No, ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ is not “too woke”

In a previous blogpost, I expressed my frustration regarding people who cannot comprehend the film’s plot line; considering the rising conflict, climax and resolution are clear-cut, there is no excuse to not understand it. While you may not be a fan, I am certain you still have a brain.

I thought that was the most frustrating “criticism” against the film. I was wrong.

I just found out some people find the film too woke. Why? Because many of the characters, especially the main ones, are Asian-Americans and two of them are queer.

That is it. Not because the film is politically brazen, but simply because it features minorities as characters.

From what I observe, such people can be divided into three groups: bigots, self-hating people and edgelords. While they have different motivations, they are all hypocritical.

They love accusing the so-called “postmodern liberal communists” of obsession with identity politics. And yet, their mouths start frothing when the media acknowledge minorities’ existence.

Let me summarise the film: it tells the story of a woman who unwillingly gets involved in an adventure that traverses parallel universes; her fight against a multiverse-destroying entity perfectly echoes her struggles running her small business, dealing with tax audit and maintaining relations with her husband, daughter and father.

While the film does have Asian-American and Queer identities as themes, they are not the only ones. It also deals with mental health, generational trauma and the philosophical meanings of existence.

The film has quite a handful of subject matters, the Asian and Queer themes are almost mere details; regardless of the characters’ identities, the story would still be thematically compelling. The film’s personality is neither Asian nor Queer.

And yet, those people act like Asianness and Queerness are the only things the film has to offer.

Every time they see non-stereotypical and mundane depictions of minorities in the media, their knee-jerk is to scream, “Forced Diversity!”. For them, this is nothing but affirmative actions.

Because they are too busy whimpering about the representations, they end up disregarding the stories in their entireties… and that’s definitely the case here as well.

If that’s not obsession with identity politics, I don’t know what that is.






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MCU films kill movie stars…. and how is that supposed to be bad?

Seriously, how?

When I was a much more unsophisticated film consumer, I watched films because of their premises, they were adaptations of certain source materials and they were sequels of films that I liked. I was not star struck by the actors.

As a teen, I started taking more heed of of my sexual attractions and I did find some actors more attractive than the others. But, I still didn’t watch films because of the actors. Still wasn’t star struck by them.

When I was around 19, I started exploring cinema beyond the mainstream Hollywood. Apart from the aforementioned ones, I also added a new reason for me to watch a film: the director. Nowadays, I already have three personal favourites.

And this was when I started to bewildered by the concept of a “movie star”.

You are watching a film and yet, instead of focusing on the story and maybe on how its execution, you choose to focus on your favourite actors, even though they are supposed to be the characters they are depicting instead of being themselves; that’s literally what actors are hired for.

Yes, I do know some actors perform better than the others; I have certainly caught myself fawning over their sublime performances. But, it still does not make me star struck for multiple reasons.

Good acting skills aren’t unique to specific actors, the most acclaimed actors don’t always give their best performances and, most importantly, the most popular actors aren’t always the best performers.

It should also be noted that some actors are famous for portraying characters with similar traits, over and over and over again.

I don’t think this is necessarily bad. If they are actors who always perform characters specifically made for them and cannot be performed by anyone else, then I can see why people watch films just for them. I am thinking of the likes of Rowan Atkinson, Jackie Chan and Charlie Chaplin, whom we never expect to have a wide acting range (even though they may have it).

But, most actors aren’t like that. We expect most of them to have an actually wide range instead of simply performing their public personas.

Okay, if you love them solely for their public personas, then why bother watching their films? I mean, you can simply tune in to any of their media appearances, including their interviews and any shows they guest star in.

Heck, we are in 2023. I am certain some of your favourite movie stars have become Youtubers as well. You can definitely watch their videos.

My point is people love to bash MCU for supposedly showcasing filmmaking at its shallowest… and yet, they often have nothing but the shallowest arguments.

