoms where the vids just really don't work for me. In this case, it's not because I don't know the canon - it's because I do. It's that I consider the books the canon. The movies are pretty and kind of fun, but the characters just aren't the ones I hold in my head, and the character interactions never feel exactly right, and, well. The movies are not my canon, okay? Mock me if you must. So I'm already starting from a huge handicap when I look at HP vids. (And, side note - this is exponentially true when I'm watching HP shipper vids. My brain seizes up in this whole fit of, "OMG NOOOO! He's, like, twelve! And disturbingly wee!" I tell you, I do my best to revel in perversion, but sometimes I run into these weird...ethics-things. It's sad.) Ashinae totally conquered my little HP-movie-canon problem in this vid. I like all her "Year" series vids (hint: the other two are "Year One" and "Year Two"), but this is definitely my favorite. I love the way she uses visual metaphor in this, with the dementors as the water and their effects as ice and snow; it's easier to feel the grim, soul-leeching chill of the dementors while watching this vid than it is when you're watching the whole movie - or reading the book, for that matter. I love the focus and cut of this movie, too; I'm not sure precisely what Ashinae did - and anyone who can tell me will be adored, and I mean that - but this song should be very hard to vid compellingly. Part of that is obviously that she's taking her musical punctuation from instruments other than just drums, but there's something else going on here, too. I don't know what. It is exceedingly nifty all the same.

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Vid That's All About Making a Pairing out of Nothing at All. Well, No Shared Screen Time, Anyway. Tango, by [ profile] mimesere.

Availability: pretty much all the time. Link newly updated! All should be working!

Norrington and Sparrow shared maybe, um, two minutes of screen time? I forget how much, exactly. Plus, Norrington was only in this movie for like twenty-five minutes total. (And, really, he deserved at least twice that. More, even.) And yet the tension between them is, for me, one of the most interesting aspects of the whole movie. (Sorry, Will. It's not that I don't love you and your adorable little dorky quest. It's just...okay. I tend to forget you when you're not on the screen. And also sometimes when you are. Also, you may think it's clever to hide your little alien mossy friend in plain sight on your upper lip, but trust me: we've all noticed that that isn't a mustache.) But, hey - we're slashers. We don't need a lot of canon declarations of loviness. We thrive in the absence of them, in fact. But it's a bit more difficult to thrive in the near total absence of on-screen interaction when you're dealing with slash vids. Which is why this vid amazes me, because it totally sells the pairing. Well, that and the fact that it is very suggestive. Because, okay, when I remember this? I remember it featuring Norrington and Sparrow doing the Dance of Extremely Sexy Mutual Loathing, also known as "I hate you! Now fuck me!" (A very popular number in any fandom, let me say.) I remember it (the vid, people) featuring the two of them swordfighting, in fact. But it doesn't, for a very good reason: as far as I know, they never actually did that in the movie. Mimesere somehow uses the music (Is there anything sexier than the tango? No. I thought not.) and the fast-paced, lovely editing to suggest the sexy hating and fighting in this vid. The result is, um. Surprisingly compelling.

The Vid That Reminds Me, Yet Again, That Disney Is at Right Angles to Real Life. Maid on the Shore, by Marna, aka [ profile] commodorified.

Availability: pretty much all the time. Scroll down a bit to find the right vid.

Okay. You know, I am not a critical consumer of popular culture. (I'm hardly a sentient consumer of popular culture, actually, but that's this whole other story.) So I watched Pirates, and I enjoyed it very much (I am never happier than when cuddled up with some major anachronisms and really good special effects), and I thought about it very little, beyond a few yearning wishes that Sparrow and Norrington had way more screen time, and that someone had thought to confiscate Will's not-mustache. I was, yes, a little skeeved out by the whole gorgeous-young-maiden-abducted-by-bloodthirsty-pirates thing, but I was willing to suspend my disbelief. And then I saw this vid, and my disbelief came crashing down. (Which isn't to say that I don't still enjoy the movie just as much. See "popular culture, non-sentient consumer of," above.) In this vid, Marna recuts Elizabeth on the Black Pearl to reveal the fact that, well. That sequence? Is fucking creepy, and also not funny, and also did I mention the creepy? So if you're looking for the happy little pirate movie we saw in the theaters, this isn't the vid for you. But if you're interested in maybe the ultimate example of how a vid can, by changing context and tone, completely change the meaning of the canon, this is definitely a vid for you. (Actually, it isn't optional: this is a vid for you no matter what. Go! Download!) And, see, here's what's amazing about this one. You won't see anything in this vid that you didn't see in the theater. And yet you'll come away from it feeling like you did. (You may also come away wondering precisely what universe Disney films. A very alternate one, is my feeling on the matter.) Do not miss this one.

