00:12:39 â This guy nailed it: Nikiâs favorite video essay.
I’ll leave by quoting Scott Nye’s compelling rebuttal to this piece (I don’t agree with it entirely either), which is must-reading (as much as this video essay, indeed, is must-viewing):
Here’s what you need to know about Kellogg’s video essay:
After you submit your application to Kellogg, the video essay will become available to you in your Kellogg applicant dashboard. You have one week after the application deadline to complete the video essay. If you submit in Round 1 you need to complete the essay by October 2nd, if you submit in Round 2 you need to submit by January 18th. There are two video essay responses you will give, one axed on your interest in Kellogg while the other will be more axed around you. Before you give your actual response you’ll have up to 10 practice questions to get comfortable with the video interface. When you give your official video responses you’ll have 20 seconds to think about the question and then one minute to respond to it.
Beginning with this Spring 2010 edition, Blackbird is featuring a new form of creative nonfiction we’ve chosen to call the video essay. In its intent the video essay is no different from its print counterpart, which for thousands of years has been a means for writers to confront hard questions on the page. The essayist pushes toward some insight or some truth. That insight, that truth, tends to be hard won, if at all, for the essay tends to ask more than it answers. That asking—whether inscribed in ancient mud, printed on paper, or streamed thirty frames per second—is central to the essay, is the essay. The only literary form that can be precisely defined is a dead literary form. Still, it would be comforting to think that the video essay slotted a little more neatly into some genre. If, say, we could call these language-driven visual meditations “nonfiction with pictures” we could all log off and get on with our lives. Problem is, that slot’s already been taken—the documentary—and it’s a crowded one. I suspect the heart-quickening now of sound and image is what drew the otherwise reclusive Marker to film. And by reclusive I don’t mean he was a poet and novelist with a promising literary career ahead of him—though he was, too, that kind of recluse, a writer, before he was anything else. Today, on the eve of his 90th birthday, Marker is still making films, yet less than a dozen photographs of the man exist. He avoids media, rarely gives interviews. When Marker appears in Agnes Varda’s video essay The Beaches of Agnes (2008), he does so in the guise of a talking cat. Filmmakers who let their work speak for itself, who hold their audience in high esteem, do exist. But they’re rare. And how like an essayist to refuse to explain his work. How like a poet to grant his audience a lasting measure of imaginative space. One could argue that text, onscreen, feathered with images and sound, is becoming more like video. And video is becoming more like text. How are writers to contend with this? How does the visceral nature of digital technology—sound, image and the sometimes cruel edgelessness of the screen—alter the writer’s relationship to language? The seven video essays in this collection, curated by John Bresland and Marilyn Freeman, raise a host of thrilling questions, not least: How is writing today different than it was yesterday? What does it mean for writers to build a text with, as Virginia Woolf once cannily advised, whatever pieces come your way?In any case, the works we’re featuring here are less self-assured than docs. Video essays certainly do engage with fact, but like Chris Marker’s great film essay, Sans Soleil (1982), the clear signposts of nonfiction—facts and reflection in pursuit of some deeper truth—can be enacted within a fictional narrative. And as anybody who watches Oprah can tell you, if you mix fiction with nonfiction, then it becomes fiction—right? Except when it doesn’t. Sans Soleil is an essay, and so, to our way of thinking, is Carl Diehl’s Blobsquatch. Alongside Jean Cayrol, Marker wrote uncredited for Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog (1955), a film the Holocaust, a work that welds haunting visuals (and a color scheme Spielberg later cribbed for Schindler’s List) to a refreshingly human voiceover. In a brilliant essay he wrote for Threepenny Review, Phillip Lopate describes that voiceover as worldly, tired, weighted down with the need to make fresh those horrors that had so quickly turned stale. It was a self-interrogatory voice, like a true essayist’s, dubious, ironical, wheeling and searching for the heart of its subject matter. That voice, I suspect, is Marker’s. And it’s the lone voice, decidedly unobjective, that resides at the heart of the visual essay. Or film essay. Or video essay.