Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Hello...Is it Joseph Conrad you're looking for?"

It's Sunday and you just want to relax on this day of serenity.  You want to sit back with your mug of fresh-brewed cappuccino which your wife has just brought down to you in your basement office, sweetening the delivery with a hug and kiss.  You just want the distracting noise of the past six days to leave your head.  You don't want to think about deadlines and dilemmas.  You want quietude, you want solitude, you want to feel gratitude for the simple joys of life.

I've got your prescription right here.

I've been saving this trio of videos for just the right moment to share with you here at the blog.  As I sip my cappuccino and try to Zen my head, I realize the time has come.

First up, an amusing and clever mix of movie moments in which your favorite actors recite the opening stanzas of Lionel Richie's "Hello."

Next is a gorgeous meditation on the beauties of nature, filmed in Malaysia and set to the words of Joseph Conrad.  "We Were Wanderers on a Prehistoric Earth" takes lines from Heart of Darkness and scrambles them (much like the Hollywood "Hello" remix above) into sublime visual and aural poetry.  Here are the excerpts from Heart of Darkness, as painstakingly transcribed by yours truly:
The high stillness of primeval forest was before my eyes...standing higher than the wall of a temple... The silence of the land went home to one’s very heart—its mystery, its greatness, the amazing reality of its concealed life...Over the great river I could see through a sombre gap glittering, glittering, as it flowed broadly by without a murmur...Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings... The sun was fierce, the land seemed to glisten and drip with steam...The great wall of vegetation, an exuberant and entangled mass of trunks, branches, leaves, boughs, festoons, motionless in the moonlight, was like a rioting invasion of soundless life...Forthwith a change came over the waters, and the serenity became less brilliant but more profound...The day was ending in a serenity of still and exquisite brilliance. The water shone pacifically; the sky...was a benign immensity of unstained light...In its curved and imperceptible fall, the sun sank low...The dawns were heralded by the descent of a chill stillness...All that mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest, in the jungles, in the hearts of wild men.

And here's the video, which I first discovered at Chris LaTray's excellent blog Naked But for a Loincloth (I recommend playing the video in full-screen mode--click the four-way arrows between "HD" and "Vimeo"):

And finally, an oldie but a goodie--a trailer for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is given the Happy Treatment ("Meet Jack Torrance....He's a writer looking for inspiration"):

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