The Sentinel

The Vid That Celebrates the Pure, Pure Cheese of the Source. Black Cat, by Seah and Margie, aka [ profile] flummery (two vidders, one LJ, double the fun - plus, without a doubt, the coolest layout ever oh my god so cool).

Availability note: pretty much all the time. Scroll on down.

In this household, we think of this as the "Gee, Jim sure is a dork" vid, but in fact you also get to see him get hit quite a bit, so it's like a wonderful double feature. I mean, it's just - could there be a better vidding concept than The Big Dork Smackdown? Especially in a canon that is, let's face it, not precisely cheese-free? I mean, we love it because it's cheese. Well, and because Jim and Blair are apparently unable to peel themselves off each other long enough to fight crime, and that's another thing you can see, in fact cannot miss, in this vid. (Actually, you can see that in almost every Sentinel vid; it's hard to watch one and not say - generally right out loud to your spouse - "They are so doing it, oh my god. Look! Right there! Doing it!" There's just one vid I can think of where that isn't true; it's Jim/Simon, and it is so incredibly carefully cut in order to keep Blair out of the Jim frames that it pretty much proves the whole "so doing it" point.) So. Cheese. Dork Smackdown. Jim and Blair fighting over who gets to be the girliest. Do I need to go into further detail about why you want to see it? (Because if I do: it will also make you look forward to the rather cheesy panther sequences. You thought that was impossible, didn't you?) And, hey. If someone out there has actually seen this canon - there's a shot in this vid of a guy in a sort of jacket-vest thing, wearing a white baseball cap and a tragic mustache. Best Beloved swears this is Jim in a cunning crime-fighting disguise, or maybe on his way to sub in for a member of the Village People. I say it isn't, mostly because there's no way Richard Burgi was getting paid enough to look like that much of a dork. Who's right?

The Vid That Makes a Very Apt Comparison Between Blair Sandburg and Liberace. I Am Quite Serious. Mr. Sandman, by Sally Seymour.

Availability note: all the time. Scroll all the way down.

Um. Apparently, I have a lingering fondness for Sentinel vids that showcase the canon's - well, I don't think I need to say the word again (cheese!). But let me say: there is a time and a place for wiggly-screen fades, and that place is so obviously The Sentinel that I would be surprised if they didn't occasionally use it in the canon. I love this vid because - okay. Normally I am not a fan of long, loving shots of just the head and shoulders of the main characters. I would rather the characters be doing something. Like falling down. Or fondling each other. (Both popular Sentinel choices; this is the only canon I know of where it's really hard to tell if you're looking at a bloopers-reel clip of Burgi and - Margaret? Moggie? Magrat? What is his last name? - being oh-so-gay, or if it's Jim and Blair being, you know. Oh-so-gay. God how I love this show.) But the "ain't he pretty" shots are so very right in this vid, so much so that I want to cry out, "Yes! They have dreams exactly like this! And they are Sentinel dreams and clearly prognosticatory, what is more!" Also, normally I am not the biggest fan of Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton, even when singing with Emmylou Harris, but - you know, I bet Jim actually has this song. It's a Jim song. Which is, yes, slightly at odds with the whole Army Ranger, Big Tough Cop shtick, but, I mean - have you seen the way he walks? And the not-entirely-manly way he jogs through the jungle like it's Venice Beach? He so sings along with Mr. Sandman in a heartfelt manner, is what I'm saying here. Plus, this vid deserves huge bonus points for using one of my least favorite shots in the entire canon (Wolf + Panther = OMGWTFBLUE?) in such a way that I cannot fail to giggle, and love it quite a lot, and then get all googly-eyed and wistful. (I'm sorry. It's just - Jim. And Blair. They earn the wistful sighs, people.) And I really wasn't kidding about the Liberace thing, either. You need to see this.


