Sources of Excellent Video Analysis
Lindsay Ellis (film/tv/comics/games)
Lessons from the Screenplay (film)
Now You See It (film)
8-bit Music Theory (game music)
Feminist Frequency (games/film)
Every Frame a Painting (film)
Kaptain Kristian (film/tv/games/culture)
Just Write (film)
Folding Ideas (film/culture/games)
Channel Criswell (film)
Rossatron (action movies)
Games as Literature (games)
Pop Culture Detective (tropes, all media)
Karston Runquist (film/tv)
Earthling Cinema (film)
Wisecrack Edition (features analysis of philosophy and failure in movies, tv, games)
I Love Analysis
Years ago, I remember hearing a definition of analogy as one of the most important human abilities for ensuring our continued survival. In brief, the ability to identify things we've never contacted before as being similar to things we have contacted before has been an extraordinarily useful survival mechanism. Once you've seen a large predatory cat, have witnessed the way it stalked the ground, considered its large teeth, observed the sway of its tail before it pounces, you can easily identify these traits elsewhere - oh, this is like that. Our ancestors that had the misfortune of stumbling upon a lion without caution were likely more cautions when they discovered the leopard. This ability to recognize similarities kept them alive. Today, some cognitive scientists have suggested that not only is analogy the means by which humans adapted to survive novel challenges, but that analogy might be the very foundation of our ability to learn new skills and store memory: analogy may be the core of our cognition.
So here is this thing - analogy - that we teach in school, treated like a device meant for English class, when in fact it may be essential to who we are as thinking beings. Something we use when we get up ("I've woken up late; something similar has happened before and, based on that similarity, I expect this day to suuuuuck"), when we interact with our friends ("she's acting like that again; I'm staying away from her"), and when we go out to restaurants ("I've never eaten here before, but this looks like something I will like"). Basically our waking life is informed by comparisons with the world as we already know it.
So what does this have to do with analysis?
They are both literally rooted in the same meaning, with the root ana- meaning upon, again, throughout, according to. Where analogy is to gather together according to similarities, analysis is deconstructive, to loosen the complexities according to their simple elements. Analysis is, essentially, the practice of developing and using our analogy muscles, stretching them to be more effective and useful to us. To extend the metaphor, analysis is the physical conditioning of wind sprints and gym time to prepare for the athletic main event, storing and processing the world using analogy. In sports, those working the hardest to develop their abilities find success and their way to the upper levels of competition: the Olympics, the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals. In analogy, the most successful become not gifted athletes, but exceptional critical thinkers. They become the best medical professionals, diagnosing illnesses that can save lives; they become capable police detectives, ensuring that criminals are caught and punished; they become creative engineers, developing solutions where others see only problems; they become clever mechanics, identifying and fixing car problems before they become car accidents. The ability to see the analogous in what we have never experienced is a skill that must be honed. Formal analysis is not the only means by which to develop our capacity for analogy, but it is the most intentional and most easily practiced.
Here There Be Analysis
Here's the analysis that I've been enjoying.