The video essay is a many-headed monster. On this webpage we will compile texts on varying aspects of the format – texts that have slipped between the cracks that open up between the other categories.


Trespassing Hollywood (Richard Misek)

Filmmaker and lecturer Richard Misek has authored an insightful article on the artistic practice of appropriation, titled Trespassing Hollywood: Property, Space, and the “Appropriation Film”. It was published in the October magazine and can be freely accessed online.

GIFs: The Attainable Text (Michael Z. Newman)

There are other ways to engage in audiovisual criticism and research than just the video essay. This interesting text by Michael Z. Newman ponders the academic potential of the “vernacular criticism” that is the GIF.

Read the article online or download a PDF version.

The GIF as a Tool of Rereading, Resistance, and Re-narrativizing in Social Media Spaces (Jasmine Lee Ehrhardt)

The humble GIF is the star of this thought-provoking text by Jasmine Lee Ehrhardt. She sees potential in this very succinct form of online communication. As she writes, “It is my goal with these GIFs and this re-narrativization to shed light on the nuance in her performance as a worker in early Hollywood – instead of just being a pretty Asian face whose significance beyond “she was the first” is next to nothing. Instead, we can take her masterful glares, eyerolls, and seething anger and use it for our own digital lives and expressions”.

Read the complete text on the website of Blindfield Journal.

Whose Cinema: The video-essay on the big screen of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (Dana Linssen)

The Rotterdam Film Festival has long been a champion of the video essay, most notable in their commissioning of pieces of videographic criticism to introduce festival screenings. Dana Linssen has been a driving force behind this initiative, and in this text for NECSUS she reflects on the ways in which the video essay can redefine film criticism.


Corey Creekmur (Associate Professor of Cinematic Arts, English, and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa) discusses the potential of the video essay as a way of engaging with cinematic “affect theory”. He himself seems convinced: “I welcome future audiovisual essays that examine cinema’s vital role in the construction and organization of structures of feelings”.

Read the complete text on the website of the journal The Cine-Files.

Art within the machine: how machinima turns the camera on videogames (Matt Turner)

Machinima is a peculiar practice that has ties to the video essay and the arts world. In this article written for Sight & Sound it is defined as “the process of using real-time computer graphics engines to create a cinematic production”. Matt Turner gives a great introduction to the form and some of its notable practitioners.

Read the article on the website of the BFI.