Feb. 4th, 2017

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Festivids revealed last week!

I received two lovely gifts. Both are vids for The Cape, a superhero TV show from about five years ago that pretty much landed with a thud, but which I've always loved. It was doing camp Batman when Chris Nolan was doing grimdark Batman, and it was doing it beautifully, with a sense of humor and a sense of social justice, and so even though the dialogue was usually ridiculous and the characters weren't emotionally full creations, I loved it. I do love a glorious failure.


Chess: The Musical, except not at all is um... hard to explain. Chess is the bad guy in The Cape, a billionaire crony capitalist with multiple personality disorder who goes around in a mask killing people. They Might Be Giants are one of my favorite bands. This is a match made in casting heaven. It's also the kind of vid where if it weren't FOR me, you'd be guessing that I was the one who made it. I <3 it so much.


For I am the Cape (AKA The One with the Raccoon) is my main gift, and it's just glorious.

The first time I signed up for Festivids, four years ago, I jokingly said that I thought all vids should be made to Eastern European wedding dance music. And my vidder apparently dug that up and made me a The Cape vid to Eastern European wedding dance music. And it works! Which I am of course not surprised about, because all vids should be made to Eastern European wedding dance music, that wasn't a joke at all. No, definitely not.

The Cape is at its heart a debate about vigilantism. On the one hand it keeps shouting at you that vigilantism is a terrible idea, that one man fighting crime can't take down a corrupt system and that if he tries all that's going to happen is he's going to get hurt a bunch, and the people he loves will keep getting hurt, too. Yet it keeps valorizing Vince and his struggle anyway, because when you're stuck in a corrupt system and you can't take down the system, what else can you do? The show flirts with Richard Schiff's wonderfully ridiculous Patrick Portman, beleaguered director of Palm City's broken prison system, as an alternative in-system hero- and then Portman dresses up as The Cape himself for a costume party!

Ultimately Vince comes to an uneasy compromise where he works outside the system with Orwell to prop up the honest parts of the system, including Portman and his public defender estranged wife, against the forces of corruption and indifference.

This vid shows that evolution, how Vince moves from anarchy and unaimed criminal behavior that results from his untrained vigilantism and slowly learns how to be a useful agent of political change. And it does it without any lyrics to support it, just using the sheer rhythmic momentum of Eastern European dance music to show Vince dancing his way through his ad hoc training and into the fray as a hero for Palm City. It's such a beautiful, brilliant vid.



I've liked a lot of other vids I've seen, and I encourage people to check out the rest of the list, but I feel like I'd be remiss if I didn't highlight two in particular that I think are particularly amazing.


A Better Son/Daughter is a vid about Carrie Fisher, her life and her struggle and her triumph and what she meant to all of her fans. I dare you to watch this without crying. Seriously, I dare you.


Anything Goes is a Pitch vid, about Ginny Baker and the glass ceiling the show depicts her fighting to shatter, but it's also about baseball history and the way sports has always litigated culture, but with nice neat endings in a way that culture doesn't always have. It's incisive and thought-provoking and also just gloriously optimistic.

Like I said, there's a lot of other great stuff in there, including my own vids, which I will reveal in a week, but those two are for me the cream of the crop.

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