The Vid That Cannot Be Described in Your Puny Earth Language. Drop Dead Gorgeous, by Shalott, aka [ profile] astolat.

Availability: pretty much all the time. Scroll down until you see it.

The only honest rec for this vid would involve a lot of inarticulate handwaving while lying flat on the floor and laughing hard enough to cause brain damage. There's really no other way to put it. But once more into the breach, that's my motto, so I'll try. See, now, there's something about the Smallville canon that vidders seem to find very...freeing. It's like they're telling themselves, hey, the creators don't appear to be slavishly devoted to truth, justice to characters, or even sanity, so why shouldn't I make a vid implying strongly that Lex has bought Clark at auction for nefarious sexual purposes? (Answer: no reason at all. Frankly, I'm not averse to vids implying this in any canon whatsoever, but then I've always been No Morals Worth Speaking Of Girl.) Shalott has taken this particular freedom to a logical place, and when I say "logical place," I mean "a place that makes the best possible use of my 'assorted pairings' vid category." And may I just mention, in a possibly unrelated side note, that Bad Clark (aka Red Kryptonite Clark, but Bad Clark is just so much more evocative, don't you think?) is such a boon to us all - the vidders, the writers, the readers, the BDSM fanciers - that we should really send a note of thanks to the Smallville creators. We must be very very grateful for something as, um, exploitable as that plot line. And now you should go download this vid and revel in Shalott's use and abuse of Bad Clark. And other kinds of Clark. And also Chloe, Lana, and Lex. "Drop Dead Gorgeous": come for the gorgeous clipping and editing and the song choice that could not be more perfect, stay for the Naughtiest Space Alien and his random assorted cuddling.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Okay, see, here's the deal. I am the last person you should be trusting for vid recs. I deal with visual media pretty much by pretending it doesn't exist, because generally speaking it makes no sense to me. You know how most people come to fandom and fan fiction from TV shows? I came to TV shows from fan fiction, and the people who had to get me through Buffy, my first real TV watching experience (primarily Best Beloved and [ profile] fanofall, who can still show you the scars), can relate to you that TFV/TV was an unnatural pairing right up there with Dementor/Wraith/Ringwraith. (Although. Hmmm. You know, actually, that's a way more natural pairing, in at least one sense.) It took me two and a half hours to get through the Buffy pilot. I still didn't understand it, mind you - I was just so exhausted that I no longer cared.

Seriously. TFV + TV = total disaster.

And yet I watch vids. They might be hard, but on the other hand they're only three minutes long, so I can watch them a whole bunch of times without bonding permanently to my couch. And they have songs, and they have themes, and just in general they are more approachable than the shows themselves. Which doesn't mean I'm good at watching them, mind you; just that I watch a lot of them. So, really, you might not want to take my advice.

We clear on that? Okay. Moving on.

In my recent poll, I asked all y'all to tell me what you love in fandom (and in my LJ). You were very helpful. To be specific, as of this writing, 372 of you were very helpful. (Given that this poll was posted on Christmas Eve, and that 200 people had answered it before the night was out, I have to ask: is it reassuring that so many people share my relative lack of a life? Or is it more concerning? Discuss.)

I was not expecting that many people to answer the poll. So at some point early on, I said to Best Beloved, "Hmmm. People want vid recs, do they? Hey, I know! I'll rec vids for fandoms that get at least 150 votes!" At the time, only two fandoms had that many votes, so that was, you know, a nice big number. It got to look like, um, a somewhat smaller number as the poll filled up, but I stand by my word.

Or I sort of stand by it. Some of the 150+ readers fandoms are vidless for the very good reason that they are books, which are notoriously hard to vid. Others are simply vidless because I haven't seen many for them. And I'm breaking the recs up into sets; otherwise this post would be long, and when I say long, I mean "an epic film by Peter Jackson" style long. It's amazing how many fandoms you people read. Yet more proof that you are fabulous.

So. On to part one. (This is not in any specific order, by the way.)


The Great Fannish Work of Absolute Love and Total Commitment. Scooby Road, by Luminosity, aka [ profile] sockkpuppett.

Note: If that link doesn't work for you, try here. Right-click and save, please, and thanks to [ profile] z_rayne for the mirror.

