10. leolide – When The Party’s Over
Song: “When The Party’s Over (Redrose Mix)”
During the past few years, I’ve seen so many AMVs using anime from the Monogatari series that I feel like I’ve become more or less numb to them; or at least I thought so, until this year when there were a surprising number of good videos using the series, least of which was certainly not this piece from leolide. In a recent Flying Low post, I wrote about a video called Hypnerotomachia, which conveys loneliness in a very direct way. When The Party’s Over does something similar here, albeit in a very different manner: heavy color manipulation featuring primarily blues cover everything, and the video is little more than jump cuts of the same character’s face with occasional blurs and other relatively simple effects added.
The video is so much more than the sum of these deceptively mundane parts, though, and the AMV that came out the other side feels like a portrait of loneliness — not being alone, per se, but the feeling of being all by yourself in a crowded room. There are no other characters shown throughout the entire thing, but it feels distinctly like all the negative space present in the video is just a dimming of the lights so that we viewers can focus on this one, spotlighted character. There’s an almost tangible sense that we’re seeing the faces this girl puts on for those around her, but that nothing she’s emoting actually reflects what’s going on in her head. It’s a demonstration in the power of simple effects applied in creative ways to build an incredibly tactile mood.
Perhaps even more than this, though, it’s a video that shows how powerful minimalism can be; it doesn’t have a lot of…well, anything, really. A single character, a sparse color palette, not much that actually happens in terms of progressing a narrative, and yet you walk away from this video feeling something very specific, and very relatable. Editors often pride themselves in their technical ability, and using it to say something very grandiose. While there’s certainly a level of technical skill that leolide displays in this one, all the effects in this video are used almost to divert attention from themselves. The video’s acute feeling of loneliness and seclusion is the big takeaway, and leolide succeeds wildly in making a video that one can’t help but feel deep in the gut, long after the party’s over.