kottke.org posts about videos

Siblings Step Dancing and Roller Skating

posted by Edith Zimmerman   Feb 22, 2024

“Brothers dancing in sync” (above and below) is turning out to be my favorite video genre of 2024 so far. (Thanks, Instagram algorithms.) Both these duos — the Irish Gardiner Brothers and the Delaware-based Griffin Brothers — have been around for years, so they may be old news to many readers, but they only came to my attention recently. I played a bunch of Gardiner Brothers videos (and beyond; Riverdance still rules) for my family a few weeks ago, hoping to plant seeds of Irish dance-interest in my daughters’ hearts and brains. There’s also a roller skating rink not too far away from where we live…

Speaking of forcing encouraging my family to participate in group performance, it’s probably too late for us to meaningfully emulate Natalie MacMaster and her dancing/fiddling family, but I can still watch this one particular video every few years.

Cool New Music: Waxahatchee, “Right Back to It” and “Bored”

posted by Edith Zimmerman   Feb 20, 2024

I’ve probably listened to “Right Back to It,” the first single from indie folk-rock musician Waxahatchee’s forthcoming album Tigers Blood, at least 40 times since it came out a few weeks ago. The album’s second single, “Bored” (also good), came out last week, and the album itself is due out March 22. I haven’t been this excited for new music in as long as I can remember. I even ordered a t-shirt from the website (two, actually) — the first time I’ve ever done that in my life!

Uncanny car impressions

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 22, 2016

Daniel Jovanov does fantastic impressions of cars. In the video above, he imitates them so well that a trio of actual race car drivers are able to pick out exactly which ones he’s doing. I think he’s gotten better since his appearance on Australia’s Got Talent several years ago:

All the sounds you never knew you wanted to hear

posted by Susannah Breslin   Dec 24, 2015


What does it sound like when a woman in red high heels walks across a dining room table? What does it sound like when a big guy gets slapped on the nape? What does it sound like when a forest watches itself? “Unnecessary Sounds” reveals all.

Madeline the Robot Tamer

posted by Susannah Breslin   Dec 23, 2015

Madeline the Robot Tamer” is a really lovely video about Madeline Gannon, a woman who dances, so to speak, with robots. As a resident at Pier 9, she developed Quipt, “a gesture-based control software that gives industrial robots basic spatial behaviors for interacting closely with people.” It’s a wonderful demonstration of robots and humans learning to work together.

(via Laughing Squid)

We’re in this crazy situation called life

posted by Susannah Breslin   Dec 22, 2015

Whether or not you’re a writer or even care about words, this video starring George Saunders talking about how to tell a story that matters is phenomenal. It was created by Redglass Pictures. (P.S. There’s swearing in it.)

(via Harry Allen)

Every day I put on a new head

posted by Susannah Breslin   Dec 21, 2015

Clayton Cubitt has a new installment of his “Hysterical Literature” series, and this one’s in French. As Jason described previously, in each video, “a female participant is filmed from the waist up reading a story of her choosing while she is stimulated to orgasm with a vibrator by Cubitt’s partner, Katie James.” (There’s no nudity in the video, but you may find the audio NSFW.)

This time, the woman is Fette, the reading is in French with English subtitles, and the text is Thomas Bernhard’s The Loser.

You can see the entire Hysterical Literature project here, you can read author Toni Bentley’s Vanity Fair account of being a Hysterical Literature star here, and Cubitt’s Instagram is here.

Happy holidays, sort of

posted by Susannah Breslin   Dec 21, 2015

Things don’t work out so well for Santa and his reindeer in “Happy Holidays,” a video by Eoin Duffy. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

Hysterical Literature explores women, sex, and aging

posted by Susannah Breslin   Mar 20, 2015


You may have seen artist Clayton Cubitt’s NSFW Hysterical Literature project. On YouTube, the videos have been viewed nearly 50 million times. The recipe is simple: a woman, a book, and a Hitachi Magic Wand. In the latest installment, Janet, who’s in her early sixties, reads Ralph Waldo Emerson. It’s a lovely meditation on women, sexuality, and age. The project is also on view at MASS MoCA’s Bibliothecaphilia show.

The first and final frames of 55 films

posted by Susannah Breslin   Mar 20, 2015

I really love this video featuring the opening and closing shots of fifty-five movies presented side-by-side, “First and Final Frames.” Created by Jacob T. Swinney.

My favorites: “Tree of Life,” “Raging Bull,” “Melancholia.”

Update: Swinney has released a second installment of First and Final Frames.

Mad Max: Fury Road international trailer drops, explodes in your face

posted by Susannah Breslin   Mar 19, 2015

The “Mad Max: Fury Road” international trailer features fire and blood, colorful explosions, and Charlize Theron screaming. What a lovely day, indeed. BRB, I gotta go get in line.

(via This Isn’t Happiness)

This pink 1971 Chevrolet Impala donk is impressive

posted by Susannah Breslin   Mar 19, 2015

This is a donk.

It can be yours for $65,000.

When Irish eyes are literally smiling

posted by Susannah Breslin   Mar 17, 2015

Copyranter says this is the best St. Patrick’s Day ad ever made.

See also: Mouth Eyes, Madonna’s “Bedtime Story,” and “Born with Three Mouths.”

This light blooms like a flower

posted by Susannah Breslin   Mar 17, 2015

These Shylights are amazing. Kinetic ceiling lights that resemble blooming flowers, unfurling parachutes, descending ghosts.

The concept is based on nyctinasty, the process by which flowers open and close due to light or temperature changes.

“We wanted to find this exact moment, where the difference is in an object, when it is dead or when it starts to become alive.”

