I’ve been known to complain about genre fiction, about how so much of it consists of variations on the same old elements with maybe popular concerns thrown in for seasoning… or maybe to justify, socially redeem, the whole project.
On the other hand, occasionally someone like Gökalp Gönen comes along to take the same old (in this case, quite old: Isaac Asimov, but also more recent: steam punk, and 2001, not to mention a certain kind of wordy play I might have attended back in the 1970s) same old and do something quite creative none-the-less. For me, this video is wow… just wow.
Note that subtitles in various languages, including English, are available.
I think the title is intended to add another dimension of meaning to the video, but I’m not competent to pursue that. My Sanskrit is a tad rusty, begging your pardon. Apparently avarya is used as a feminine name, implying sweetly irresistible.
I was not going to share this at first. Among other things, it’s on YouTube and that platform has gotten to packing an unreasonable number of commercials into their hosted videos. My TV died for this?
But I came back to it because, on the other hand, it is a super bit of storytelling, carefully crafted to build a particular effect, timed to a particular plot point but with multiple suggestions of subplots (left to the viewer to fill in; the characters are genre archetypes, so any number of subplots suggest themselves) and paced to fit its five minutes. Plus there is the trippy, comic-book style of animation; the story is almost told in frames.
The courtyard is mottled with pools of light, for dontcha know, it’s early in the morning, 5 by the clock this autumn day, and the elves and fairies are stirring though they are never entirely asleep. Always and ever is the roar of the Universal Spell, sometimes piano by the clock but never silent. Presto! Light appears and magic it must be for it is none other than the light ensorcelled by plants millions upon millions of years ago. It is an evil spell that makes zombie light, undead light, poverty light of but one color, lying light for whatever opportunities it provides, it also takes away with no rhyme or meter.
This is a magical hour for me, seated in my dark dining room with a grandstand view of the courtyard. Parked cars line the street. A mere century ago, prior to World War I, that would have been remarkable: So many cars in the city, there is only room to leave them parked on the street! I do believe the Singularity that some transhumanists fantasize about has done come and gone years ago. Welcome to a strange and beautiful and unwell time.
Clarke’s Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology will seem like magic. What do we look like to any of our fellow species of animal? The stories of elves and fairyland are but images of ourselves reflected in the eyes of other species.
The distant horns of the Hunt by the Queen of the Fairies segues into the distant horns of traffic and the thundering hooves of Her steeds segues into the ever present roar of The Machine. And what shall we say of this Hunt? It is a never ending stream of casualties and roadkill without the sometimes redemptive act of feeding. And why? I could tell a story, thousands of stories, but few would make any sense to the creatures with whom we share this planet. They would seem fay.
Wading in a pool of streetlight, someone crosses the street to a parked car. Recognizing its Master, the car opens and, after a moment, it comes alive. It is in a long parking spot and the driver, in reverse, slowly swings the nose out. Out of that spot in two moves, I think with approval: easy peasy. Then instead, the driver repeats the maneuver. Is this an attempt at a U-turn as well? This vehicle must have the turning radius of an oil tanker. A third repeat before escaping to the street establishes that the driver is Fay and I am so glad to not be sharing the road with it.
My espresso is still hot. I take a sip of my cup and a sip of my pipe. The parking spot mysteriously stays empty while the day begins its mumbled conversation with the night. The courtyard is becoming mottled with leftover pools of dark for, dontcha know, it’s early in the morning.
Performed by Kiefo Nilsson, “it was written by Dallas Bartley, Leo Hickman and Louis Jordan sometime during the mesozoic era. Later, it was performed by Harry Nilsson on the Nilsson Schmilsson album…”
“Portland’s Burning Heart uses a combination of iPhone footage, on-the-ground photography and haunting voice over to tell the story of Portland’s ongoing street protests from the perspective of a woman who knows them well: Emmy-winning photojournalist Beth Nakamura of The Oregonian. Beth is the burning heart at the center of the film, and over the course of its 13 minutes we watch as she evolves from local reporter to teargas-dodging, stab-vest-wearing conflict journalist.
“Commissioned by the Dutch public network HUMAN in anticipation of the 2020 US elections, the film is a collaboration between Nakamura and the Tim Hetherington Visionary Award-winning filmmaking team Jongsma + O’Neill.”
I’ve been wondering if sending Federal “law enforcement” to Portland was an attempt, in a general sort of way, for Trump (or perhaps his minions) to emulate Ronald Reagan and Peoples Park. Just asking for a friend…
i beg your pardon whilst i become slightly more improbable…
I lost my sister this month. She was nine years older than I and had been diagnosed with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis… essentially a death sentence diagnosis so it was not unexpected. It’s one of those mid-range horrible ways to go.
We were not close, not for the past several decades. This was entirely my fault though it was neglect not hostility. On the other hand, Suzanne was often understandably more than irritated about my failure to be a brother. Though we did have our moments. Still, she deserved a better little brother than I. And still, for all that we did no more than talk on the phone occasionally, I miss her.
Funny thing about that photo. I somehow always remember her as taller than me.