Availability: this one is gigantic, and it sucks bandwidth like a Sci Fi Channel original movie sucks, so it comes and goes on Luminosity's website. She's promised that it will be available from January 1, 2006 until, you know, the bandwidth situation starts looking dodgy. Get it while the getting's good; you won't regret downloading this one, no matter how long it takes you.

And if she ever opens up the orders for DVDs again? If you plan to get even one set of vids on DVD, make it this one. I cannot tell you how neat the package is (although in that respect - vidders are visual people, and so their DVD sets are almost always shiny and cool, which would have been less of a surprise to me if I was remotely visual) and how wonderful it is to see this TV-screen-sized.

Oh my god. How do you describe a project like this? How...just...see... Okay. What Luminosity did here, she vidded Buffy to Abbey Road. All of it. I have this on DVD, because I am just that cool (and yes, by certain definitions that is extremely cool, so don't even), and I've watched it bunches, and I have no shot at describing this. I haven't even managed to process it. It's an experience, not just entertainment. And I say this as a person who has seen roughly one season's worth of episodes of Buffy, spread out over the first three seasons. I don't know the context of most of the clips in here. And even so, I get snuffly near the end, and I'm pretty much awe-struck through the whole thing. (Except for Maxwell's Silver Hammer. I love that one. It makes me chortle. I am laughing through that vid.)

Scooby Road is intended to be presented as one piece, but you can watch each individual vid by itself. One of the most impressive things about this is that it is visually and tonally consistent, if that makes sense; it all works together and looks right together. But every vid is different, and every vid can stand alone. But, really, watch it all together if you can. It's just, the sweep of the thing, the scope of it - and, Jesus, I sound like I'm writing a freshman comp paper. Okay. Back to basics. You may think that all of Abbey Road is too much Beatles. You may think that all of Abbey Road is too much Buffy. You may think that this whole concept is completely insane. You are quite, quite wrong. This vid is riveting and stunning and maybe in the wrong hands it would be a grandiose mess, but my point is that it is very much in the right hands here. And there are advantages to watching something as long as this. Like, you know how, if you see more than about four Jossverse vids, there are certain shots you get very very tired of seeing? Well, you'll see some of those shots here. But only once or twice in 45 minutes, rather than once in 3. It's amazing how that brings meaning and effect back to those shots.

Seriously. I could talk about Scooby Road all day, but the bottom line is: this is something everyone who watches vids at all should see. I mean that. Download it now and watch it when you can. This is fucking masterwork.

I plan to have my copy bronzed.

Due South

The One That Hast Slain Me, and I Mean in the Most Emo Way Possible. (I Get Emo, for the Record. The Vid Is Totally Not.) Icebound Stream, by [ profile] sisabet.

Availability: pretty much all the time.

Okay. Take a deep breath, Fraser lovers. Actually, no. Take a deep breath, everyone. Because this is Victoria and Fraser ripping each other to pieces, and I think after you see the vid you'll realize exactly how literal that is. Vidders generally don't use material from outside the source or sources in question, but, um, Sisabet does in this one, and I cannot imagine a better time, place, or application of non-canon footage.

So. Let's get the OMGWTFPOLARBEAR jokes out of the way right here, shall we? There are polar bears here. And they have never been less funny or more - you know, it's strange. I'm forbidden to watch most animal documentaries these days, but back in my high school years I watched many. (Burned out Biology teacher. Long story.) None of them ever conveyed the sheer brutality of predators the way the few polar bear clips in this vid do. And nothing has ever conveyed the sheer gorgeous cruelty of the Fraser/Victoria relationship the way this vid does. Even if you have never watched a minute of due South, even if you are one of those (really peculiar, but I love you anyway) people who said they were totally uninterested in this fandom in my poll, download this. I truly believe you can get everything you need to know about this relationship from this vid, even if you're starting from zero. And from a vid perspective, what Sisabet does here is intense and amazing and rare and just, you need to see this. There are frames I still can't see without flinching, and I mean that as a high compliment.

Of course, if you do know the fandom, you'll be bleeding a bit after you watch this. But, hey, I've got the poison and the cure, people.

The One That Takes the Naughty Emo Blues Away. Avalanche, by [ profile] tiranog.

Availability: This vidder doesn't have a website. She will, however, upload it to YSI or MegaUpload at your request if you leave a comment on that entry. It's very much worth this extra step. Plus, trust me - after Icebound Stream, you are so going to need this vid.

