This video is the work of Tasmanian “freelance visualisation consultant” Peter Morse. The music was composed by Glenn Rogers and performed by Alistair Foote, Penelope Reynolds and Samantha Podeu. Morse describes the project as follows:
The Video & Text
Percy Bysshe Shelley’s classic poem (1818) is used in the video in relation to romantic and Neoclassical architecture, with particular reference to Boullée and Speer, as a kind of critique of the ideology of power articulated by these architectures. The poem ‘Ozymandias’ is a vivid portrayal of the vanity of demagoguery and monumentalism, explored here as a trope for the moral ambiguities of these unbuilt architectures, that stand as fascinating historical symbols of the folly of certain types of power, albeit from varying political persuasions. The strong counterpoint of the ‘modernity’ of the score with the inflated Neoclassicism of the architecures is an attempt to dramatise the counterpoint of these different aesthetics, both of which have struggled for power in this last century. Ironically, these buildings will ever be as virtual as they are here: fictions of history re-imagined via computer simulation.
Ozymandias is mostly based on the enigmatic minor and the enigmatic major scales. These are rather unusual and obscure scales not generally associated with Western music. In the more polyrhythmic and densely orchestrated sections the inversions of both these scales are used. In some sections notes from the enigmatic scales act as pedal points (tonal centres). From these pedal points are used their associated harmonic series and their inversions to generate a palindromic type of effect. These techniques were largely employed as formal compositional methodologies and may not be obviously audible in the music.
Note: This was the ‘blurb’ from the “Liminal” interactive CD-ROM (2000). The video was made on a Mac in 1998, using 3D animation and compositing, with footage shot in Berlin.
After being given an artist and a poet at random we were asked to select a poem and use inspiration from the artist to create a motion piece under the title “Words in Motion”.
Joshua Casoni may not have gotten the title or all the words quite right, but this is still the most imaginative video interpretation I’ve seen of the poem. Doug Toomer stars at the homeless man. Casoni was assisted by Jake Doty on camera and sound.
A poem by George Szirtes, translated into film by the London-based video production company Atticus Finch for a British television series called Poems on the Underground (not to be confused with the long-standing project of the same name that places poems “in tube carriages across London”).
An innovative video by the Liverpool-based arts collective Mercy for a poem by their creative director, Nathan Jones.
Here’s a film by John Le Brocq called One Night Stand – Perfect End, in which the John Donne poem serves as a (mostly) internal monologue for the protagonist.
by John Donne
NOW thou hast loved me one whole day,
To-morrow when thou leavest, what wilt thou say?
Wilt thou then antedate some new-made vow?
Or say that now
We are not just those persons which we were?
Or that oaths made in reverential fear
Of Love, and his wrath, any may forswear?
Or, as true deaths true marriages untie,
So lovers’ contracts, images of those,
Bind but till sleep, death’s image, them unloose?
Or, your own end to justify,
For having purposed change and falsehood, you
Can have no way but falsehood to be true?
Vain lunatic, against these ‘scapes I could
Dispute, and conquer, if I would;
Which I abstain to do,
For by to-morrow I may think so too.