One of the avenues that the video essay opens up (and that are harder to navigate in classical written formats) is the study of film sound. The audiovisual essay allows for a much more direct investigation into the role and functioning of music, dialogue and sound effects. These texts address that aspect of the video essay.


The Answer Is Blowing in the Wind (Cristina Álvarez López)

Cristina Álvarez López pricks up her ears and takes Béla Tarr to task for his repeated use of the same sound sample in The Turin Horse. In one swoop, Álvarez López also criticizes the lack of detailed attention given to sound studies in most film criticism.

Read the article online.

The Place of Voiceover in Academic Audiovisual Film and Television Criticism (Ian Garwood)

In a fine bit of metacriticism, Ian Garwood investigates various aspects of the status of the voice over in academic video essays. He raises important topics, ranging from performance to gender inequality. Best of all, Garwood also made a great video essay that elaborates on his written text and culls together various interesting facts, figures and opinions.

Read the article online or watch the video essay on Vimeo.

Turning Up the Volume? (Catherine Grant)

Catherine Grant notes how the audiovisual essay’s rising popularity has also meant a new focus on sound studies, that traditionally under-represented field. In this article from a couple of years back, Grant lists and comments on some fine examples of such video essays and their respective (analytical) strategies.

Read the article and watch the accompanying video essays online.

Let Them Speak! (Chiara Grizzaffi)

The importance (even necessity) of the voice over has been a recurring topic in discussions of the video essay as an academic means of research. In this text, illustrated with some interesting examples, Grizzaffi advocates the use of a voice over as just one valid strategy within the varied field of audiovisual scholarship.

Read the article and watch the accompanying video essays online.