First, Martin Scorcese – supposedly one of the most acclaimed directors of all time – argued MCU films are not cinema; he made his own definition of the word “cinema” and act like it is the most objective one. Basically, if I didn’t know who uttered the words, I would assume they were uttered by a snot-nosed and self-righteous teenager.

Then, we also have Quentin Tarantino – another supposedly acclaimed director – who thinks MCU films are bad because they kill the movie stars.

I mean, there are lots to criticise about MCU films. The extreme commercialisation, the lack of risk-taking and the excessive amount of jokes. But, he criticises them because they kill celebrity worship, something that actually deserves to be killed off?

He is a fucking film director. He should be focused on the stories and how they are executed. But, for some reasons, he thinks upholding celebrity worship – something of no value – is just as important. Are you fucking kidding me?

I don’t know if they are desperate with their criticisms or they genuinely believe they are onto something.

But, one thing is certain: their simps will take their words like the gospel, regardless of the profundity or lack thereof. Because status trumps everything.



Oh, and there are times when I actually watch films solely for their actors.

Those films are called porn.






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‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ isn’t that confusing

*spoiler alert*

I admit it is far from the most escapist film ever.

It is a comedic, psychological, absurdist, action-packed sci-fi film. Its story starts as one before splitting into two main branches that symbolically paralleling each other. It depicts existentialism, nihilism, generational gaps and identity crisis of children with foreign-born parents.

It is an undoubtedly highly-thematic, idiosyncratic and cerebral film that cannot put into any boxes. It is definitely not for everyone. In fact, I am surprised by its box office success.

But, is it really hard to follow?

In the beginning, we see our main protagonist Evelyn Wang struggling not only with the IRS’s audit of her laundromat business, but also with her strained relationships with her (supposedly) meek and naive husband, demanding father and queer daughter who seems detached from her ancestral heritage. The story starts branching out when someone from a parallel universe approaches her.

The film mainly focuses on two branches. One is a continuation of her earthly struggles story. The other one is about her fight against a powerful being – a parallel universe version of her daughter – who wants to destroy the multiverse, with the help of her husband’s parallel universe version.

There are lots to take in and I have barely scratched the surface by not detailing the minor but still consequential stories and discussing the film’s loaded themes. But, the plot is still clearly laid out for us.

In both main stories, you can easily determine the introduction, rise, climax, fall and resolution. Even though the parallel universes overlap with each other, we still can tell which is which. They are linearly and unambiguously depicted.

I have watched arthouse films where the lines between the past and present and between the physical and metaphysical worlds are blurred. I have watched arthouse films where the stories are partially or entirely conveyed through unexplained and seemingly-random imagery.

I have watched Shane Carruth’s Primer (hard to enjoy his works after knowing what he did), a time travel film where the characters speak with lots of technical jargons and create paradoxes so complex, you can’t discern the different timelines from each other.

There are many films with plots open to interpretations, where you are required to figure everything out yourself. But, Everything Everywhere All At Once is not one of them. If you simply pay attention, you would know what is going on.

Unfortunately, I have encountered something like this before.

I have heard people complaining how the 2009 Sherlock Holmes film has a very complex mystery, even though it is overwhelmed by the many action scenes and the explanations barely use any jargons.

While watching La La Land in the theatre with me, my sister overheard another filmgoer’s confusion about what those fantasy sequences are supposed to be, even though it is blatantly obvious they depict the characters’ fantasies.

Some Harry Potter fans complain the film adaptation of Half-Blood Prince is boring and has nothing going on, even though it clearly has things going on… in the forms of calm-paced and dialogue-driven scenes.

Basically, some people are unable to understand a story if it requires slightly more efforts and isn’t 99.9% escapist.

I don’t know if they are that stupid or just lazy. I hope it is the latter. I already have many reasons to be cynical.

The last thing I need is to have another one.

Oh, and one more thing:

If you watched the trailer and/or saw the weird poster that I use for this blogpost prior watching the film, why did you expect it to be “normal”?






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How to be a true lover of cinema

*puts on a mask*

Re-define the word “cinema”

Objectively, it means the production and distribution of films. Nothing more or less. But, it shouldn’t be enough for you.

