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The Viewer • Hand-picked video recommendations to surprise and delight you

Paint, Mexico, Pixar, Test, Freeze

Empty cities, the history of the Mexican border, juicy cinematic details, China's hardest test, and ice-cutters.


When The World Became A De Chirico Painting

Nerdwriter | YouTube | 23rd December 2020

Giorgio De Chirico took Italian city streets, simplified their features, and replaced the civilians with long, ominous shadows, imbuing familiar spaces with a lonely, melancholic ambience: "the artist must live in the world as if in an immense museum of strangeness." 2020 converted our public spaces into these immense museums, making Chirico seem almost prescient (6m 21s)


The Mexican American Border: A Tale Of Two Colonies

Kraut | YouTube | 30th December 2020

Four centuries of Mexican history – tidbits galore. "A divide started to develop between a South, with its densely populated core, the seats of the government, and center of administration, and the North on the periphery, its society more decentralized and self-sufficient; a divide that, in many ways, continues to this day, and is frequently ignored by outsiders" (1h 06m 17s)


The "Wind In The Trees" From Early Cinema To Pixar

Jordan Schonig | Vimeo | 15th September 2020

During exhibitions of an 1895 film, audiences were "fixated on the distant tree leaves blowing in the wind." This fixation with peripheral details has carried into modern animated cinema, which uses computer-animated "particle systems" to render unpredictable (and thus realistic) water, dust, fire and hair. "Set in motion rather than moved, particle systems model objects that are 'alive' " (9m 14s)


The Hardest Test In China

Polymatter | YouTube | 22nd December 2020

The gāo kao is China's dreaded annual exam, a three-day behemoth that makes or breaks the millions of high school students who take it each year. "The concept of recommendations, personal essays, and extracurriculars are so foreign to Chinese families that they usually hire a counselor to guide them through this process when applying to an overseas university" (12m 03s)


Mystical Video Of The Week

A remote world of ice-cutters and frogs – otherworldly stop-motion animation


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Editor: Abe Callard
Publisher: Jacob Silkstone [jacob@theviewer.is]

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