January brought us resolutions, presidential races, and weird iterations of hot chocolate flavors — but perhaps most importantly, it gave us heaps of new, piping hot things to watch. Videos have come at the curation team from all directions and we couldn’t be more pleased to shine another light on 12 of the best Staff Picks from the past month. If you watch any videos on Vimeo from January, these picks — ranging from documentaries about first love to music videos about evil villains looking for affection — should be them.
Jeff Desom offers his tribute to cinema classics by using a “simple” holographic process and incredibly detailed miniature sets. If Twin Peaks and The Big Lebowski fit within your taste wheelhouse, be sure to press the play button on this one, as your favorite films are now displayed in a third dimension.
Fresh from Sundance Film Festival (and our ready-to-watch collection) comes Nick DenBoer’s remix of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and … chickens. “THE CHICKENING” displays impressive 3D compositing, as familiar characters and scenes blend into a horrifyingly humorous chicken-themed world that will stay with you just as long as “Here’s Johnny!”
“Love Is In The Fair,” a documentary about young love at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair in Dudley, North Carolina, is easily the cutest, most charming thing we’ve seen so far this year. With Valentine’s Day less than two weeks away, it’s refreshing to see what first love can look like.
Dive into the life of four Chinese factory workers in this wonderfully stylized documentary from directing duo Häns. In this film, the typically under-the-radar crafters of ladies’ garments speak about work, friendship, love, kickboxing, and their dreams.
Put simply, Elliot Lim designed and animated an homage to his favorite show. What we really get, though, is the scenes from HBO’s The Wire come to life in a format we have never witnessed. To do a show of that caliber justice is one thing, but to encapsulate the imagery, tone, and story of The Wire and elevate it into something totally new is something commendable.
Director Anton Tammi brings us one of the first music video bangers of the year with “Hunger” by Pekko. Featuring style for days and a fantastic edit, “Hunger” shows us that in 2016, even multi-cigarette smoking badasses need to hold hands for a while.
D O M & N I C’s first video for the Chemical Brothers, “Setting Sun,” was made 20 years ago this year. “Wide Open,” their eighth collaboration, is a video that deserves a big screen and multiple viewings. It’s a simple but brilliant idea, executed masterfully by a dream team. That team also includes The Mill , offering stunning VFX, and Sonoya Mizuno who delivers a perfect performance. (You want to know how they did it, right? Check out The Mill’s behind-the-scenes video here.)
Director Brandon Dermer and EDM artist Dillon Francis show us all what making a music video is like from the director’s perspective. Romance the drama.
In “Genghis Khan” by Miike Snow, director Ninian Doff imagines what the James Bond series would be like if there were fantastic dancing and an unexpected love story thrown into the mix.
At the end of January, Jacob Frey’s thesis short from Filmakademie Baden Wurttemburg’s animation school went online, and one week later it was cruising smoothly towards 3 million views. No wonder: with charming design, well-crafted animation, and a heartwarming story delivered neatly in under five minutes, it’s a perfect storm of crowdpleasers. Jacob is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a town divided. It’s home to not only a seven-story Christ statue and the largest outdoor Christian Passion Play in the U.S., but it also maintains a thriving LGBT community. When an important vote on LGBT rights arrives in Eureka Springs, directors Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher investigate and create a brilliant microcosm for one of our nation’s leading topics of debate.
Storytelling is never more important than when it shines light into a hidden darkness in order to spread information and inspire action. With refugees crises never far from the headlines, Lukas Schrank’s window into the lives of asylum-seekers detained in Australia’s Manus Island Offshore Processing Centre is topical, terrible, and a must-see.
Be sure to dig through the archive of our best of Staff Picks lists here.