Intellectual Experimentation


Earth and Moon in Love (2004) Review 5
Director:David Finkelstein,
Starring:David Finkelstein, John Collis, and Randall Wong
Length:21 minutes


Intellectual is an overused term but certainly applicable to the experimental film work of David Finkelstein. His latest short film offering is entitled “Earth and Moon in Love.” It is essentially a 21 minute music video the lyrics of which were penned by Percy Shelley and performed by acclaimed countertenors John Collis and Randall Wong. If you have no idea what a countertenor is, this may not be a film for you. And it helps if you have some appreciation for the work of Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Apparently at the climax of Shelley’s lyrical drama PROMETHEUS UNBOUND “Mankind is delivered once and or all from tyranny, and the Universe celebrates his newfound freedom and self-mastery.” This all according to the notes provided by Finkelstein with a copy of “Earth and Moon in Love,” he explains that “as part of this celebration, the Earth and the Moon fall rapturously in love.” Thus, Finkelstein decided to use the words of Shelley and the fantastic voices of Collis and Wong to arrange and compose an interesting video musical. Included are many colorful animated images that track Shelley’s descriptions. Finkelstein’s attempt is, I think, to personify the love both visually and musically. For the most part he succeeds.

Finkelstein has been a major player in the two short films he has sent me. The camera spends a lot of time on his image as it is perverted and warped through visual effects. Animation is employed together with live-action images to achieve an other-worldly environment. “Earth and Moon in Love” feels more complete and certainly more palatable for a wider audience than the previous effort I saw. His use of effects particularly vivid colors is winning and the images themselves tend to be less aggressive and off-putting.

Still, I did not like the costuming of John Collis who appears in blue jeans covered with some kind of chaps. Finkelstein, who portrays the moon, appears in some kind of gown which strikes an odd contrast to Collis’ pedestrian garb. And Finkelstein’s lip-syncing, while expertly done, did not convince me. I wondered why the real countertenor, Randall Wong, was not performing. But these complaints are minor quibbles because the target audience will be impressed and come away enriched especially given the extraordinary vocal gymnastics of those singing.

Earth and Moon in Love (2004) Review 7