"Watching It All Happen"
Among the entrants to the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry is the music video for “Thriller,” the first music video to make it into the collection. This seems like a good thing to me. Music videos are on a real creative upswing thanks to YouTube stepping into MTV and VH1’s long-abandoned shoes. And for most folks, I’d bet music videos are the most significant exposure they have to short film. I’m a big fan of the genre myself (music videos are on my list of things to write much more about in the new year), and I’m glad to see them, slowly and belatedly, getting some of the recognition they deserve. While music videos might seem disposable, or mere marketing vehicles, I think they’re more important than that. We live in a world, after all, where folks have pressed play on Susan Boyle’s first appearance on “Britain’s Got Talent” 83 million times: that’s the crudest sort of music video, but music attached to visuals all the same, and available for free.