The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together
May 19, 2014 6:58 AM   Subscribe

This stop-motion video for British rock band James's song "Moving On" tells a tale of life, death, joy, and grief, using only yellow yarn. The video was created by BAFTA-nominated animator, writer, and director Ainslie Henderson. (SLYT)
posted by orange swan (21 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

I appear to have several things stuck in my eye. I wonder if I woke my wife up she would help me dislodge them?
posted by fFish at 7:43 AM on May 19 [4 favorites]

Yes, this was extremely poignant and a great defense for SLYT FPPs.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:48 AM on May 19

I had to keep reminding myself that it's only yarn, that it's not really happening, that the only way yarn could make me cry in real life is if my neighbour's dog ate a budget-blowing purchase of a garment's worth of hand-dyed cashmere, but that sequence with the bereaved mother figure cradling the last remaining yarn loops of her dying child figure in her arms as even that is slowly but surely taken from her, arghhhhh.
posted by orange swan at 7:54 AM on May 19 [2 favorites]

I watched it and then watched it again with the sound off just to confirm: the yarn people are, in fact, better actors than a good number of people in movies these days.
posted by stefanie at 7:56 AM on May 19

Bur orange swan, that's the most hopeful part of the clip (and the part that actually brought a tear to my eye): the baby isn't unravelling, it's being brought into existence by the yarn spooling downwards. Look again around the 3:15 mark, where its hand is being built up. It's the circle of life.
posted by rory at 7:58 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]

There are two mother figures in this video, rory. One watches her child ravel and cradles the last remaining loops of the child until she has nothing left, and the other one (the dancing one with the long hair) gets a new baby.
posted by orange swan at 8:09 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]

This made me properly choke up. I read the dancing mother as the life source, and the baby is coming back to her as it leaves its mother. Whatever the interpretation it's really well done. Thanks for the post.
posted by billiebee at 8:13 AM on May 19

Oh, I see what you mean, orange swan. 2:38-2:53. I read that as part of the clip-long story of the dying elderly figure. The other figure with him/her reads as male to me rather than female, when compared with the dancing mother. But it's effective whichever way.

I love the way the surviving relative looks up at his (/her) own thread at the end. (And by "love" I mean "was suitably devastated by".)
posted by rory at 8:31 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]

Possibly my reading of those scenes was influenced by already knowing that the forthcoming album was "recorded in the wake of [lead singer] Tim Booth losing his mother and best friend in quick succession". A small and frail elderly woman and an older child could look much the same when rendered in yarn.
posted by rory at 8:36 AM on May 19 [3 favorites]

I can't believe yarn made me cry. Weird.
posted by eggkeeper at 8:54 AM on May 19

Sometimes, when I look deep into your eyes I swear I can see your yarn...
posted by mynameisluka at 9:51 AM on May 19 [3 favorites]

Yarn - rather under-appreciated as an expressive medium. Here are some more yarn-based music videos:

Steriögram - Walkie Talkie Man (by Michel Gondry, 2004)

Camille - Ta douleur (by Stephanie DiGiusto, 2005)

Tomasz Stańko Quintet - Grand Central (Kijek/Adamski, 2010)
posted by progosk at 10:17 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]

Yes, this was extremely poignant and a great defense for SLYT FPPs.

Yes, it would be pretty grim if this thread got axed.
posted by hal9k at 10:46 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]

People of the US, if you ever get the chance to see James at a small club, like the ones they played during their last two US tours, do it. I'm sorta selfishly glad that they only had one big hit here and we can see them in intimate environments as opposed to the arenas they play in Europe and South America. They are so, so good live. Also, the entire band is totally cool with autographing a very small pumpkin, if you're into that.
posted by Ruki at 5:34 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]

My wife saw this before me and told me that it was posted to Metafilter. James being one of my favorite bands, I was puzzled why a music video by them would make a FPP, as I had heard the song a couple weeks ago and it didn't strike me as their best. But that video was something special and very well executed.
posted by yeti at 5:13 AM on May 21

I watched it and then watched it again with the sound off just to confirm: the yarn people are, in fact, better actors than a good number of people in movies these days.

I recently read that some actor (can't remember which one) commented that acting is more about body language than it is about facial expressions. Watching this, I can understand how that can be.
posted by orange swan at 5:29 AM on May 21

Oh, I am so excited to see this!

I wasn't expecting too much from the video, seeing how they're kind of notorious for not stellar videos, but I have to add on to those who've said they can't believe they were made to cry by a skein of yarn.

Just...the way you can see the desperation in the patient's friend turning to resignation and grief, and the joy in the mother's dancing, (love the way she channels the way the singer dances) and the way it all fits perfectly. (And wee little yarn fingers grabbing the momma's finger....)

(Also, listen to those above; if James tours the US, go.)
posted by jacy at 10:44 AM on May 21

Oh, man. When Dessa said "These little yarn people made me cry really hard", I should've known to save this for when there's someone around to hug.
posted by EvaDestruction at 5:33 PM on June 6

The album is out now and it's a corker. Their best since Pleased to Meet You.
posted by rory at 12:20 PM on June 7

That was lovely. Thank you for posting it.
posted by Lexica at 9:07 PM on June 13

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