Fan videos for musicians have become a pretty major part of the online video-streaming world. With increasingly accessible prices for digital video equipment, and user-friendly editing software, expressing your love for your favourite indie band through mash-up edits of kittens dancing on pianos has never been easier. But what if you’re a really big fan of a city? Well, unsurprisingly a lot of DIY city homages have begun to bubble up to the surface of the Internet. While traditionally video city portraits have been heavily marketing-driven – designed to lure people and investments to a city through stylized and nostalgic imagery, this new crop of homemade videos are characteristically introspective and personal.
Here are three that have caught my eye in the last month. In ‘Stockhome’ Ricardo Tagliabue choses to focus his camera and find beauty in the quiet and mundane. Perfectly ordered Scandinavian streetscapes crossed by a singular pedestrian, urban plant life blowing in the wind, and glasses of steeping tea, all hint at the stoic, reflective qualities of Stockholm.
For Stephen McGee’s portrait of Detroit, he uses a poem recited and written by Jessica Care Moore. When talking about the city’s rich working class past, the camera focuses on old cars and old men, perfectly dressed and hatted. As the poem moves towards the present, images of a new community garden start to appear.
Before boarding a plane to Toronto for the holidays, Millefiore Clarkes is given the challenge, by her boyfriend, of documenting her trip. Inspired by the work of Matthew Brown, the result is a highly personal portrait of the city, moving seamlessly through city streets, the homes of relatives, and festive parties.