You have to define “cinema” as “good and artistic” films. You should never acknowledge mediocre films as parts of the “cinema”, even though they objectively are.

You have to be stubborn about it. You have to insist that definition is the only correct definition. If someone dares to spew the objective one, you have to shame them worse than you shame anti-vaxxers.

Be black-and-white

You cannot enjoy both the arts and escapist entertainment. It does not matter if most of the films you love are artistic; enjoying just one Marvel film will cancel out every single drop of your sophistication. One bad apple spoils the barrel.

Turn your love of film into your entire personality

Your self-worth as a human being is entirely decided by your film taste. Love just one bad film and you are as good as a book-burning Nazi.

Worship directors like Coppola, Scorsese and Tarantino

You know, the directors who make violent and/or action-packed films that win awards and profits from all over. You are not a true film lover until you admire the likes of them.

No, filmmakers like Andrey Tarkovsky and Ingmar Bergman do not count. Their films are too artsy. Good films should be artistic enough for critics, but not too artistic for Hollywood executives.

Yes, awards matter. It does not matter how a great film is. If it does not win any awards, it may as well be a Marvel film. A good filmmaker must commit the appeal to authority fallacy: defining their self-worth solely based on the establishments’ opinions.

Whitewash history

Yes, commercialisation has always existed and it reaches a new high in the recent years. But, you cannot acknowledge that.

You have to assert that commercialisation of cinema did not exist before the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You have to pretend old Hollywood was all about artistic integrity.

You have to ignore that directors like Coppola and Scorsese were given creative freedom NOT because Hollywood executives cared about the arts, but because those young directors increased ticket sales.

Take the human out of cinema

If you love a film simply because of how entertained you are or how enthralled you are by its beauty, then you are doing it wrong.

The only things you should care about are the techniques. Embracing your humanness is antithetical to the true purpose of cinema. You should consume films like a robot would.

Who cares if you are not into crime stories? If a crime film is well-made (and it wins awards), you have to love it. You must choose it as one of your favourite films ever!

Don’t be a human. Be a robot!

*takes off the mask*






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Is the poor quality of Marvel films exaggerated?

Yes, it fucking is.

I am not going to pretend Marvel films are full of technical marvels. I don’t watch them for the directing, cinematography, editing and dialogues. I don’t pretend them to be arthouse works worthy of awards.

But, to say they are the worst films, isn’t that disingenuous?

As escapist as they can be, I genuinely love how they treat human emotions. Let me tell you some my favourite scenes from those films.

When I first watched Guardians of the Galaxy, I genuinely thought Rocket would be another comic relief. I was proven wrong when he was revealed to harbour internal anguish as he perceives himself as a laboratory ‘freak’.

When he is grieving Groot’s death, Drax wordlessly console him. Despite their differences, Drax can empathise as he also knows how it feels to lose loved ones tragically.

In the sequel, Yondu’s funeral scene is accompanied by Cat Steven’s Father and Son. The song about father-son relationship reminds us about the genuine familial bonding between Yondu and Quill; by doing so, we focus our attention to Quill’s personal grief.

In Infinity War, there is a scene where Thor is having an intimate conversation with Rocket. The former claims he is emotionally fine, even though his speaking tone and body language say otherwise. It reminds us how in the real world, we should learn to take cues as not everyone can open up comfortably.

Also in the same film, there is also the infamous annihilation scene, in which many people are heartbroken by Peter Parker’s death. As he is the youngest main character, it is just heartbreaking to watch. Gone to soon, one may say.

In the beginning of Endgame, Natasha Romanoff is seen eating peanut butter sandwich while trying to hold back her tears. Later on, Thor can be seen as an overweight alcoholic who tries to put up a happy facade; many think he suffers from PTSD. Both are representations of the world still trying to cope with the mass annihilation five years prior, visually emphasised by the grey-based colour palate.

