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Best of the Web

Best of the Web

Best of the Web this week is about discovery and rediscovery that might inspire your own visual storytelling process.

Fourteen Actors Acting
The music is arresting. The visuals stunning and, well, the subjects, they’re cool too. No really, the subjects are cool. The presentation is quite lovely as well. They are directed and produced with an acquiescing elegance that leaves room for stirring conversation, and each piece has a nice element of surprise. I particularly like Vincent Cassel and James Franco, not only because they are hot, but the shorts also are wonderfully whimsical. And then there is Robert Duvall…  I felt as though we were staring at each other for a solid 30 seconds. Anthony Mackie, Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem totally stressed me out, and I liked it. Actually, so did Michael Douglas with his piercing gaze, and Chloe Moretz made me what to scream. All the pieces are edgy, gritty and dramatic and worth watching a couple of times through. Talk about drama.


Last Roll of Kodachrome Visits Missouri State Fair
If you’ve seen the movie “Stand by Me” or grew up watching the show “The Wonder Years,” this piece may resonate with you on some level with the way Robert Cohen’s voice takes you on an American journey, to a nostalgic place that  actually wasn’t too long ago. For anyone born after 1989, this may mean nothing to you;  for the rest of us, unfortunately, me included, this multimedia piece is a part of history narrated elegantly and photographed inspiringly by Cohen. Oddly, I kind of got a little choked up looking at the textured photographs, enormously rich in color and depth, and thinking about the non-immediacy, the anticipation and less forgiveness you got using this film. I particularly love when Cohen says, “For every picture I saw, I would only allow myself to click the shutter once.” I do love digital, but this piece is touching and a good exercise on seeing. Oh, and by chance, if you don’t have a clue what Kodachrome is, Google it. Maybe you’ll see a carton of it in a museum someday.


Close Up by Martin Schoeller
This piece has been floating around for some time now, but I thought it was apropos to take a peek at it again as Martin Schoeller made the cover photograph of Mark Zuckerberg for Time magazine’s Person of the Year 2010 that came out this week. Schoeller has a potent formula down. He makes me love staring. He had made positively hyperbolic portraits of some of the most powerful and recognizable personalities in the world. He earnestly gives you a window into the soul of his subjects. And Zuckerberg, I’ve never seen a better picture of him. Go full screen on this piece, for sure.

While you’re at MediaStorm, if you haven’t already, you must look at all the other projects in its collection. I am stressing the must. These stories it produces are glimpses of our world, neatly, effectively and powerfully told.


This is fascinating and inspiring. It’s a blend of technology and a human interest story. This video not only introduces a technology that is awesome, but it is also a story of love, friendship and art. So, it’s not the best technically produced video but it very much inspires, and I don’t imagine a longer-form documentary is too far behind. I watched this a couple of times in awe of what people are doing technologically. And then I watched it a couple of more times and was touched by the story of TemptOne through his father and friends. Yeah, a documentary has got to be in the works on this. If it’s not, well, someone, can you do one please?

Caption: Screen grabs from “Fourteen Actors Acting,” upper left; “Last Roll of Kodachrome Visits Missouri State Fair,” upper right; “Close Up by Martin Schoeller,” lower left; and “Eyewriter.”

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