How a Soviet propaganda film received a modern soundtrack and inspired a lasting collaboration
In YouTube Right Now, the Daily Dot looks at videos that catch our eyes, push our buttons, and move our dials—and that you’ve just got to watch. Right now!
Imagine if Pink Floyd created The Wall in response to surrealist Gerald Scarfe’s animated film of the same name—and not the other way around.
That’s the idea that comes to mind when watching “Just War,” a brilliant and haunting YouTube mash-up uploaded on May 19.
Director and remix artist Torrey Meeks, 29, created the video by pairing Gruff Rhys’ eerie track from Dark Night of the Soul, the collaboration between Danger Mouse and late pop genius Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, with a silent version of Garry Bardin’s 1983 Soviet anti-war film, Konflikt (конфликт).
“I did a quick and dirty test sync with the song to see if they'd work together,” Meeks wrote on his blog. “I was blown away by the preliminary results so I resized it from 320x240 QVGA to 1280x720 HD, color corrected, removed noise and grain as best as possible, and retimed the animation to match up with the big movements in the music.”
It’s an unintentional and oddly fitting soundtrack, Rhys’ abstract declarations of war scripted to a stop-motion sequence of matchsticks in battle that calls to mind Scarfe’s marching hammers.
While actually finished in May 2009, the video was only recently uploaded to YouTube and caught Reddit’s attention on Monday morning.
Not only did Meeks seek approval from Bardin but, upon learning that the acclaimed animation director did not have a proper Web archive, he offered to polish and upload all his films for high-definition viewing on YouTube.
“I figured it'd be great for him to have a digital backup of all his films,” Meeks wrote, “a central, high traffic location on the Internet where people could enjoy them in perpetuity.”