Sometimes a vidder picks a song that is so absolutely perfect that I'm forced to make little squeaking noises while I'm watching. This is one of those vids, and I knew it would be as soon as I heard the line "Every since I met you, we've been tumbling towards destruction," because, well - I mean, Fraser and Kowalski have. It is pretty much their whole approach to life together. (And falling? This vid has more falling shots than I had realized were available in the canon. They, um. Spend a lot of time exploring the finer points of gravity.) And just as polar bears are the perfect metaphor for Victoria and Fraser, an avalanche is just right for Fraser and Kowalski. But it's the good kind of avalanche. This vid is happy without being sappy, which is nice, although in all honesty I have to admit that I'm, well, not entirely adverse to sappy in this fandom. (Shut up. I am in my happy place.) This vid - there's so many perfect lines and clips in here, and it fills me with joy, and I just. I love it. Some vids are wonderful because of how they unite lyrical and visual content, and this is definitely one such. (And, people? This song is vaguely country, I guess. Please do not rule it out on that basis, or rule any vid out based on song genre. There are great vids set to rap. There are great vids set to '70s power ballads. There are great vids set to country, and I would submit that this is one.)


The Vid That Shows You How Much a Spaceship Really Costs. (Answer: More Than You Probably Want to Pay.) Hallelujah, by Bonibaru, aka [ profile] boniblithe.

Availability: pretty much all the time.

Firefly is an unusually impenetrable fandom for me, at least when it comes to vids. See, I download vids for fandoms I wot not of all the time. If you post a vid for an obscure movie filmed in 1968 in a language I don't speak? One that has a single, 45-minute shot as the central portion of the movie, and is apparently about cheese making? I will download that vid. I will watch that vid, and if you mention the source in the credits (and, people, please - mention the source in the credits, because you obviously know who the cheesemaker - or any other character - is, but that knowledge is not automatically beamed into your viewers' brains), I will look it up in the IMDb and think deep thoughts about your vid. (And also about the kinds of drugs filmmakers were on in the '60s.) My point, though, is that the cheesemaking vid will probably be more accessible to me than your average Firefly vid, because you just. You really need to know the source to get these vids, and I really don't.)

But there are these very rare vids that come through loud and clear, unfamiliar source or no, and this is one. Hallelujah is an over-vidded song (to say the least; it probably is the only song with the distinction of being over-vidded in four different cover versions), and usually I cringe when I see it come up. But, here's the weird thing. In Boni's hands, the Most Confusing Fandom + the Most Over-Vidded Song = Brilliance of a High Order. I mean, I love Mal when I watch this vid. (Which, given that I had to look up his name just now, is rather impressive. Usually I need some kind of identifier before the true love takes hold.) I get his relationship with Serenity. I get this universe. I even get the story behind this episode. Because, see, this is an episode-based vid. An episode vid done right, in my opinion. Which means there's narrative, and there's character, and there's a purpose to this vid beyond just saying, "Hey! This is a great episode!" A large part of this purpose seems to be making me like Mal Reynolds no matter how much I totally don't want to, but you know what? I love this vid too much to care.

Stargate: Atlantis

The Vid That Makes It Clear That John Sheppard Needs Therapy in Bucketfuls. And Also That After Atlantis, He May Need More Help Than Any Amount of Therapy Can Provide. Requiem, by [ profile] barkley.

Availability: this is a password-protected site; the username is hiro and the password is protagonist. (I have her permission to put that in here, people! I am not being rude!) The vid should be available all the time.


The Vid That Made Me Love a Character I Loathe. And That Is So Good That I Didn't Even Resent It. Welcome Home, by Kanzeyori, aka [ profile] permetaform.

Availability: pretty much all the time.

I have to rec these two vids together, because in my mind they are indelibly linked. Don't get me wrong, they stand perfectly on their own, but - well, let me put it this way. I watched all these vids a number of times while I was writing this post, and watching Requiem and Welcome Home together inspired me to write some very bad FF about how Elizabeth and John differ, and about who they are and what they bring to Atlantis. Because that's the point of these two; Requiem is John's Atlantis and Welcome Home is Elizabeth's.

