A post about a short film that cannot be described in 72 characters.
October 1, 2014 8:26 PM   Subscribe

Circle of an Abstract Ritual is the latest stop motion timelapse from artist Jeff Frost (previously)who creates short films that defy description. This latest work gathers hundreds of thousands of photographs taken over the last two years during wildfires, riots, and inside abandoned houses where he created a series of optical illusion paintings. Frost says the film “began as an exploration of the idea that creation and destruction might be the same thing,” and that it is in part “a way to get an ever so slight edge on the unknowable.” [via]
posted by Room 641-A (16 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, that's beautiful.
posted by OmieWise at 8:33 PM on October 1, 2014

72 characters? I'll do it for you in 14.


(That was lovely, thanks!)
posted by belarius at 8:40 PM on October 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

There's something he does with the decomposition of space that I find deeply unsettling. I recall childhood nightmares that involved those motions and shapes. I think I might dream them tonight.
posted by WCWedin at 9:03 PM on October 1, 2014

Truly amazing work. I saw some of his early work similar to this a few years back. The sound design turns this into a quite affecting film given it's non-narrative form. Twelve minutes of unworldly beauty and terror.
posted by njohnson23 at 9:15 PM on October 1, 2014

Is it possible he was influenced by David Lynch? this was fantastic.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:57 PM on October 1, 2014

It's Baraka, but a horror movie. Amazing and unsettling and beautiful.
posted by Grandysaur at 10:27 PM on October 1, 2014

It's beautiful, and very unsettling, startling.

High school, and so many of my friends were all super into LSD and whatever else they could shove into their heads, and I'm sortof like "Um, no, probably not..." but then of course I did and this video is what it felt like for me, a lot of the time. Especially this one time, when I took whatever shit it was in a capsule and didn't get off and so I snorted some more of it so's I could feel something fun and then I accidentally spilled it out of the foil and onto my jeans and couldn't bear to waste it so I snorted that, too, we'd been driving around smoking joints etc and etc but then stopped in the arboretum and that is where my snort/spill/snort more thing happened and then the whole goddamn thing came on to my lame, dumb ass like the Russians on Berlin in 1945 and I was smack dab in the middle of that video I just watched and I didn't get to leave, either, not for a long goddamn time.


That day I undid nuts and bolts in my head that've never come back together, not really, or maybe they're together but just real loose. I need some loc-tite, is what I need.

Hallucinogens are just not for everybody, you know. They weren't for me even on days where I didn't do that much, though I did do them of course. It's so goddamn compelling, that's all.

It's like fucking totally psycho women, it's so goddamn great but then it ends up with me in the ditch, moaning.

I bet that schizophrenics feel like this video, some of them anyways, on their bad days. And just like my going back to the well, even though I'd had rough experiences there, I think that it's at least part of why schizophrenics quit taking their medications -- though it's scary, it's just so compelling.

Mushrooms were the safest for me, the best, I could take a boatload of them and have lots of fun and never really go into that video, I could generally maintain totally well, talk to people and stuff.

I think often of that line I read in a Joseph Campbell book, where he wrote that the shaman swims gaily in the waters of the subconscious and the schizophrenic drowns there.

My best friend, he'd just take handfuls of anything anyone'd put in front of him and head on out swimming; we were in the Museum Of Fine Arts in Houston and there was this really rockin' painting of a tree, Matthew told me that tree was a dead ringer for the tree that'd told him it's name was Philadelphia, on some day when he'd been tripping his brains out. He's supercool, Matthew is, though quite annoying to me, in that he easy did things that I did not do easy, or at all, damn sure not at all well.

Though he did go home one Christmas Eve and tell his father that the world was ending, which certainly surprised his father, as you might imagine. He sat Matthew through it, told him everything was alright. My parents -- especially my mother -- she'd be jumping up and down, how could I do this to Jesus, blah blah blah. I just hated that part.

I haven't played with any of that stuff in a long, long time, and I never again will. Mushrooms, I think to myself -- mushrooms. But when I've mentioned it, say to my shrink maybe, they generally advise against it. Therapists -- same line. And my sponsor -- fuck. He gets this look, he just sortof stops and gets this look, and reminds me of some stuff, and generally I'm sortof forced to agree.

If anyone asks me IE should they do them or not, I'm torn. Because it can be a wonderful experience, and I'd hate to advise against it. But then I'd also want to show them this video, except for four to six hours. And explain to them that no one can ever tell who they are until they put it into their mouth, sit back, and see what happens.

What a great video! Sent me back to high school and everything.
posted by dancestoblue at 10:39 PM on October 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

That was gorgeous. The universe is vast, heavy, and keeps on going on no matter what is going on where we are. It's reassuring to me, and the perspective is compelling. I can imagine others might find it disturbing.

I could watch a ten-hour director's cut.
posted by maxwelton at 10:46 PM on October 1, 2014

Best Picture of the Year
posted by mannequito at 12:00 AM on October 2, 2014

posted by mannequito at 12:00 AM on October 2, 2014

As someone who lives in San Francisco and goes to Burning Man most years (I forgot this year), I feel like this video offers me some valuable insights into the Southern California Burner aesthetic.

At least that's what I kept noticing the whole time.
posted by aubilenon at 12:20 AM on October 2, 2014

I love "shorties" :)
posted by goldencartoons at 4:04 AM on October 2, 2014

This is really good.
posted by carter at 4:48 AM on October 2, 2014

That was utterly incredible. Thank you for sharing. I'd type more...but words simply wouldn't do justice to the shock my brain is still reeling from. By far one of greatest things I've ever watched.
posted by zyxwvut at 5:25 AM on October 2, 2014

This is pretty great, but you guys have seen Koyaanisqatsi, right?
posted by anazgnos at 7:24 AM on October 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

That was about half good, half really good, and moments of sublime.

A lot of this sorta thing, well, it's not really moved on from Koyaanisqatsi or night-sky-with-galaxy teenage-bedroom-poster aesthetic. Not to equate the two, but both are well-trodden by now. This is a bit different. I think because there's more artifice - for me, the most striking moments are ones where there's obvious manipluation and addition, not just juxtaposition. And there's a range of those, playing with colour and shape and light and motion in different ways, which sustains the piece very well. I have a short attention span (don't we all?) but this time I only shook the mouse to see the progress bar exactly on the final fade.

Not all the treated shots were equally successful. But the ones that hit home - my god, they're effective. I almost feel I should make up a bingo card and start ticking them off as I spot them in arty videos over the next year or so.
posted by Devonian at 8:27 AM on October 2, 2014

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