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UNITED STATES, 2011, 01:01:00

Genre : Video art
Keyword : Music, Allegory

Summary :
“The Planets” is an epic, 77-minute video feature commissioned by the new music ensemble Relâche. The score took composer Kyle Gann 12 years to complete, and became a multi-media immersion into the myths and mystery of the planets when Relâche commissioned video artist and director John Sanborn to take viewers on a journey out into space, and inside the play between reality and fantasy.

The work is in 10 parts, each dedicated on a single planet, and composites things we know, and elements we imagine about the heavenly bodies in the sky. We see the planets only through lenses, mental and physical – and we have invented more about them than we really understand. We have praised the planets for the origins of humankind, and we have blamed them for controlling our fragile lives from moment to milestone. We projected the faces of gods onto their obscure surfaces, trading the fear of science for the terror of closure.

The piece is richly orchestrated abstract storytelling that blends mixes animation, poetry, dance and video artistry to explore our fascination with the planets; the mysteries we ascribe to them and the magisterial influence of the ancient gods they represent.

Dancers Margaret Cromwell and Joseph Copley, master improvisers, provide sinuous body gestures, to project powerful persona traits, and ground each planet with humanity and gender identity. The result is a journey through the historical fabric of myths and legends, energized by modern day digital artistry.

Director’s Statement :

"When I was commissioned to create “The Planets” I immediately thought about how much we know, and how much we imagine about the heavenly bodies in the sky. I flashed back to my childhood, when reading sci-fi and staring at star charts would elevate me from my suburban existence and fly me into outer space. Apollo was a moon mission AND a god to me.

Gustav Holst famously treated the planets with the majesty and pomp accorded the mythic figures that rule from the heavens. But Kyle Gann was more interested in the emotional and psychological resonences of the stories we’ve invented about the myths andl egends we continue to worship and revere.

A rich subject for 10 short works, this added up to a huge opportunity to address big themes. So, I wanted to deal with the history of our fascination with the planets, the mystery we ascribe to them and the magical influence of the ancient Gods. I wanted to dive into the beauty of planetary motion, and find ways to bring the deep emotions the planets evoke to the screen.

I found the depth of poetic language, especially by Shakespeare, a keen counterpoint to the music – and those words helped me to shape character portraits for each planet. I started with the texture and tone of each, draped in the historical fabric of myth, and developed a visual language for each planet.

I worked to get inside the music and find ways to blend story with gesture, aided by master improvisers, dancers Margaret Cromwell and Joseph Copley. Their sinuous body language and ability to portray basic but powerful persona traits, grounds each planet with a humanity and a gender identity and a tension between real and fantasia.

At the end of a year’s work “The Planets” takes viewers on a journey out into space, and deep inside the mystery of mythology.

puce to print

Original language : english
Technical information : Music by Kyle Gann - Performed by Relâche
Original format : HD Video
Aspect ratio : 16/9
Chroma : Couleur
Available version(s) : Version originale anglaise

rental : 120 euros

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