More Video Essays by Matt Zoller Seitz

[NOTE: this post originally appeared on Datachondria, a blog dedicated to technology, data, and modern life.]

Some more superb Matt Zoller Seitz links, on Benjamin Button (be sure to view the video version), the follow shot, and Steve McQueen. Here's why th

is kind of work is important. Criticism can help you live your life:

By stripping away the political context that made Gump a pop culture hot potato, Button isolates and magnifies the story's emotional appeal: the sense that, no matter how strongly we believe in the notion that each person is the captain of his or her own ship, the unfortunate fact is that most of us are passengers on this voyage. When we wish to change course, it's difficult, often impossible to get the captain's attention, and even if we manage to do so, the vessel is so enormous, and so beholden to the wishes of everyone else on board, that altering its course even infinitesimally is often beyond the realm of possibility. Button is entirely about this sense of life: the realization that we’re quite small and powerless in the great scheme of things, and the most sensible response to this realization is to try to be as caring and decent as we can and appreciate the life we’ve got.