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Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

The Vine 5 Film Festival: This Isn't the End

Vine is a toy from Twitter that challenges users to make the most profound work ever committed to video in exactly six seconds. Or at the very least, challenges comedians to bring a little more laughter into this world. Every Tuesday we showcase five of the funniest short shorts of the past week.

Your RSS feed might be difficult and not show the videos, but trust us – they are there.

The first half of the third week of June was a simpler time, when apps stayed on their side of their respective streets, building more and more banks to manage all of their money in peace and harmony. But peace never lasts forever: if you had waited a mere forty eight hours after Last Tuesday's The Fogelnest Files podcast was initially released to listen to it — an entire episode devoted to Vine, featuring Steve Agee, Marlo Meekins and James Urbaniak discussing their work and the creativity behind other popular videos — you were hopelessly behind and might as well had been spending your time fixing your TV antennae1: Instagram on Thursday launched their own video service. Instagram's feature allows users to make up to fifteen second videos — as opposed to Vine's six second limit — with an option of a few filters. The extended time limit is not necessarily a good thing; at least in its infancy, the videos come off as awkwardly extended vines or traditional short films that are awkwardly abbreviated. The black and white filter is cool. Thus far, Ben Kronberg has used that filter to his advantage, making a series of Instagram vids where he pretends to be a Dave Matthews Band producer by the name of Rick Stevens, who is way too invested in the group and definitely takes the music too seriously. The B&W gives it a cinéma vérité look similar to D.A. Pennebaker's classic Dylan doc Don't Look Back.

Otherwise, let's wait a few weeks to see if Instagram is really going to poach a bunch of the most popular and talented viners, or if a promising new crop of funny folks make themselves known. There's no need to get into a Floyd Gondolli/Jack Horner showdown over which app is better, but that hasn't stopped some comedians to show their unflinching support for Vine almost immediately after the news came out.

Reggie Watts' explanation for why he is sticking with Vine was incredibly straightforward, but also the oddest because he posted it on Instagram.

Some viners, like Jérôme Jarre, already have amassed half of a million (as in million) followers, so there's not going to be a mass exodus from the most popular kids. The V5FF isn't taking sides, except the side of creativity, whatever that means.

Here are the top vines from the past week:

"I Took a Vine of Myself Once a Day For the Past 14 Years"
By Jeff Wattenhofer

Wattenhofer's clever idea is enjoyable until you realize that the man probably died from making the world's longest sneeze, or at the very least took a major toll on his personal life. He certainly couldn't go to work like that, even if he was the hero of Funny Hat Day. There's also the underlying message that Vine will make you sick if use it for more than six or seven years, which means that Wattenhofer is probably working for Instagram.

"#HowTo Take a Random Stranger Off to See the Wizard of Oz"
By Brittany Furlan
with Marcus Johns and Randal Kirk II
Shot by Tony McGrath

Brittany Furlan continues to make funny vines that feature poor, unsuspecting strangers. Although I'm usually not a fan of practical jokes, there is no denying the great idea here, and the woman seems to have reluctantly enjoyed her unscheduled trip to Oz.

"Guy Who's So Cool, That It Actually Physically Hurts Him To Be Alive"
By Nicholas Megalis

Nicholas Megalis enjoys composing and performing six second songs that are on the odd end of the spectrum. When he isn't singing, his voice provides life to hipster orange juice. The Jason Nash-esque vine above doesn't even need any sound – it's specificity and spot-on impression is more than enough.

"Barry and Levon Reunion"
By Thomas Lennon
with Michael Ian Black

Lennon and Ian Black all too briefly returned as beloved The State lotharios Barry and Levon. Even though they look to be in much better shape than I suspected men of their age would be after years of consuming $240 worth of pudding, their stamina isn't what it used to be.

"Anne of Green Gables"
By Marlo Meekins

Marlo Meekins nails the essence of the classic book, or at the very least offers a much better first line for it.

Playing in Theater 2

Woman Style Catcalling by Sunny Mabrey and Lauren German

Here's part two. Brittany Furlan catcalled men the way men are wont to do last week.

(Untitled) by Colin Hanks

Colin has been posting vines of getting sucked in by air vents for over a month, then slowly developed a story where the vent suddenly stopped, causing Hanks to realize how much he truly missed it. Happy, weird endings for all!

Liars by Arthur Darvill

The former Doctor Who co-star calls out moving boxes.

The Machine by Erik Bergstrom

"That's the machine that took my father's hand…" The facial expression sells the joke.

Anthony Imperioli's #unPOPremake of Avatar or How an Over Zealous Intern Almost Ruined a Billion Dollar Movie by Anthony Imperioli

Got to watch for wires.


1You should listen to the episode anyway if you haven't yet.

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