When you've had "Enough", the best of TikTok, and transcending your city in Baltimore and Chongqing: 4 video snaps of where we are
Filmed narratives are incredibly powerful tools to shape reality, and engage the emotions - and short of our own massive budget, we love to curate the videos that shake up our conventional responses, open up words beyond the consensus. If you have any suggestions for this video page, please send them on.
Above is a video from the animator Anna Mantzaris, who has worked for Greenpeace and ethical food companies commercially, but whose eye for human detail - as manifested through somewhat fluffy animated models - is spooky and acute (here’s a feature on her from Creative Review). This video, “Enough”, is a poetic exploration of our tense society, pushed to the very edge of propriety and restraint - and how we break.
We’re just discovered what TikTok is - from these articles (one and two) in the Verge. It seems to be a competitor for “time-wasting” with services like Instagram, Twitter or YouTube, aimed at teenage and young adult audiences.
But we were fascinated by this compilation of the best of May. Admittedly not much evidence of Greta or the climate youth strikes here.
But there are some positive features - a love of magic and illusionism, of making the impossible plausible; a joy in using your body to possess itself, and command a urban space; and an emotional directness which is sometimes inspiring (the young girl running round her school, recording reactions to people being told “you’re beautiful” is very affecting). Interesting to imagine what kind of social norm they’ll demand going forward.
There are so many moving tales to be told from our rapidly urbanising planet - yet the difference in mood from one hemisphere to another is worth noting. From the Guardian, above, is a documentary on how hip-hop keeps the young in the city of Chongqing sane and hopeful, under conditions of ever-tightening surveillance. The energy and optimism of the young Chongqing artists and players is tangible.
Yet below, from Vimeo’s Staff Picks, a much more varied emotional landscape from a set of Baltimore youth - resignatory, keeping themselves safe and dreaming behind their doors, fatalistic, through with a strong sense of yearning for, and being responsible for, family. In both videos, the sheer artistry of the film-making could produce an ambivalent response. Is this technique at the service of revealing a complex reality, or an exercise in poverty aesthetics? You decide.