(via This Isn’t Happiness)

How time changes when you’re dying

posted by Susannah Breslin   Mar 16, 2015

A week ago, Paul Kalanithi, who was 37, died from lung cancer. He had recently finished his neurosurgery residency at Stanford and was a father to an infant daughter.

He was also a writer. If you haven’t read his “How Long Have I Got Left?” or “Before I Go,” you should.

In this video, he talks about how time changes as you face your mortality. “Clocks are now kind of irrelevant to me,” he says. “Time, where it used to have kind of a linear progression feel to it, now feels more like a space.”

Bjork reveals her moving album cover for Family

posted by Susannah Breslin   Mar 16, 2015

Holy crap! Bjork’s released something she’s calling a “moving album cover,” although it appears it’s basically the video for the song “Family” on her Vulnicura album. It’s about the darkest, strangest, most beautiful thing I’ve seen on the internet in a while. The video is a collaboration between Bjork and Andrew Thomas Huang.

(thx This Isn’t Happiness)

Snoop Dogg’s Peaches N Cream lyric video

posted by Susannah Breslin   Mar 16, 2015

Snoop Dogg’s next album, BUSH, doesn’t drop until May 12, but until then, we’ve got a very cool lyric video for the first single, “Peaches N Cream,” featuring Charlie Wilson and directed by Wolf & Crow.

Fury end title sequence

posted by Susannah Breslin   Mar 16, 2015

I finally got a chance to watch “Fury” last weekend, and the part of the movie that was the most compelling to me was the end title sequence. The sequence terrifyingly captures the slamming chaos of war. (Contains graphic imagery.)

The main title sequence and the end title sequence were created by Greenhaus GFX.

Slow motion video of an AK47 being shot underwater

posted by Aaron Cohen   Jul 23, 2013

Here’s slow motion video from Smarter Every Day of what it looks like when an AK47 is shot underwater. Not only is the slow motion footage beautiful (best shots at 2:40, 4:30, 7:20), the science behind why the bubbles do what they do is explained. Science! Previously.

Divers almost eaten by whales.

posted by Aaron Cohen   Jul 23, 2013

Normally the ‘danger in the water’ beat focuses on sharks, but here’s a video of two divers almost getting eaten by two humpback whales. The impatient among you may skip ahead to about :30. The whales would have you believe this was accidental. Youtube commenter tom bill said this was his “number 1 fear,” and I have to say, I spend more than my share of time thinking about things going wrong in the ocean. However, the idea I might be accidentally eaten by whales never even occurred to me, which means I’ve got some more thinking to do.

(via reddit)

The violin maker

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 06, 2012

Short video profile of Sam Zygmuntowicz, a Brooklyn violin maker.

I like the robotic violin player that appears around 2:15, presumably used to test a violin’s sound characteristics. (via ★interesting)

Robot more human than human?

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 01, 2011

You remember the BigDog robotic prototype constructed by Boston Dynamics? Now they have a human robot that can run, do push-ups, and just generally acts pretty human.

Take this robot, some super-realistic human masks, and a Siri-powered iPhone 4S, and we’re in Terminator territory. (via ★interesting)

American made

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 12, 2011

Fuck Yeah Made in USA is a collection of videos showcasing products that are made in the US. These are chock full of “how things are made” goodness.

Top Vimeo videos of 2009

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 28, 2009

From Vimeo’s list of favorite videos of 2009, the music video for Luv Deluxe by Cinnamon Chasers:

Also worth watching is the Tarantino Mixtape, which hovers somewhere between an analysis of the themes in QuentinTarantino’s films and a toe-tapping remix of all the great music, visuals, and sounds he uses in them. (via @brainpicker)

Pulsing parasites

posted by Ainsley Drew   Oct 09, 2009

A video of the Leucochloridium parasite infecting a snail.

The worm is consumed by the snail, and begins its development in the snail digestive tract. Once it grows and matures, it moves into the snail’s optical tentacles, where it will pulsate and writhe as an example of aggressive mimicry, turning the tentacle into a dead-ringer for a caterpillar larvae, and making the snail a visible snack to a passing bird. The worm’s dance is also deadly because it renders the snail insensitive to light, making it incapable of shielding itself from predators. After the bird eats the infected snail, the worm matures fully inside the bird’s digestive tract, there it reproduces and lays eggs. Once the bird excretes the Leucochloridium larva, it is consumed by snails, thus continuing its life cycle.

Futuristic fashion, as predicted

posted by Ainsley Drew   Oct 06, 2009

A video clip of what fashion designers in the 1930s predicted that people would be wearing in the year 2000. While the predictions for the women only accurately depict Lady GaGa’s wardrobe, the designers of the past were slightly closer to the mark when it came to men’s fashion:

“He’ll be fitted with a radio, telephone, and containers for coins, keys, and candy for cuties.”

By which they must have meant credit cards.

Update: FASHION magazine responded to this video. It turns out that it was eerily accurate, with designs like Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs parading futuristic wares that are perfectly current.

(thx, gary)

8-bit trip

posted by Ainsley Drew   Oct 02, 2009

8-Bit Trip is the result of two brothers spending 1,500 hours moving LEGO bricks and taking pictures. An homage to 1980s video-games, it’s considered by many to be the greatest among the micro-genre of LEGO music videos, sometimes known as brickfilms. Originally made famous by director Michel Gondry for his work with the White Stripes, these block-by-block masterpieces are now being put to more use than just trippy visuals for killer beats, recently there was a LEGO PSA for bicyclists, warning against the dangers of running red lights.

Gainfully employed

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 05, 1998

Jason is gainfully employed again. After 4 months of contracting and sitting around on my ass, I finally found a full-time job. I’m going to be a Web designer at a small ad firm in Mpls. called Kuester Partners. I’m pretty excited…it should be fun and challenging and all that good stuff. Wish me luck.