AN AUDIO-VISUAL SYMPHONY BY
SIR TIJN PO
Several quotes from Ancient Greece bring this brand new Audio-Visual Symphony to life. Firstly there is Heracletus’ (of ‘You can never step into the same river twice’ fame):
‘All things are in Flux’
‘All things rest in change.’
While there are certainly many who would interpret this as some Buddhist oxymoron, I sense a different meaning here – something close to a quote by another ancient Greek, Epicurus (in his letter to Herodotus):
‘The greatest anxiety of the human mind arises through the belief that the heavenly bodies are blessed and indestructible and that at the same time they have volition and actions and causality inconsistent with this belief and through expecting and apprehending some everlasting evil… But mental tranquility means being released from all these troubles and cherishing a continual remembrance of the highest and most important truths.’
Or, to put it more simply, peace of mind comes through our realization that every aspect of our existence is in constant Flux and, thus, unburdened by any eternal rules, purpose, obligations, threats, etc. Our lives and deaths, as well as the lives and deaths of everything around us, are simply changes similar to those we see when looking into a kaleidoscope – the ‘death’ of one image giving ‘birth’ to another, over and over again. None are more or less important than the other, and, aside from the personal preferences of the viewer, none are more or less tragic, or joyful, than the next.
This is the underlying theme of the (primarily animated) film, FLUX, which will be an audio-visual journey through the continuous fluctuations of the various levels of our existence. FLUX claims two previous films as its visual models – Jan Švankmajer’s Dimensions of Dialogue and Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi (at least in the sense of being a feature-length audio-visual poem). We would like to stress, however, that while these films put more of an emphasis on the darker side of civilization, we, in line with Devilhead Films policy, will try to take the viewer on a fantastic and pleasant journey toward self-liberation and joy, or, to paraphrase Heracletus and Epicurus, we will try to lead the viewer to ‘Mental Tranquility’ and ‘Rest’ by portraying the inherent ‘Flux’ and ‘Change’ in all levels of our universe.
Our journey will begin by watching some sub-sub-molecular Particles as they run around in a frenzy trying to satisfy their natural needs and desires. These Particles will be animated (please see 6 tests below), and their story will resemble a fairy tale, rather than a physics course.
After watching these Particles for a while, we will zoom out until we realize that all of these Particles are the innards of larger Particle that is trying to find its place, and perhaps even a bit of satisfaction, in the orgiastic frenzy of its Level.
And so we will travel outward, from one Level to another, each slightly larger and a bit more complex than the last, but, nevertheless, all sharing the same fundamental principles of birth, death, pursuit of pleasure, occasional satisfaction, tragedy, comedy, etc.
We will eventually reach our Level, i.e., where the Particles resemble us Humans. Here we will explore various features of our lifestyles with a strong emphasis on exploring the various opposing forces which make up our individual selves. We’ll see the ongoing and constantly fluctuating wars between our Intellect, Emotions and Libidos which in turn determine our various actions.
We’ll eventually see how these individual Human Particles form larger clusters known as Communities or Nations, which, in turn, are also in constant internal FLUX – between inner peace, civil war, etc. – depending on the momentary status of their individual components.
The relations between these various Communities or Nations are also in constant FLUX, depending on the sum-totals of their own constantly fluctuating constituents. They either wage war with each other, peacefully compliment and interact with each other, or, more often than not, engage in perpetual Chess-like Diplomacy where ‘winner takes all’. Heavily armed and easily-bribed referees try to ensure that everyone plays the same game, and that the rules are all adhered to.
(Don’t worry if this seems confusing, the film will have plenty of time to clarify things.)
We’ll eventually zoom out to a further Level where we’ll see that our own planet – portrayed as a chess-board on which the various Nations play their epic little game of Chess (and hence the eyes in the film’s logo) – is just one more Particle in another inter-planetary, and, eventually, intergalactical, dance. This dance will slightly resemble the opening dance of the sub-sub-molecular Particles, but will be more complex and ornate.
After zooming out through an extended series of ever more complex and colorful Levels – a nice kaleidoscopic journey in its own right – we will slowly dissolve to an End-Title reading:
‘You should now feel free to take it easy!’
SOME INITIAL ANIMATION TESTS DONE OVER THE YEARS WITH HAWK ALFREDSON’S ‘CIRCLINGS‘ (Animation by Aleš Vymola)
The very first test done in 2008, Music by ?
One of several tests done in 2012
Test #1 from 2018
Test #2 from 2018
Test #3 from 2018, Music by Georg Philipp Telemann as interpreted by Dagmar Valentová
Test #4 from 2018
Regardless of whether or not we ever get to make FLUX, we would like to explore the possibility of doing a feature-length film based only on animated Circlings, featuring all kinds of music and storylines – all abstract, yet at the same time very specific and evocative of symmetries and dynamics that we experience in our own lives.