it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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forget your name. forget your fear.

As part of my brain's ongoing 24/7 "Anything but Grail" project, while I took the dog for a run this morning (some of my putative thinking time), I was storyboarding Shadow Unit fanvids in my head. (If only I had footage. And any vidding ability.) And then I started writing the critical commentary on them....

The English Beat - "Mirror in the Bathroom"

While somewhat obvious in theme and execution (how could it not be?) this Chaz-centric vid is at least visually arresting and tightly edited. If it doesn't reveal anything new about the character and his relationships, it does a solid job of explicating what we already know--and the montage of Chaz mirroring scenes over the "mirror mirror mirror mirror mirror" refrain is especially nice.

KT Tunstall - "Suddenly I See"

This may be the definitive Nikki Lau vid in the fandom. While the song choice is obvious, the vidder makes up for it in editing and clip selection. She goes way back into the archives, including footage from the unaired Shadow Unit pilot that featured Michelle Yeoh in the Lau role instead of Patricia Zhou (thus spawning, to date, four seasons worth of "Michelle Yeoh" jokes about the character, despite the fact that Zhou and Yeoh don't really resemble one another.) The intercut clips of Yeoh and Zhou making the same walk down the same set corridor from 1:00 to 1:10 were especially nice, as was the pilot footage of Yeoh/Lau putting the gamma's face through the glass table.

I was particularly taken by the use of quick clips of Lau dwarfed by her team-mates (particularly Chaz, Hafidha, and Brady) around the line "and she's taller than most/and she's looking at me."

I usually don't much like audio clips in vids, as they are too often crudely done, but in this case, the use of the heavy breathing foley from "Ballistic," and the Lau quote: "If he tries to hurt you, maim him," were very well-integrated.

Garbage - "Metal Heart"

Of course, famous to the fandom as the song used over the Chaz-rehab montage at the beginning of S2, it's a peculiar but interesting choice for a Daphne/Chaz 'ship video. And it also seems to me a very revealing choice that this is a Daphne-centric video in which Daphne's face is never seen. We see her in silhouette, in profile, advancing from behind, bent over injured team-mates, and so forth. Given the show's focus on issues of identity and perception, Daphne's other-focused personality, and the ongoing character development with Daphne hiding her face/Chaz being the invisible man, I think this is an extremely perceptive element of the vid.

It might be unfair to characterize it as merely a 'ship video, too, because there's a lot here about Daphne's other relationships, too. The sequence focusing on Daphne and her awkward and hopeful friendship with Lau around "I wish I wasn't flesh and blood/I would not be scared/bullets built with me in mind/then I could be saved." is lovely.

Another one full of interesting and unusual clip choices, and even though it resorts to The Most Overused Clip In All Shadow Unit fandom (staccato, almost still images from the knife-fight-and-angelic-visitation sequence in Refining Fire over the bridge from 1:43 to 2:03) it breaks up those violent images with slightly longer ones showing the tenderness in Chaz and Daphne's friendship (or, if you prefer, clandestine romance, but I'm not on that particular 'ship bandwagon). This alters the context of those clips from Chaz fighting The Relative for his life, to Chaz fighting for Daphne.

While a lesser artist (me, for example) would have used images from "The Small Dark Movie of your Life" for the climax, this vidder took instead the mirroring footage from "Hafidha's Dream," giving us a crowning image of benediction and loss--and of course, love lost. Because that thematic freight around Hafidha is unmistakable, and when she leans forward to kiss the metal like a mother kissing a child's forehead, it made me gasp out loud. 

You all should just be grateful that the dog and I got home before I started storyboarding the Todd/Reyes slashvid to the Indigo Girls "Starkville." Because I was there, baby.

(And now you know what's on my running mix.)

It was a very nice run. We're having April in January currently, and it was so pleasant out that the dog and I did an extra two thirds of a mile because we weren't ready to go home.

And now, shower and yoga and work.
Tags: shadow unit, wtf

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