We couldn’t really explain The Getty Address to you, even if we sat down and thought about it long and hard for hours on end. So, instead of a synopsis, we’ll just use a one word description: beautiful. The music is captivating, jumping from bombastic orchestral pieces complete with haunting choral arrangements to quiet stretches with barely more than Dave Longstreth’s falsetto. And with the film (which was created to follow along with the album in full), well, where to begin? It, too, jumps from place to place, moving from gorgeous bits of motion graphics into straight video, but so seamlessly that we genuinely had this thought, early on in the film, some five to ten seconds after such a transition: “Oh, wait, that’s video now. Crazy. How did they just do that?” But other than that, we’re at a loss to describe this remarkable piece of work. We feel really fortunate that James Sumner, who crafted all the film portion, dropped us a line about his using Jewelboxing to package the project, and all the more after he’d sent us a copy and we’d gotten to watch The Getty Address on the big screen. Here’s the rundown of the whole thing from James’ site:
“In 2003 Dave Longstreth, leader of critically acclaimed indie-orchestra Dirty Projectors, beganwork on The Getty Address, an ambitious glitch-opera about, Don Henley, leader of the soft-rock group, The Eagles.The album was released in Spring 2005 on the Western Vinyl label to critical success. Inspired by the terrifying scope of the record, self-taught filmmaker, James Sumner, began animating the story in its entirety under the name Vs. Anna Films. With a unique mix of hand-drawn, computer, and cut-out techniques, Sumner has both broadened and deepened the Henley Mythos. Green screen shoots transport Longstreth, as Don Henley, in a hallucinatory digital world. Kung-fu cranes, Neolithic kangaroos, and ancient Aztec gods guide Henley in his epic quest for Love.”
Here’s hoping that people are having equal success with love in the hallucinatory digital worlds of Baltimore, Seattle, Burbank, Pasadena, Orangevale, Boston, Chicago, Oklahoma City, New York, Cincinnati, Hillsboro, Tulsa, Naperville, Los Angeles, Savannah, Hickory, Rock Tavern, Nashville, North Richland Hills, Lilburn, Venice, Sinjhuang City, and London.