The power of cultural memory

Since the day Quentin Tarantino entered the film industry, evoking emotion and (un)conscious associations through visual and aural reference to other works of cinema and pop culture has become kind of a norm. One could, of course, expect nothing else but references to The Wizard of Oz (1939) in the animated film “Dawn of the Rainbow 1939” which is specifically made from the film leader of the mentioned classic, but one should try to watch it with speakers turned off. The glimpses of Dorothy and the house rising up in the air are so brief and far in between that they can hardly be noticed while most of the film consists of colourful moving shapes and numbers from the film leader which could connote anything. It is the music, the soundtrack of The Wizard of Oz that makes the animation by Katie Goodwin so meaningful, full of history, nostalgia and greatness. It also reminds us, that film is not merely the art of juxtaposition in time, like suggested by Sergei Eisenstein, but also that of juxtaposition in space where simultaneously occurring visual and aural elements can instantly mean something more than either of them could communicate on their own. If the history of cinema, or at least The Wizard of Oz, is part of the Western collective cultural memory that you share, the animation may even make you sad for no obvious reason. Let the composition have its effect on you….



Text by Kati Jägel


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