American Culture

Saturday Video Roundup: looking at the YouTube Video Awards

The 2007 YouTube Video Award winners have been announced (see all the nominees here), and they certainly provide fodder for debate. Not that I think the criteria were necessarily about critical standards, of course, but still.

For instance, have a look at the human tetris performance, which won the Creative category, and explain to me how it beats this.

In the Short Film category, “My Name is Lisa” affords an entrancing look at Alzheimer’s and is certainly a worthy winner.

But wow – as deserving as “My Name is Lisa” is, you hate to see something as thoughtful as “Doll Face” go home emptyhanded.

Perhaps the video that’s generated the most comment is Tay Zonday’s “Chocolate Rain,” the winner in the Music category.

Zonday has now done a new one called “Cherry Chocolate Rain” for Dr. Pepper. Understand two things: first, the new one is not a sell-out, and second, it has nothing to do with the first one. Confused? Well, read the interview with Zonday here. And if it isn’t surreal enough for you, watch the interview on Lily Allen’s show here for a slightly different approach. There’s a lot more going on that meets the eye, although I feel certain that the auteur and I could have a spirited argument over some of his critical premises.

In any case, check the awards site out when you have a few minutes. If you’re like me, you’ll come away convinced that you’ve just seen everything that’s right with the Web and everything that’s wrong with it sitting side by side, both with looks of perfect innocence on their faces.

Have a nice Saturday, huh?

Thanks to Russ Wellen and Machinist at Salon for pointing us to some of the awards’ more interesting points.

7 replies »

  1. I gotta say I loved the “battle at kruger”, I just saw it yesterday and was impressed. Does this make Water Buffalo the new king of the jungle?

  2. Re “Battle at Kruger”: Darrell, imagine the nature documentarians who are eating their hearts out over the footage this tourist got. They spend their whole careers in the bush and never come up with anything comparable.

    Dr. S., I thought you might get distracted by Tay Zonday. The interview with him at MSP Mag is illuminating. But it wasn’t fair of the interviewer to single out a guy who’s just starting his career for selling out.

    It’s a personal choice. People are just trying to make a living.

  3. Russ: Tay is hardly a virgin. He’s a doc student at a Big Ten school and he’s more than comfortable slinging his book learning around on the interviewer, which is cool. I might cut him some slack on the “sell-out” thing – I mean, I’ve been a doc student, and it will be a miracle if I ever get the loans I had to take out just to live paid off – but when he starts pretending that his Dr. Pepper song and the original have nothing to do with each other he’s engaging in a hefty dose of New Criticism-meets-poststructuralism decontextualized horseshit. The interviewer might not know enough to call him on it, but I do.

    He’s damned lucky he laid that crap on that interviewer instead of somebody like our own Dr. Booth.

    My best guess is that this guy harbors a good deal of contempt for certain segments of the society – not that said segments haven’t earned it – and that he’s abusing people in ways they can’t quite grok.

    Again, I’m not arguing with that. Just don’t expect ME to buy it.

  4. Yeah, he shouldn’t bother justifying himself. The other videos are good too.

    To give you a jump on next week’s SVR, I have a disturbing video I’m emailing you the link to.