“Us” - a multivid by Lim
by Kristina Busse — Independent Scholar
February 01, 2008 – 04:01
/we’re living in a den of thieves Lim’s vid thematizes and illustrates how media fans engage with texts—not only the intense love fans feel for the shows and characters, but also how fans appropriate images, characters, narratives, and make them their own. The heavy manipulation of the images, often into near unrecognizability, mirrors the way fans make media their own, into something more appealing to “us.” The sheer wealth of sources and the iconic moments resonate with the way fans watch their shows, the way we rewind and analyze and hone in on a particular detail or moment. /rummaging for answers in the pages “Us” invites us to watch it fannishly: both the editing and the external footage nod towards fannish engagement, ranging from superimposed images of fannish books to the fast-cut sequence of shows connected via popular fannish actors (alluding to fannish propensity for crossovers and following favorite actors to new shows). The vid encompasses a spectrum of fannish shows starting with Star Trek, often focusing on the male characters, but ends with V for Vendetta and a scene of unmasking, leaving us with the iconic image of a girl—us? The overwhelming sense of collective and shared creativity and power (and even potential subversion) in the imagery of the avalanche is both metaphor for fandom as a whole but also the individual fan’s affective relation to fandom. /the tourists come and stare at us The vid aggressively asserts not just an independent space that fandom provides but also questions outsiders’ interest—the tourists staring explicitly include academics. In a way then to analyze a vid like “Us” undermines its very argument. Not only is it redundant since the vid intellectually and affectively offers an intense vision of media fans without need for explication, but it also moves the viewer from “us” to “they.” The question the vid poses for acafans might just be whether we indeed can be fully immersed and analyze that immersion at the same time.