Wednesday, October 22, 2008

All is Full of Love

Directed by Chris Cunningham, USA, 1999, 4 minutes

To be honest, I am not that familiar with experimental films, so I went through really a hard time deciding what films to write about. At first, I was thinking about writing my entry on Mongoloid by Bruce Conner, but it was really complicated, and had trouble understanding the film. I looked up some of Björk’s music videos, and chose the one that I like the most. That is All is Full of Love. Two robots are shown in the film, and the music video reminded me of a movie, I, Robot, which I enjoyed very much. The color of the film also attracted me. The contrast of the robot’s white color and the background’s black color appears beautifully in the music video.

Björk’s music videos are famous for being both experimental and surreal. Not one of her music videos is “normal” at all. I do not really understand what relationship her music videos have with her song lyrics. In this music video, All is Full of Love, Björk’s voice is mystic and dreamy, but it sometimes gives me creepy feeling when I listen to the music at night alone. The lyrics express that everything is full of love, and the two robots in the music video are matched well. The robots take place of Björk and sing as she sings, and their love reaches climax as the song reaches its climax.

One day Björk woke up in the morning and made the song all of a sudden as if she was possessed by something. Although it is made in such a short time, it certainly is a great song. The lyrics are really heart-warming, and the music video of the song is even more charming than the song itself. I like the delicacy of the robots that are used in the music video. They are really similar to humans. In fact, the robots in the film are hand-made out of clay. To show Björk’s figure better, Björk actually posed for the robot, and technicians added computer graphics on Björk’s body. The movement of the robots is not only computer-generated, but also the hand work of the staffs. The staffs had to move every single part of the robot in order to make the movement look real, just like the process to make a stop motion animation. In the end, I had trouble distinguishing what is computer graphic and what is the hand work. Thanks to the effort of the staffs, the music video won MTV 2000 Breakthrough Video and Best Special Effects. In addition, it won the best music video in 42nd Grammy in 2000 and many other awards.

When the director Chris Cunningham was offered to make the music video, the only thing Björk wanted to show in the film was the feeling of ‘the most pure whiteness.’ It is amazing that Cunningham came up with the idea of robots that look and act like humans. Their eyes add the liveliness of human in the cold body of a robot. Just like the lyrics of the music, the music video is symbolic, too. I believe the robot, which appears in the first place, is born at the beginning of the film, since it poses like an unborn child on the conveyor belt. Throughout the film, the robot goes through various processes and at the end the robot is completed. By showing the procedure of a new robot being born and making love, the music video gives a hint that there will be another new life born.


Lance McCallion said...

One of the most oft praised music videos of all time. For good reason. I probably love Bjork more than it's wise to admit, but she always manages to work in the bleeding edge as far as her video productions are concerned. Just look at her latest batch of videos for the Volta album. Wanderlust in particular, which is a surreal 3D experiment that really stretched the boundries of what one thinks of in the realm of simple "music video".

Anonymous said...

Whah a interesting film!
That file remind the movie A.I .
It was very sad,because I think
love is only possible for alive people and animals.

Pretty interesting that there can be a new life even if they are not human!! And also amazing cause that work is done by hand-made clay.Nice filme and Nice review!!
I enjoyed a lot^^

Anonymous said...

I've seen these Bjork's works, so peculiar. what would be done like this? Work's CREATIVENESS got some sensitive effects on me.
In this M/V, Robot looks like a human... and, simultaneously, it is definetley in Robot shape.. what a peculiar.. and creative.. I expect another cool work of him.

Anonymous said...

I thought of I,robot when I first read it. I am shocked with Bjork's creative work. I am looking forward to his other sensitive works.

Anonymous said...

I'm not interested in experimental film, because usually it's hard to understand... but this one looks interesting!

Anonymous said...

This short film and your review are really interesting but theme was not what I expected so.

I watched film first. and read your review later

When I watched film, I thought that the love director wanted tell was a faked love because the machine were manipulating both robots right behind their backs as they were making love and main robot had a much facial expression through whole movie. Everything in this movie was artificial to me, so I thought that way.

however your review told me totally different explanation.
And second thing surprised me was that it is Björk’s music and was that really Björk? Wow thank you for giving me a chance to watch her short film.

Anonymous said...

I also don't like experimental films becuse of difficulty of understanding. However, this music video is interesting and at first, I shocked with directoe's creativeness. I have not been taken seriously this music video, through this post, I can think it again.

Anonymous said...

I really like the music and the music video. I also like 'It's Oh So Quiet' very much. Bjork's songs are really something. And her music videos... they are awesome!

Anonymous said...

I am surprised to know the process of making the music video. The staffs must be really tired. It is a lot of work to move every single motion. The director is also very creative to think of this kind of music video.

Anonymous said...

I remember Bjork wearing a funny costume at an award. Was it a swan? Anyway, she certainly is living in her own, unique world, I guess.