Just like year-end lists of the best in film and the nominations doled out in award season, video filmographies chronicling the year in cinema have become a December staple in the YouTube era.
Here is 2011’s (not the only one, but the one that came to my attention, and therefore presumably the best), edited by Gen I.
Needless to say, there is some skillful editing going on here. But what I enjoy so much about these clip retrospectives is that they boil cinema right down to its essence — sound and picture. It’s easy to forget what a visual medium film is. Even a movie trailer tells a story, and bad dialogue and overall cheesiness will come through even in a two-minute, one-minute, or thirty-second clip. You can generally tell a bad movie when you see it, even in snippet form.
But what of a single image from a film? A clip clocking in at one or two seconds? These videos don’t require any prior knowledge of the films in question to be entertaining — in fact, it’s probably best to know as little as possible about the majority of these films. The bad movies look just as awesome as the good ones. And it goes to show that even a terrible movie has at least one magic moment. Or, at least, a moment that can be made into magic with the right music and editing.
That’s not where most films fail, mind you. Often the visuals and sounds are just dandy, while it’s the story that’s lacking. And that’s why you should remember that screenwriters are super important, and should be paid lots and lots of money, and receive endless amounts of respect and acclaim for a job well done.
In my never-humble opinion, the best of these filmographies is a tie between 2009 (assembled by Kees van Dijkhuizen) and 2010 (Gen I. again), though I included 2008 for posterity.
And for those who can’t get enough of such film geekiness, Kees van Dijkhuizen also edits tributes to directors like David Fincher as follows: