I'm looking for videos that induce frisson and make you want to explore.
July 30, 2013 3:51 PM   Subscribe

I'm making a list of videos that create a very particular kind of frisson: the feeling that the world is a big place filled with experiences to have and explorations to take part in. Have some good examples inside - would love more.

Saw this Levi's ad that features Bukowski's poem The Laughing Heart a few hours before going to the local theater and seeing a trailer that moved me in a similar way, and on the way home I realized why. Both evoked a very similar feeling: a frisson connected to the idea that the world is really big, really expansive, filled with unlikely things worth doing, etc.

For all their cheese and possible objections to them, I'd love more videos like that. I'm currently engaged in a pretty long, difficult project that I'm doing because it will make future things I want to do more easy, and there's an emotional state that both of these videos, for all their arguably questionable politics,* hearken to that make them a good palate-cleanser after a particularly burn-out-y day. What other videos do that?

*Namely the fact that both are advertisements, not to even get into the hard-to-articulate weirdness I feel around showing white people achieving authenticity by spending time engaged in expensive travel, etc. In fact, the main other example I could think of is this Discovery Channel promo - which almost made me worry this post will be misinterpreted as Pepsi Blue situation. But it's not. I want videos that achieve (or attempt to achieve) this emotional state, and if they're not advertisements, even better. Thank you.
posted by Ash3000 to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
The Alexander Payne segment in Paris Je T'aime.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:54 PM on July 30, 2013

If film qualifies, the sushi-serving scenes in Jiro Dreams of Sushi did that for me, quite recently. I usually eat the same sashimi and rolls each time, but this made me want to try new tastes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:56 PM on July 30, 2013

Response by poster: Film *definitely* counts! I was actually just thinking that one other example of something that evoked this very specific feeling (in an odd way) was the last 5 minutes of the film 127 hours - terrible-quality version here.
posted by Ash3000 at 4:17 PM on July 30, 2013

The super slow motion video of cheetahs running are kind of like this for me. The blog The Kid Should See This has a lot of things that are in this vein, to me.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:31 PM on July 30, 2013

Where the Hell is Matt? does it for me.

I'm particularly fond of the 2008 video, and the 2012 video.

Not necessarily a "big, wide world" feeling for me, as much as a "hey we're all in this together." Although that interlude near the end of 2008 nearly gets me to cry every time.
posted by themanwho at 4:33 PM on July 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

And the old classic, Where the hell is Matt - Matt Harding's videos of him doing a goofy dance in farflung places around the world. This link is the 2006 one, but also see the 2008 and 2012 ones which are on his channel.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:33 PM on July 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Ha! Great minds.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:34 PM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just went to copy the URL for where the hell is Matt, got back and...
Speaking of Where the Hell is Matt, the lyrics to the accompanying 2008 song, Praan, are by the Bengali mystic Rabindranath Tagore, and are amazing. As follows:

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.
posted by jcworth at 4:35 PM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

At the risk of completely missing the point, I've always been moved by this video of the Dubai Fountain synced to Baba Yetu.
posted by blue t-shirt at 4:36 PM on July 30, 2013

the world is a big place filled with experiences to have and explorations to take part in.

This is the stated theme of the recent Beasts of the Southern Wild. Not sure if it will create that "particular kind of frisson" you're looking for, however.
posted by Rash at 4:41 PM on July 30, 2013

A documentary called 180 Degrees South.
posted by fshgrl at 4:47 PM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

One Giant Leap
posted by mannequito at 4:59 PM on July 30, 2013

the opening credits to Adventure Time!
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:05 PM on July 30, 2013

Parts of it are getting kind of dated, but the rest of Powaqqatsi does this for me.
posted by ook at 5:09 PM on July 30, 2013

Tarsem's music video for Sweet Lullaby
posted by Mchelly at 5:12 PM on July 30, 2013

These very short four videos rather incite the travel bug in a very very good way.
posted by krakus at 5:27 PM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

When I was an editorial assistant, I worked on a book called Born to Be Good by a Berkeley psychologist named Dacher Keltner. He described that frisson you're talking about as an emotion, called "elevation," the "emotion of uplift."

The book is fine. But even better, for your purposes, is the article that Roger Ebert wrote about that emotion, in which he lists films (and other things) that had inspired that emotion in him: "I feel good! I knew that I would!"

The films he lists (not all tearjerkers, as he points out) are:
  • Terms of Endearment
  • Fargo
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Gandhi
  • Nothing Like the Holidays
  • Cries and Whispers
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • Leaving Las Vegas
  • Maborosi
Ebert describes the feeling thus:
Studies have indicated that Elevation is triggered by the stimulus of our vagus nerve, described by Wikipedia as the only nerve that starts in the brainstem and extends down below the head, to the neck, chest and abdomen, where it contributes to the innervation of the viscera. It must be involved in what we call "visceral feelings," defined as "relating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect."

The vagus nerve would certainly account for what I feel, which is as much physical than mental. For years, when asked "how do you know a movie is great?" I've had the same reply: I feel a tingling in my spine. People look at me blankly. I explain that I feel an actual physical sensation that does not depend on the abstract quality of the movie, but on--well, my visceral feelings.

Yoffe writes: "In his forthcoming book Born To Be Good, Keltner writes that he believes when we experience transcendence, it stimulates our vagus nerve, causing 'a feeling of spreading, liquid warmth in the chest and a lump in the throat'." Yes, that's what I feel. Does it sound familiar to you?
posted by ocherdraco at 5:38 PM on July 30, 2013 [7 favorites]

Fleet Foxes - Grown Ocean
B-52s - Roam
Major Lazer - Get Free

Also the TV shows Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Fishing with John.
posted by chrisulonic at 8:08 PM on July 30, 2013

posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:31 PM on July 30, 2013

A few of my favorite (ads) that have a similar feel:
Coca cola security cameras
Riser and Shine (not a commercial)
New Balance Runnovation (I am biased since there is footage of a running club I am in)
posted by vegetableagony at 5:13 PM on August 11, 2013

jk, the Rise and Shine video is a nike ad.
posted by vegetableagony at 8:08 PM on August 11, 2013

There is a subreddit that might be relevant to this question: /r/frisson
posted by ocherdraco at 6:58 PM on September 19, 2013

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