Maybe some of you have heard, but my part of the country (the Boston area) has sort of gotten buried in snow lately. Actually, it’s sort of getting buried right now, and apparently will continue to be for the foreseeable future. All this nasty weather means lots of days off for me. While I do love spending the whole day in my pajamas in front of a fire with a book, or binge watching Netflix, those things can get old by the fourth snow day in less than two weeks. Boredom led me to rediscover Vimeo, my new favorite way to whittle away a frozen afternoon.
A long time ago, nine months actually, I created a Vimeo account to watch and review In Your Eyes, a newly released Joss Whedon project. I then never did anything with that account until today. Today I found a weird and somewhat disturbing video called Strange Things posted on Facebook, which linked me back to Vimeo and treasure trove of independent videos covering just about any topic imaginable.
I’ve spent much of an entire day surfing Vimeo. Strange Thing is my favorite video so far. It plays with the horror genre, which is a personal favorite. It also interjects the mysterious and horrible into the mundane, leaving a lurking presence of evil behind. Another plus for it as a short film, the ultimate hero taking on the elements of the unknown is a woman; rather than be the damsel in distress, she is the savior.
Vimeo is so much more than just odd horror films, though there are plenty of those. There are also movies where nightmares come to life (The Last Time), which is another favorite. There are videos about hip-hop culture in Mumbai (The SlumGods of Mumbai). How about a film about a deer obsessed with the formula for a 3rd dimension? Rabbit and Deer covers that. There are literally videos about everything, every political and social cause, every genre, and every human interest.
What’s more important is that Vimeo is an outlet for all types of film makers to present their work. Anyone can create and upload their work. In a world where mainstream cinema fails to leave a lot of room for independent film makers, especially when those artists espouse challenging view points or happen to be women or minorities, Vimeo offers an alternative platform. Any outlet that opens the doors for free expression and oft-ignored voices to be heard is worth perusing on a snowy afternoon.