Rendezvous: The Murf, a Story of Mankind

September 9th, 2011
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Scott Benson’s animated music video for “The Murf”, a song by band Rendezvous, is an interpretation of the story of mankind in the universe. In an explanatory blog post, Benson calls his video a “fairy tale version of our history as a species”.

It touches on themes of mathematics, symbolized by a circle with spinning and ever mutating geometric patterns, which might be an allusion to a Creator God. A radiant halo appears behind the discoverers of mankind’s great scientific advances. It skims through war, history, hints at religion, and ends with an apocalyptic scenario that destroys all life on Earth, propelling mankind to Mars, and beyond.

The music is hypnotic, and would probably be too bland without the video. The combination of the two multiplies the power and depth of both, but almost relegates the music to a mere soundtrack; the story overwhelms it slightly.

The symmetry and symbolism in the animation reminds me a bit of Sita Sings the Blues, by Nina Paley. Like Paley’s, Benson’s artwork is minimalist and linear, but his mastery of color and special effects are sublime, and more reminiscent of the angular, brash and brilliant closing credits of Pixar’s “The Incredibles”.

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