There’s a new X-Files movie coming out on July 25. I was an enormous X-Files fan in college, and I’m very excited about it. I’ve been watching old episodes in preparation, and they really hold up. This week the NYT ran a nice article about the film that included this quote from Gillian Anderson, who played Scully:
Ms. Anderson used to find the whole idea [of Mulder & Scully pursuing a romantic relationship] ridiculous. “There was always part of me that thought, ‘What’s so special about these two, and will everybody not shut up about it?’ ” she said. “And then, while we were doing this movie, somebody sent me a link to a YouTube montage that a fan had put together of Mulder and Scully. Clips of our growing intimacy through the series. One, it was really moving, and two, I couldn’t believe how many times we held hands and actually kissed. And I was left with my very first understanding of what the fans were on about. I finally kind of got it.
I think it is extremely cool that a fanvid by an X-Phile helped Gillian Anderson reformulate her opinion of the relationships of a character that she played! This is a great example of the influence of fandom on canon texts, and it’s also a nice counterpoint to many of the popular conceptions of romantic/shipper fanvids, that they’re something that silly teenage girls do.
I first learned about fanvids from seeing a really great presentation by Francesca Coppa at Media in Transition 5 at MIT. She pointed out that this is a historically female form of fandom that pre-dates machinima and video mash-ups, but gets almost no attention in comparison. (She also showed how incredibly time-consuming and complex creating fanvids was during the heyday of the VCR.) Here’s a great two-part interview with Francesca on Henry Jenkins’ blog: part one and part two.