In the middle(?) of the film, Tony Stark  travels back in time and accidentally meets his now-deceased father. Judging from his awkwardness and him hugging his father in the end, he clearly misses his feather dearly and is overwhelmed by the encounter.

Its ending is also very bittersweet.

The reversal of the mass annihilation is undoubtedly a positive turn of events. But, we also cannot ignore that two of the main characters we are emotionally-attached to sacrificed themselves in the fight. In the fight for greater good, there is no such thing as a happy ending.

After travelling back in time to return the Infinity Stones, Steve Rogers does not return to the present time. Instead, he chooses to stay and spends the rest of his life with his significant other. While we are happy for him and he does return as an elderly man, it somehow feels like we are losing a dear friend.

I just love how the film ends on a calm note. Instead of bombarding us with fast-paced montage, we are allowed to absorb the emotions. Not just the one we are experiencing in the ending, but also the ones we have experienced throughout the series.

Obviously, Marvel Cinematic Universe are not the only emotionally mature films around. Pixar films and How To Train Your Dragon (I haven’t watched the sequels) are also known for that aspect.

But still, I have my share of films and it is hard for me to find films which actually make me feel like a proper human being. And yes, I also have a hard time finding such arthouse films.

I have often talked about how Andrei Tarkovsky and Ingmar Bergman are my favourite directors. However, as much as I love their works, I also find theirs to be emotionally distant.

Yes, their works dwell deep into the human minds. But, Bergman’s depiction of the human psyche is extremely intricate while Tarkovsky’s are laced with philosophical musings.

And I almost forgot to mention Stanley Kubrick (which is also one of my favourite directors, but I keep forgetting to mention him), whose films are infamous for their coldness.

The problem with arthouse films is they are so cerebral, we need to think hard first before we feel the emotions beneath. Even then, there is no guarantee we will end up feeling anything.

Hence, if I want to watch films that make feel like an emotionally well-rounded human being, I prefer ones like Marvel.

Admittedly, the depiction of Thor’s PTSD is polarising. Some people think the PTSD turns Thor into a comic relief while others consider the portrayal realistic. As I have never suffered from it and I have never had direct one-to-one contact with people who have, I cannot say which opinion is the right one.

But, I can say this: it is refreshing of Hollywood to depict mental illness sufferers as the actual sufferers instead of ones who inflict suffering.

Oh, and I don’t get how anyone can think Marvel films ruin cinema when we have films like Michael Bay’s and comedies starring like Adam Sandler among us…

… When pop cultures in general have been accused of artistic mediocrity since forever.






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Casualties of feel-goodism 2


I am not going to talk about the 2019 Oscars-winning supposedly anti-racism film Green Book specifically. While I have heard about the white warrior trope accusations, I haven’t watched the film. Therefore, I cannot talk about it.

But, I can talk about fans of the film, film ethics in general… and a bit about one of its screenwriters.

The fans believe the film deserves its victory because it is heartwarming. That sentiment alone easily reveals two problems.

First of all, how the hell is feel-goodism a sign of merit? I thought we judge films based on how effective their storytellings are, NOT based on how good they are in making us feel good about ourselves and the world we live in.

Second, the film is supposedly about racism and the title itself is based on a series of books that helped black Americans avoiding racist establishments during road trips.

Describing ‘bigotry’ as atrocious is an understatement. Whether you experience or witness it, its existence reminds you about how monstrous the world we live in. If you become aware of your own bigotry (and assuming you thrive to be a decent person), you would be horrified about how much of a monster you were.

Basically, bigotry is NOT heartwarming. When a film about bigotry makes you all warm and fuzzy in the inside, there is something wrong with either how you interpret the film or how the film depicts bigotry.

Either way,  for some reasons, you haven’t fully grasped what bigotry actually is. Maybe the protective bubbles haven’t bursted yet.

I am not saying a film about the harshness of reality should not make you feeling warm and fuzzy; I think it is self-righteous to believe so. What I am saying is the warmness should NOT be the only thing you feel.

