As Stefon would say, this month’s Best of Staff Picks has everything: a tiny brain that spits rhymes, extremely problematic coffee, pieces of Tokyo flying through space, extrapolating hands, stubbornly seductive African water spirits, miniature plastic people getting plastic surgery, and more. In the mood for April’s greatest hits? We got you. The password to get into this club is #money. Bye!
“Deer Squad | Scenery“ from Super Deluxe / Public Cinema Club Heroes don’t always wear capes — sometimes they pull up on a hoverboard with freshly cut organic vegetables for their BFFs, a “flock” of hungry backyard deer. Kelvin PeÃ±a aka Brother Nature aka @COLDGAMEKELV is the subject of this super endearing and funny doc from Super Deluxe and Public Cinema Club. With hundreds of thousands of followers on all of his social media platforms, Kelvin is probably the most famous deer whisperer ever? #everybodyeats
“Mami Wata – Woza“ from Mami Wata / Pato Martinez and Francisco Canton Is it a blessing or a curse? A young surfer is bewitched by the seductive pull of African water spirit Mami Wata in this blue-toned visual poem. Directors Pato Martinez and Francisco Canton of Buenos Aires-based production company Pantera portray man’s undeniable attraction to the natural world and the underlying struggle of those who can’t spend all of their time catching waves.
“Johnny Physical Lives“ from Joshua Neuman It’s hard to imagine ever being able to experience the love between two people that you don’t know. But “Johnny Physical Lives” might come close.The admiration, respect, and friendship between Joshua Neuman and his younger brother Jonathan, also known by his badass alternate persona “Johnny Physical,” is so palpable in this short. It’s a documentary chronicling Jonathan’s endearing obsession with his rock ‘n’ roll image, all while battling leukemia. Through a mix of old video footage, cassette tapes, and 2D animation by Style5.tv, this Staff Pick Premiere is a brilliant and heart-wrenching ode to Jonathan’s life by his biggest fan.
“Haze“ from Chloe Domont After a night she can’t remember, Natalie kicks out the man she woke up next to and tries to put the pieces together in her mind. Though this scenario is often a joke in mainstream comedies and rom-coms, the reality of the situation is bluntly disorienting, disconcerting, and sometimes criminal. Made by Chloe Domont, “Haze” is a narrative that puts into perspective the physical and sexual threat that looms over the heads of young women, who must choose to protect themselves when their partner’s intentions could potentially threaten their safety.
“Extrapolate“ from Johan Rijpma “ExÂ·trapÂ·oÂ·late – verb – to extend the application of (a method or conclusion, especially one based on statistics) to an unknown situation by assuming that existing trends will continue or similar methods will be applicable.” Example: this dope mind-bending 2D animation which makes several perfect messes out of a very normal drawing of a hand. This psychedelic video has earned 3,495 likes and counting since it premiered on Vimeo just three weeks ago. That means it’s pretty damn worth watching.
“Fool's Day“ from Delirio Films / Cody Blue Snider At this month’s “Best of the Month” screening at Vimeo HQ, this video probably started a new record: each and every Vimeo staffer voted for “Fool’s Day” as one of their favorites. It’s a 22-minute short that feels like it passes in a flash. Innocent and hilarious jokes just keep coming, as a class of elementary school students scramble to cover up the unexpected consequences of a good-natured April Fools’ joke.
“TATUAPÃ‰ MAHAL TOWER“ from Carolina Markowicz Carolina Markowicz examines the seedier side of a tiny model city — the kind you’d find in a real estate development or fancy architecture firm. It’s all told by a faceless figurine, Javier Juarez Garcia: his dreams of a wife and family are destroyed after finding his plastic wife in his plastic bed with another plastic man. This proud miniature character resorts to an extreme tactic in order to ruin his ex-wife’s relationship in this incredibly original and clever 3D stop-motion animation.
“Lil’ Dicky – Pillow Talk ft. Brain” from Giant Propeller / Tony Yacenda Anything we could say about Lil’ Dicky’s “Pillow Talk” video would never do its crude hilarity justice, but we’ll def try. A post-coital debate begins between rapper Dave Burd (aka Lil’ Dicky) and a woman that he apparently just met. They talk about the Iraq War, the existence of aliens, and whatever happened to the dinosaurs. Eventually, Dicky’s adorable lil’ brain, which is very emotionally sensitive, comes ambling out of a closet to intervene and begin dropping truth bombs on his ladyfriend. All of this is happening via rap song, with Lil’ Dicky voicing each and every character. Your buddies probably already love this one, but you’re gonna want to share it with them anyway. PS: Did you know that it’s one of the most expensive music videos ever made?
“A Sense of Wonder“ from Mathieu Le Lay Curator Jeffrey Bowers’ review of this film says it all: “Just stunningly beautiful mountains. My heart is swooning. What a peaceful video.” The nature shots captured in “A Sense of Wonder” may make the travel bug bite you and never let go until you put on your boots and run outside into nature. It feels especially appropriate to feature this short in the same month that we celebrate Earth Day.
“Tokyo Light Odyssey“ from WOW inc. The reality-skewing feats that can be accomplished with 360 video are completely insane and “Tokyo Light Odyssey” is a reminder that the imagination required to take full advantage of this format has no bounds. Dollhouse-size municipal buildings soar through space, carrying small humans going about their day: buying groceries or riding public transit as if they’re not flying through the ether at 30 kilometers per second (just like you and I do every day). The varying speed of this intergalactic journey also tricks your brain into making your heart race. For sure the craziest part about this video, however (and there is lots of awesome in it!), is the fact that this is just the beginning of our exploration of the 360 world. It’s going to get even better. If a month’s worth of Staff Pick gems didn’t scratch your itch, be sure to browse our Best of the Month Channel.