Okay, can we first just talk about how stunning this artwork is? Wow.
Anyway, I bet that everyone, as a child, has had the dream of becoming an astronaut one day. I mean, it is pretty cool flying to space and seeing everything, but, I hate to break it to you…
NASA isn’t sending monkeys to the moon anymore. Just kidding!
So this video starts off with a too-big astronaut being squished into a too-small elevator. He’s riding to get to the top of the space shuttle, and the ride definitely does not seem too comfortable. When the astronaut reaches the top, we can see that he’s missing an arm, the left one specifically. I guess it’s not a requirement to have both sets of limbs in order to fly to space! (It doesn’t seem to bother him, anyway.) So Mr. Astronaut guy gets to his destination, the spaceship, and he’s squished into yet, another cramped area.
In the next scene, we can see a woman, who is holding a red arm, collapse to the floor next to a radio that is spewing out information about a liftoff for a spaceship. We can assume that this is the astronaut’s wife longing for him because of his absence due to the flight.
We then get back to the astronaut himself and find out that the mission is unsuccessful. The flight launched 245 days earlier was aborted! There was no more fuel for the spaceship and the signal broke so connection was lost. Things were not looking too well for the astronaut. Speaking of him, the exhausted astronaut steps out of the spaceship and weeps to himself in a magnificent field of red. He pulls out a picture of his wife for comfort, and once again, it switches back to her. So much back and forth!
The wife is lying in bed with the
severed husband’s detached arm next to her. I’ll admit it, this is a liiiiitle bit creepy, stroking an unattached arm that’s not even yours. But you have to think of it in the woman’s point of view. What if your significant other left and the only remnant you had of them was… their arm. I’d still keep it but I guess it’s just me (or not?? I don’t know).
So the astronaut finally gets up after grieving, and starts stroking some kind of grass or wheat from that new, foreign planet. Miraculously, his detached arm starts stroking his wife’s hair! The man then starts to explore the area. He might as well if he’s going to be stuck there for a while, right? He stops in front of a white lump and it suddenly turns into his wife! They reunite and after a while, she disappears and he’s alone, but in a field of just purple now. I think this means it’s a happy ending… He’s back on his own planet!
All-in-all, I think this film was fantastic! The artwork was absolutely gorgeous with its color inversions and style, and the music definitely went well with it. It created such an atmospheric feel. Not only was this video physically beautiful, but it was also very emotionally powerful. I was able to connect with the characters, knowing how the absence of a loved one felt. The director, Nicolas Ménard, actually stated in an interview that this video was his “art therapy.” He got his inspiration from the emotion that was evoked within him when he moved to London for school, leaving his home in Canada behind. “I had this constant, weird feeling of having left a part of me behind. Like a part of me was still living my old life in Canada. I wanted to illustrate this feeling that comes with immigration in this film — and the feeling of missing someone in the distance.”
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
I think this quote from the Tale of Two Cities really shows its meaning in the whole making of the video and the video itself. When Ménard had to move to London to study, it was the best of times, because he was getting into a great art school and was following his dreams, but it was the worst of times because he had to leave his home behind. In the video, the astronaut had and took the opportunity to fly to space and visit a beautiful new world, but his flight crashed and there was no way to go back (besides the magical thing that happened in the end!).