If such film does have some cheerful moments or ends on a glaringly hopeful note, it should NOT be entirely sweet. Instead, it should be an emotional rollercoaster. It should be bittersweet.

Yes, a socially-charged film can indeed be too good to be true. Ideally, when that feeling

It is one thing to enjoy escapism. But, it is another when the escapism commands us to blur the line between reality and fantasy… and we unquestioningly oblige.

Oh, and I should mention that the main white character in the film, AKA the redeemed racist, is based on a real person… and his son is one of the screenwriters, who was in hot water for believing in an anti-Muslim conspiracy.

Even though he did apologise for it, wouldn’t the combination of his (allegedly past) bigotry and conflict of interest be a concern for fans of the film?






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Cinema is not inherently artistic… and never was

Just like photography, cinema would never exist without the invention of cameras… and technologies are invented either because they are intended to make our lives practically better or just for the sake of inventing.

And when people started using video cameras, they didn’t immediately make arts with them.

The oldest surviving film (emphasise on the word ‘surviving’) is the two-second long Roundhay Garden Scene, created in 1888; it simply depicts people wandering around in a garden. The first film which can be considered as arthouse is L’Inferno, released twenty three years later. Prior to that, narrative films were generally intended to impress the audience with groundbreaking special effects; resulting artistry was a bonus.

If I talk about Hollywood specifically, artistic integrity was not even mainstream before the 1960’s.

Many films from the Classical Hollywood era are plagued by escapism as shown by their black-and-white characters, avoidance of realism and straightforward narratives; the exaggerated acting and brazenly-artificial studio settings visually accentuate the theatricality and the absence of subtlety.

I don’t know how anyone can think Classical Hollywood is the most artistic Hollywood.

I have met people who believe so because the actors were supposedly skilled not only in acting, but also in singing and dancing. But, whether they are talented or not, I still don’t see how their talents guaranteed the artistic integrity of the off-screen crew members.

Maybe they confuse artistry with feel-goodism. I am inclined to believe so because I have met people who ‘think’ good films are ones that make them feel good about themselves and the world they live in.

It is a reasonable perspective if you are fucktarded snowflake who thinks the world owes you positive emotions 24/7.

If you want to see Hollywood at its most artistic, take a look the films of the American New Wave or Hollywood Renaissance* era which spanned the 60’s and 70’s, decades after the birth of the industry. It was an era in which directors, NOT the studio executives, were kings and they had the liberty to be gritty, countercultural and nuanced with their storytellings.

But, even then, American New Wave was not as idealistic as it seems.

In the 60’s, Hollywood was easily rivalled by TV and most movie-goers preferred the perceivably-superior European and Japanese films, compelling studio executives to finance more idealistic filmmakers. For a while, the decision was financially worth the risk.

Basically, even though the filmmakers did have artistic integrity, the same thing cannot be said about the executives. By the early 80’s, New Wave films were no longer profitable.. and studio executives quickly became the kings once again, consequentially putting an end to the era.

Mainstream films from this era are not substantially different from their present-time counterparts: they are all financed, promoted and distributed by utterly profit-oriented corporate businesspeople.

No matter how artistic they are, they are still commercial products… and the same thing can be said regarding any commercially successful works of entertainment.

I used to think people who define cinema as nothing but an art form were petulant; even though the word ‘cinema’ already has its own objective definition, they create their own and present them as the only correct ones.

Now, I don’t think it has something to do with petulance. Those people are simply historically illiterate about the thing they love.

But, I will still call them petulant, anyway. It is fun to insult people and make enemies out of them.

Yes, I am aware of the hypocrisy.



*I deliberately did not use New Hollywood. Even though it seems to be the widely used name, I am not a fan of it because the adjective may leads to confusion due to its broadness.






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Parasite rightfully won

I have seen way too many people attributing Parasite’s victory at the Oscars to its popularity and it being a foreign-language film.

They are so smart, it hurts.

