the serpentine dance.

hey, look — another quasi-music video.

this one was made using pieces of silent films dating from 1894 to 1900, alternately titled danza serpentina and dansa serpentina. i wasn’t able to unearth much information about any of them, aside from one fascinating tidbit: because of the limitations of the equipment available at the time, these films were hand-coloured one frame at a time with aniline dyes. wrap your brain around that for a second.

there’s something almost surreal about these little films, jerky and grainy but somehow vivid at the same time. some of the images created by nothing more than dance movements (apparently pioneered by loïe fuller) and fabric are a hell of a lot more visually arresting than a lot of the computer-generated effects we’re capable of now.

i’m assuming this stuff has fallen into the public domain, since it’s more than a century old. if i’m wrong, i’ll feebly apologize on my deathbed.

the song is “insomnia kick”, still one of my favourite things on MY HELLHOUND CROOKED HEART. as usual, there are some weird moments of audio/video synchronicity that weren’t planned or manipulated. i guess ancient film of women dancing (with occasional lyrics fading in and out) is a bit of an odd visual accompaniment to a song like this, but it feels appropriate to me. i have no idea why. it’s one of those things that transcends reason.

for the second time, i find myself thinking there’s no point in making a video progress report for this month. there isn’t much to talk about, and a seven-minute progress report is no progress report at all. like i said the last time i was in this situation, i’m not going to make a habit of skipping months (i’ve only skipped out on two of the past eighteen). every once in a while there just isn’t much to say. next month it’ll be a different story.

2 comments

  1. You are quite the video master. The video was fascinating and your music fit very nicely. I enjoyed it to the thoroughosity! thank you

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