Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Ship in Fog: The Envy Corps "Rhinemaidens"

The Envy Corps "Rhinemaidens"

dir. by Christian Bevilacqua

It's no "Dashboard," but Christian Bevilacqua's high-sea adventure is a humorous and continually inventive ride. The story of lower deck men saving a damsel from the distress of the upper class is somewhat Titanic-ish, but this is no blockbuster. The zany acting and cardboard thought bubbles point to the irony of opening with that "Universal Pictures" logo. Despite the obviously meager budget the video mixes old school film techniques, modern animation and live-action performance rather well.

The story takes its inspiration from the lyrics of the song, where the singer describes his love as "my smelling salt by way the sea." The original "rhinemaidens" appeared in Wagner's four-part opera Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), in which they protected a magical ring and lived free from human influence - including love. The narrative itself kind of sputters out - especially since we anticipate its resolution right away - but the song is catchy and the visuals are varied enough to keep our interest. The "Paperman" is especially endearing.

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Depth of Focus Videographies: Radiohead / Bjork / Michael Jackson / Bowie