From a - I don't know, can I say "from a technical perspective" when I have not the first clue about vid-making? Hmmm. I vote yes. Yes, I can. And you are all welcome to mock me for so doing. So. From a technical perspective, what I adore about Requiem is the way Barkley used movement. Describing vids in words is just about impossible (at minimum, you need wavy hand gestures), but - watch the way the movement within each clip is designed to a) match the music and b) carry you through the vid. Watch how Barkley controls what your eyes do. It's just, wow. Really amazing, people. And also very helpful for those of us who would, left to our own devices, always put our eyes in exactly the wrong place in any given frame. (Many's the vid I've spent staring at someone's nostrils or some random patch of sky directly behind the subject of the vid. Really. If the vidder doesn't make me look at the place she wants me to, I will focus on the wrong thing.) And from the perspective of simple humble watcher of vids, I adore the narrative and tone of this vid, both of which are absolutely right for John's first year in Atlantis. Also, the ending is just - wow. Really quite the killer, and I mean that entirely literally.

And, okay. I suspect that if I were a vidder, I'd be a beat whore. So my technical love with Welcome Home is how it appeals to my retarded inner beat whore. Because of the retardedness, I can't explain to you why acknowledgment of the beat is so important to me, but it is. It's something to do with the way the music is supposed to take me through the stuff I'm seeing; beats suggest Something Happening Here to my hindbrain, and I look for what is happening on the screen. If nothing is happening? Or, in the worst-case scenario, if sometimes something is happening and sometimes nothing is? I can't figure out what I'm supposed to be seeing, and it makes me cranky. So a vid like this one, where the musical punctuation matches the visual punctuation so perfectly, is not just a thing of beauty; it's an inherently more enjoyable and understandable vid. And, frankly, I need all the help I can get in the understanding department. There's a narrative in this vid, too - it tells a story about Elizabeth, about who she is in Atlantis and what she does. (I'm trying to avoid spoilers for people who haven't seen Season 1. But if you have, you'll recognize the story pretty much instantly.) For me, this vid shows the Elizabeth I always hope to see in the canon and never do; I love that Kanzeyori managed to carve the canon to expose the good Elizabeth lurking inside it. And if that sometimes makes me want to sulk and kick the SGA writers for screwing up so much, well, it's small price to pay, frankly. If you love Elizabeth, download this. And if you hate her, definitely download it.

Still to come, assuming I live so long: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, X-Men Movieverse, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Sentinel, Smallville, Star Trek, and Stargate SG-1. Plus anything else I have vids for that tips the 150 mark before I finish posting these. It's going to be a very vid-intensive time, in other words, but I promise there will also be fan fiction. I have enough obsession for two fannish pursuits! At least! And possibly also enough time! We shall see.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
(I actually wrote this about two months ago, apparently; I was searching through my flash drives for a file that just does not seem to be anywhere at all when I discovered this. I didn't even remember that I'd finished it. But I had, and it's here, and I'm posting it. Why the heck not?

And let this be a lesson to you all: index your damn drives.)

The Vid Feedback Project was triggered by a number of posts, but most directly [ profile] sdwolfpup's Vid Feedback 101. Read the essay - it's a good one - but the message I took away from it was:
  1. Vidders want feedback.

  2. They want this feedback even from non-vidding viewers.

  3. Any feedback that isn't overtly flame-filled or insane is welcome, including, "I liked this vid."

  4. Further comments, such as emotional reactions, are also welcome.
This was very interesting to me. I am a vid watcher - oh, am I ever a vid watcher - but the closest I'll ever come to vidding is coming up with a lot of terrible vid ideas. (Example: Tub-Thumping by Chumbawumba for Daniel Jackson of SG1. He gets knocked down! He gets up again! They're never gonna keep him down!) But the thing is - whether you're a FF writer or not, you probably have all the tools at hand to discuss someone else's story. Or, god, I hope you do. But we don't write visual media critiques in seventh grade, and we don't memorize the vocabulary, and we also don't have a lot of experience with group discussions about visual media, so we can't learn by seeing others do it. (Wait. Why am I speaking for everyone? That should be me and I. Sorry.)