Not every award is like the Kids’ Choice Awards. Believe it or not, some awards like the Oscars are presided by a handful of (presumably snobby) juries who judge the nominees’ objective merit, NOT their popularity. One can argue the juries are misguided with their judgement and they have been criticised for it. But, it is very certain they don’t care about popularity.

And the data backs me up.

Avatar, one of the most highest-grossing (and one of the most overrated) films ever, was (idiotically) nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars… and yet, it was defeated by Hurt Locker, a film I would never heard of if it wasn’t for its victory. Don’t forget that Marvel Cinematic Universe, the highest-grossing film franchise of all time, have yet to won a single Oscar; they are more successful in awards that specialise in speculative fiction.

Oh, and don’t forget that film snobs looooove Parasite. On Youtube alone, you can find lots of them ravingly reviewing the film… and mind you, those people do not care much about popularity. They don’t have problems berating films they deem dreadful, no matter how popular they are! In fact, I feel alone because it is hard for me to find people who enjoy both Parasite and Marvel films like I do.

The thematic analyses are even more plentiful. Thanks to those Youtubers and their equally passionate audience, the surge of its cinematic exegeses feels never-ending, proving how Parasite is a dense and meticulously-crafted work.

Those who dismiss the legitimacy of its victory are either driven by xenophobia, anglo-centrism, neoliberalism or a combination of some or all of them. I am confident with my assertion because their dismissiveness contradicts the observable facts and I have seen many people hating on the film because it is non-American, non-anglophone and critical of capitalism.






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Jiří Trnka’s The Hand: not falling for the other side

If it wasn’t for my Intro to Animation class, I would have never heard of this stop-motion animated masterpiece.

To summarise the plot, it tells the story of a harlequin whose impoverished yet contented life of flower pot-making is disrupted by a literal and seemingly-omnipresent hand who demands him to make hand sculptures instead, compelling him to constantly fight for his freedom. Unfortunately, near the end of the story, he dies when one of his pots accidentally fell on his head (seemingly foreshadowed by the recurring accidental pot-breaking). He is given a lavish funeral by the hand.

One can guess why I love this short film.

It is an allegory of censorship enforced under authoritarianism. It sublimely evokes the terror of living as an artist and entertainer in such condition, amplified by the fantastical elements and the atmospheric percussion-oriented soundtracks. In fact, both Wikipedia and IMDB categorise this film as horror.

Unsurprisingly, I picked The Hand as one of the animated shorts I analysed for the final essay. My writings were even abysmal then. Thankfully, I lost it. But, I remember having a great time analysing every single one of them.

While analysing it, I found two peculiarities.

First thing first, the funeral. Why would the hand hold a state funeral to a rebel? Surely, shouldn’t he be demonised as an enemy of the state in the end?

Well, I found an article (forget which one, cannot find it again) about how the USSR and its satellite states honoured their artists posthumously, regardless of how obedient or disobedient they were; the writer said even Trnka himself was given a state funeral.

As I am too lazy to do more research, I cannot confirm or debunk the article’s factual validity. But, as the hand symbolises an authoritarian government (I cannot think of any other interpretations), what the article is saying makes too much sense for me to dismiss.

This reminds me of the legendary and ideologically-dissenting director Andrei Tarkovsky (can’t stop referencing him). After his death, the Soviet authorities regretted that he died in exile. Yes, linking Trnka, a Czechoslovakian puppeteer and animator with, to Tarkovsky, a live-action Russian director who loved exploring the metaphysical aspect of humanity, is far-fetched. But, I can’t help myself.

Oh, and the hand.

At first, I noticed the hand was a left one. I assumed it represented the far-left government of Czechoslovakia. But, when I took a greater look, the hand was not always left.

Sometimes, it appears as a right one. In fact, the first hand sculpture to appear in the video depicts a right hand.  So, I quickly dumped the interpretation, dismissed it as reading too much into things. But then, I remembered the funeral scene, where the hand can be seen making a salute eerily similar to the Nazi one; I could hear my classmates’ shock.

I was more baffled than shocked, as Czechoslovakia was a communist country, not a fascist one. Due to my slowness, it took me days to realise the film criticises authoritarianism in general, not just the communist Czechoslovakian government.

