Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.
Rapsodia Satanica is rich fare first thing in the morning, but what day can’t be improved upon, at least a little, by this classic silent film?
It’s the Faustian story of an old woman who bargains with the devil to regain her youth and ends up losing it all. Designed to be a “complete work of art”—inspired by a poem, featuring diva Lyda Borelli, and with a complete original symphony accompaniment—it comes as close to perfection as the technology of the time permitted.
Countess Alba d’Oltrevita would do anything to get her youth and beauty back. No sooner does she make this proclamation than Mephisto (in a brilliant, physical portrayal by Ugo Bazzini) manifests to make a deal. She renounces love and, in return, is restored to the flawless perfection of her girlhood. Being now a blithe femme fatale, she soon has two brothers in love with her; she cares nothing for either. When one is driven to suicide by her callousness, however, she discovers to her surprise that she is not entirely heartless, and she throws herself into mourning, banishing her other lover. Time passes, and the autumn leaves begin to fall. It looks as if this stultifying limbo may continue forever until one day Mephisto materializes and helpfully points out an ominous, shadowed figure on horseback, silhouetted against the sky. Her suitor Tristan has returned, he says. Alba gives herself over to love, drapes herself with a bridal-like veil, and goes out to meet her swain. Then ...
But that would be telling.
This GIF (uploaded by Hoppip a week ago, to 38 notes) gives away no secrets. Read whatever you like into its dark mysteries. Ominous, yet blank, backlit and in slow motion, all visual clues are negated entirely. It is a dark, mounted figure on a hill, faceless, emotionless. Will he turn toward us or simply ride away? And which of those two is what we truly would pray for, if we dared to pray?