But, you know, vidders give me a lot of pleasure. They've taught me about canons I could never imagine watching. They've hand-fed me fandoms in three-minutes pieces. They've made me laugh. They've made me get snuffly and blinky-eyed. (And, yes, they've also confused the shit out of me, on occasions too humiliatingly numerous to document here.) And I know vidding is a lot of work; all you have to do is read the LJ of someone who is currently Great with Vid, and you'll realize that. So, here are these people, doing this time-consuming, challenging, creative thing, and then sharing the results with me free of charge. Clearly, I owe something to vidders. But what? I can rec vids, and I have, but - I'm not terribly confident about my ability to judge vids objectively, so most of my recs sets are grouped around themes like "Approximately Three Thousand Vids Set to 'Holding out for a Hero'" and "Lots of Things Go Boom." And, anyway, vid recs are pretty much exclusively for the vid-watcher, as you'll know if you've ever tried to get someone's permission to rec her vid.

So, according to the posts I mentioned way, way up there, what vidders would like is feedback. My assumption prior to reading those posts was that vidders wanted intelligent feedback. (The first reaction I ever got to a vid comment contributed to that impression. The Guide to Giving Opinions at AMV, about which more later on, contributed much, much more.) But here were live action vidders claiming they'd be happy with even uninformed feedback.

The obvious question was: were they right? And I had it within my power to answer that question. I can write uninformed feedback. I so totally can. And if they truly don't care what kind of feedback they get, well, how hard is it to write "I liked it!" and click send? (As it turned out, pretty damn hard. But I anticipate.)

Excelsior! )
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The Bunny Reports are mostly for my own reference; they're simply lists of things I'd love to see (in this case in vids) but will likely never do myself. I'm going to move them to one central location (hi, LiveJournal!) because I've got all these random scraps of paper around my computer, and it isn't pretty. It looks, in fact, like I'm making a nest here, like maybe I'm expecting my monitor to mate with my CPU and produce little baby Palm Pilots or something. Which I'm not. (Although if they want to, I am all for freedom of pleasure, and I promise to help with late-night programmings or whatever.)

Anyway. Even though right now they're quick-and-dirty, the lists are bound to be better-looking. Also less of a fire hazard.

I'm expecting each Bunny Report to be just the one post, irregularly updated. I haven't done that before, but we all know how wonderful I am with the irregular updating thing - I mean, I am the queen of not being even remotely consistent with the posting - so maybe it'll work. So you don't need to worry; this is the only time the Vid Bunny Report will ever come through on your friends list, no matter how much I add to it.

I'm not backdating or filtering* this original posting, though, because I'm hoping y'all can help me. If you cast your eyes over the list of cut-tags below, you'll notice one that reads, "I know it's here somewhere." Because there are some vids that have to have been made already, and somehow I just missed them. Maybe they came out while my connection was down or while I was in my holier-than-vidding phase or I've just got highly selective amnesia. Whatever. Point is, I'm like Mulder: I know they're out there. And I'm hoping someone can tell me where. So, while I don't imagine this is anyone's idea of pleasure reading, I will love you if you read it. And I can offer eternal worship to anyone who can help me find one of those damn vids.

Boring intro, because I feel I must. My advice is to skip this. )

I know it's here somewhere. )

Humorous, at least in theory. )

Inverted cliches. )

* Note: If this whole concept insanely pisses you off, maybe 'cause you hate other people's bunny lists, maybe 'cause you come here only for recs and you surely did not sign up for some crazy lady's rabbit thing to hit your friends list, let me know. I can backdate all the other ones, or I can post them normally but filter you out. I won't be offended, truly, even if it turns out everyone wants to be filtered; as I said, these lists are for me. And also the Fire Marshal, should he ever drop by.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I'm about to ask an important question, maybe the critical question of fandom.

What is the slashiest fandom of them all?

Think you know? Tell me in the comments, and please provide examples.

Or read on, and I will tell you what provoked the question. Basically, it was the juxtaposition of two things: vids and a video game. Let's consider them in order, shall we?

See, I've been on a sort of vid-watching kick lately (in the same sense that the Trainspotting boys were on a sort of heroin kick). And one of my secret shames is an adoration of the "four minutes of the slashiest moments in this particular fandom" subgenre, aka the Slash Highlights vid; I love these, especially when I don't know the canon, which is most of the time. Jack pushes Daniel's glasses up his nose. Blair and Jim make breakfast together. Starsky and Hutch strip. Wesley feeds Angel from his arm. And my once-cold heart just melts. When I first started watching vids, these Slash Highlights ones astonished me. I kept thinking, did the creators know what they were doing? Did the actors come from some distant country that has no concept of personal space? And are those two guys just going to fuck right there on screen or what?