The film also subtly warns us to not fall for any forms of extremism. Your suffering under a far-left government cannot morally justify your support of a far-right government… and vice versa. One form of  zealotry does not justify the other.

I write as if I grasped the thematic depth immediately. I didn’t. Back then, my mind only thought about the Far-Left vs Far-Right.  It took me years to realise how the message is also applicable to any kinds of extreme dichotomies.

Yes, I know I seem to be reading too much into things again. The nazi salute may not be one after all and I don’t know enough about different types of salutes. I also cannot prove that extreme dichotomies in general were what Trnka had in mind.

But, you have to admit: the film does not target a specific ideology. My interpretation fits really well into the narrative.

The overtly-polished Casey Neistat style

I call it the Casey Neistat style because that’s how others call it (even though some people think the style predated him) and I don’t have an alternative name for it.

From the title, you can easily tell I am not a fan.

Okay, I am not saying I hate the aesthetic. I actually think it looks beautiful and proves every image can look pretty when captured by the right person. But, that’s also my problem with it: it looks TOO beautiful.

Before I was immersed in Youtube cultures, I had already watched arthouse films like Andrei Tarkovsky’s and Ingmar Bergman’s. They are visually stunning and narratively compelling (for me), exposing me to cinematic art works.

Also resulting in my high expectations of vloggers like Neistat.

It is already ingrained in my mind that good cinematography HAS to be accompanied by compelling stories. But, vlogs don’t tell ‘profound’ stories (mind the quotation marks), even when they showcase out of the ordinary events or the lives of perpetual travellers.

If anything, those vlogs feel pretentious. The polished cinematography seems to do nothing but overcompensating the passable narratives.

Oh, and when I said that vlogs are not narratively profound, I meant it as a compliment. Because they are supposed to narrate Youtubers’ semi-personal lives, I always expect raw and mundane storytellings; that is what I find attractive about vlogs in the first place!

I actually do enjoy some Neistat-esque vlogs, like the ones of Evan Edinger, Terry Song and Adam Neely. The difference is theirs are more stylistically restrained, allowing a greater presence of rawness and mundanity.

Thanks to its participatory nature, Youtube has opposites for almost everything. For Casey Neistat style and the likes, there are content described by Nerd City as post-ironic.

I cannot make myself enjoy the works of Youtubers like Filthy Frank, MaxMoeFoe and IDubbz (his Content Cop videos are an exception). Apart from the crassness which I find extreme (even for a relatively crass person like me), I am also anxious about the blurred lines between irony and sincerity.

But still, despite my inability to relish such content, I cannot help but respecting those creators for their unsuppressed mockery of the insincere and synthetic charm endorsed by the establishment. While I admittedly do embrace some of the establishment’s ideals, I also despise the idea of venerating them.

Thankfully, despite the increasing pressure of uniformity, the platform still has a sizeable freedom to dissent, something those employed in the ‘traditional’ media can only dream of. Therefore, almost every imaginable type of content has a place on Youtube*.

Whether it is aesthetically and thematically extreme** or middle-of-the-road, you will definitely find it.



*Obviously, there are restrictions to what can and cannot be uploaded. But, it is no secret Youtube content policing is both ineffective and misguided. ‘Lawful’ videos can get taken down and ‘unlawful’ ones stay. Supposedly, people have found porn on the site; while I do have found softcore films, I have yet found hardcore ones.

**Post-irony is extreme due to its depictions of life as an inherently ugly entity. But, I would argue overtly-polished aesthetic is also extreme for its overtly beautiful depictions of life; once one is accustomed to it, acknowledgement of the ugly reality feels taboo.

A bit of tangent here:

Andrei Tarkovsky said he utilised both colour and monochrome scenes in his films because those shot entirely in colour felt like animated paintings for him and therefore, felt ‘too beautiful’ to be realistic.

I never thought that I would reference Tarkovsky’s philosophy while discussing Youtube.






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