I haven’t seen enough movies from 2021 to do a “should win” post, and I haven’t paid enough attention to Oscars past to do a “will win post”. But two of my favorite YouTubers have each posted an Oscar-focused video recently, and the contrast between the two is interesting.
Marianna at Impression Blend posted her reactions to the announcement of nominations for the 2022 awards. Marianna is very engaged with the announcement, starting with the very first nomination: Jessie Buckley for best supporting actress, which she and I both applauded. She has mixed, but mostly positive, reactions for a while. Then we get to best director…
In contrast, Maggie at Deep Focus Lens posted about why the Oscars don’t matter. Don’t let that put you off: Maggie starts with reasons why the Oscars do matter. She goes on to give reasons why the Oscars aren’t an indicator of quality.
I’m not pitting these two excellent MovieTubers against each other. Each is my favorite type of YouTuber: an ELK, one who is Enthusiastic, Likeable, and Knowledgeable. I believe that they know and respect one another.
I am more of a Maggie than a Marianna. My favorite piece of evidence in the case against taking the Oscars seriously is the Best Picture category in the 49th awards. One 0f the worst movies I’ve ever seen won, pitted against at least two of the best movies I’ve ever seen. And… but let me skip over Jake G in Nightcrawler, and return to the present.
As for this year, I understand Marianna’s outrage that Denis Villeneuve was not nominated for directing Dune. But I’m less surprised then she was.
What are your views on the Oscars, and on the 2022 nominations?
I haven’t been a regular movie-watcher for far too long. There have been many reasons for this, including parenthood, Covid, and attention span problems. Now, as my attention span returns, I’m returning to movies, mostly through the internet rather than movie theaters.
You can see what I’m watching by visiting me on Letterboxd. I mean to keep logging the films I watch, rating most of them, and reviewing some of them.
My favorite source of movie reviews is the YouTube channel deepfocuslens. Maggie is my favorite kind of YouTuber: what I term an ELK, one who is Enthusiastic, Likeable, and Knowledgeable.
I must get to a theater soon to see Dune, which I have been looking forward to seeing on a big screen for years. My most regular movie-going years were during graduate school, when the theaters in the mostly-dead malls between Amherst and Northampton (Massachusetts) used to have “twilight shows” for $2.50. That was cheaper than renting a videotape. (That comparison will illustrate how long ago I was in grad school.)
What is your current view of movies? Eclipsed by TV shows? Products for the dying institution of the movie theater? In a golden age made possible by new technologies of production and consumption?
My favorite YouTubers are ELKs: they are enthusiastic, likeable, and knowledgeable. Many of them are young, but youth is not necessary. Today’s ELK is even older than I am.
Leland Sklar has been a professional bass guitar player for over fifty years. Wikipedia lists some of the hundreds of artists he’s worked with, and projects he has worked on.
Leland’s YouTube channel is wonderful. My favorite videos are those in which he plays along with tracks, as well as talking about the people and songs involved. Today, Leland went way back, with a recording (and play-along) of a rehearsal featuring James Taylor and Carole King.
Leland is a great musician. He’s also a warm and compassionate person. Today’s video shows all of that, along with his impressive white beard.
I appreciate YouTubers who are ELK: Enthusiastic, Likeable, Knowledgeable.
My first ELK of 2021 is Daniel Greene. He’s a successful YouTuber: I believe he’s full-time now; he recently hit a quarter million subscribers. That’s not bad for someone who has been described as a disheveled goblin host, and now describes himself as such.
He is one of several YouTubers I consider not only Enthusiastic, Likeable, Knowledgeable, but also Young and Attractive. That suggests the acronym LEAKY, but I don’t think that’s a good way of describing people I like. So I’ll make sure that my next ELK will not be young; that ELK is not a BookTuber either.
Back to Daniel, the young attractive goblin ELK. I should recommend a specific video. That’s tough, since he covers a lot of ground, and posts a lot of videos. I’ll go with his video on how to start with Stephen King. If you’re familiar with King’s work, you’ll be we able to assess Daniel’s analysis, and decide whether his channel is for you. If you’re not, then Daniel can help.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on Daniel, ELK’s etc.
What makes you want to follow a particular YouTuber? My best answer is that they must be ELK: Enthusiastic, Likeable, Knowledgeable.
Merphy Napier is my first ELK. Merphy is a booktuber: she posts videos about books and authors, mainly in the genre of fantasy fiction. Here’s the video she posted earlier today, about her favorite authors as of late 2020.
If you watch the video, you’ll certainly see that she is Enthusiastic. I think you’ll find her Likeable, but that is of course very subjective. As someone whose reading overlaps with hers, I can testify that she is Knowledgeable about the genres she reads.
In future posts, I’ll post about other ELKs. Some, but not all, will be booktubers.
In the meantime, you are your favorite ELK YouTubers? Or what are your criteria for YouTube excellence?