It was at this point that I encountered a bunch of Highlander Slash Highlights vids, and in particular this one scene where a short-haired guy (Methos?) walks into a room and sees or is introduced to a long-haired guy (Duncan?). And Methos checks him out. I mean, obviously, visibly, and with no other possible explanation for his actions, at least not that I can see. And then he smiles, and it is, in my considered opinion, an "Oh, yeah, I'm going to love fucking this guy" smile. It's the sort of scene that makes you turn to your Best Beloved, assuming your Best Beloved is watching the vid with you, and say, "Did I - did he - oh my god, did he?" To which your Best Beloved responds, through almost uncontrollable giggles, "Totally. Oh, God, totally. Gay! Gay! Gay!"

So I started wondering how many other fandoms have these moments, and which fandom has the most.

And then the Best Beloved and I got hold of Shadow Hearts: Covenant, a Playstation 2 game that easily takes the title Slashiest Video Game of All Time away from the previous title holder, which was the original Shadow Hearts game. In SH: C, you collect - seriously - gay porn to get a flaming tailor to make dresses for a doll. And you can see the gay porn, mind you, in the inventory screen. You have a party member who is a vampire professional wrestler who wears a butterfly mask and who is apparently conducting an intense UST-laden relationship with his teacher. You have character interactions that can only be described as "like the DCU, if all the writers got hit by pink kryptonite." Really, there's not a single hour of the game that isn't imbued with slashy slashiness. And that includes the slashiest cut scene I have ever beheld in all my born days, a scene so slashy that the BB and I have held on to the save right before it so we can watch it over and over, laughing like loons every time.

The cut scene partially explained, for the 2.5 people who will care about it. Minor spoiler warning, if anyone is actually planning to play this game. )

In short, Shadow Hearts: Covenant is the motherlode of slash. Surely, I thought when I first encountered it, surely there is no fandom as slashy as this game?

So I ask you: is there? If so, what is that fandom? And what makes it so insanely slashy? Tell me. Convince me. Make me clap my hands because I believe in fairies.

I'm hoping that this will help me do my 111th post. Because that post should be a celebration of this LJ's core values. (Slash. And fandom. Also, slash.)

-The Evidence: Vid Recs, Because, After All, This Is a Recs LJ-

Want to see some slashy moments in the flesh? I can't promise that these are the slashiest vids in their fandoms, but they do contain most of the scenes I mention above. And some others that are equally ohmygodtheirloveissoobvious.

Stargate, Jack/Daniel: "Let's Hear It," by Relic 1979, has Jack pushing up Daniel's glasses and a bunch more; you can download it from Relic's website.

Highlander, Methos/Duncan (I think): "Just Like You," by Luminosity, features the "I'm going to love fucking this guy" bit. You can find it at Luminosity's website.

Angel, Angel/Wes: "If It's Hurting You" contains the Wes-feeding-Angel scene, and "Completely Pleased" contains a whole bunch of other Angel/Wes-ishness. They're both by Charmax, and they can be found at Bronze Ambition.

Starsky and Hutch, Starsky/Hutch: "Mighty Fine," by Kassidy Rae, shows the guys stripping, together, happily, and at some length, for reasons best known to themselves. It can be downloaded from her website.

Multifandom: "Dirty World," by Diana Williams, has great slashy moments from a bunch of fandoms. You can download it at her website; that site only features her newest vids for downloading, though, so eventually you will have to order a hard copy to get this one.

Multifandom: "Wouldn't It Be Nice," by Laura Shapiro, features another cross-fandom parade of slash. To get the vid, you'll need to email Laura for the password to her website, so the link is for that.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I've been many things in my time: a fan fic bitch, a word bitch, an obsessive bitch. And now, having been converted to the wonderful world of fan vids, I'm preparing to be a vid bitch. (No, actually, I don't think I ever am something other than a bitch of some sort. It's a gift. Of a kind.)

Why, yes, one more fannish activity is just what I needed to make my life complete. Or, well, completely insane, at any rate. )


thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
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