Summer of the Shark
The Ethics of Revenge
But I Don’t Like Him
The Duality Of Appeal
Films vs Television
Profane and Profound
Voir is an interesting experiment that’s going to be a bit hit or miss, depending on what you’re expecting to get from this show. This doesn’t have the same play on nostalgia something like Movies That Made Us instills. It also never quite deep dives into the gritty details of a film or TV show like other written or visual essays manage.
There are certainly some chapters here discussing themes or overall trends in Hollywood, but in terms of deep, thorough analysis, that’s a little harder to come by.
In its simplest form, Voir is essentially a collection of six short visual essays about different aspects of cinema and film.
The first, titled “Summer of the Shark”, is arguably the worst, as Sasha Stone discusses her personal love of the movie Jaws alongside her own coming of age story.
It’s a nice, sweet tale until the final third devolves into bashing male-orientated blockbusters and our overly critical culture. There’s definitely an edge of cynicism here that does take away some of the genuine passion and love that flows through the early parts of this episode, which is a shame.
Another decent but way-too-short segment explores the medium of animation. Titled “The Duality of Appeal”, this 20 minute dive explores different animation techniques and how tricky CG actually is to work with.
There’s also another underlying message here about narrow beauty standards for females, leading one to think this could have very easily extended into the often-overlooked stereotype of overly muscly male figures of 80’s and 90’s action heroes.
Another episode that feels like it needs more time is the debate about film VS television. All you need to do is look at the embarrassing wealth of quality TV this year against that of movies to see that cultural shift to the small screen. Instead, we get a 20 minute chapter that never quite dives into the gritty detail needed to fully cover this topic.
Everything in between is where the meat of the series lies. There’s a beautifully composed episode by Tony Zhou (yep, THAT guy from Every Frame A Painting on YouTube!) that dives into the nature of revenge. There’s also a whole episode around Lawrence of Arabia and an important film called “48 hrs”.
As someone who unashamedly watches video essays most evenings while eating dinner, Every Frame A Painting (which includes Taylor Ramos and Tony Zhou who helm three of the six episodes for Netflix) manages to cover a far more wide-spanning array of subjects than what’s here.
Voir is certainly an interesting series though and there’s definitely some good stuff nestled in these episodes. Does it match up to some of the best essays on YouTube – including those on the Every Frame A Painting channel itself? Not quite. Still, it’s a decent collection nonetheless and if you like what’s here, you should definitely head onto YouTube and check out more video essays.
Verdict - 7.5/10