Some would call them supercuts; others maybe video essays. Whatever you call the videos posted by the mysterious Vimeo user who goes by the name of Kogonada, they are astounding explorations of cinema. If film is a language, each of Kogonada’s five video pieces explores the use of but one phrase or trope.
The newest entrant, “Kubrick // One-Point Perspective,” masterfully weaves shots from the director’s oeuvre, pulsing along to a soundtrack of Clint Mansell’s “Lux Aeterna,” a track best known as “that Requiem for a Dream song.” Each shot utilizes the same framing technique: a wide angle with everything in focus, directed at a single point in space in the dead center of the frame. It’s difficult to explain, which is why one should give it a look.
Kogonada’s other four pieces similarly focus on exploring stylistic motifs. Aronofsky’s use of sound, Tarantino’s framing from below, Wes Anderson’s top down camerawork, and the use of point-of-view perspective on Breaking Bad. The videos are enthralling because, in each case, the filmmaker has not only edited the work of the originals, but has brought a unique perspective to the fore.
Many of the films in these videos are ones we have all seen multiple times, but perhaps never noticed, or rather never clarified, the quirks of the filmmakers behind them. Better yet, in under two minutes, Kogonada is able to explain part of the genius of these filmmakers, and hopefully push the rest of us to reconsider these films with a new, more attentive gaze.