- Member: Rorschach
- Studio: Shoestring Films Inc.
- Title: Through A Glass Darkly
- Premiered: 2004-03-04
- Larry Fast Prairie Lights
In an effort to be original, I generally try to pick songs no one has ever used before, and footage from animes that aren't too widely known or are difficult to use. For this AMV, anyone who's already a fan of either the anime or the song already has my admiration for standing out from the crowd. I hope that through this AMV I'll be able to introduce both marvelous works to a (slightly) wider audience. Since I've seen something like five videos in all with the anime movie in them and zero with any songs by this musician (let alone this song), I should probably give a brief introduction of them here.
"Prairie Lights" by Larry Fast is one of several instrumentals on a tape of electronic music my brother got waaay back in 1987. (Seems like forever to you whippersnappers, doesn't it? I was just a kid myself.) Larry Fast is one of several musicians who played for the Synergy label, producing delightful "old school" electronic pieces like this one. Years later when I was in college, I got the tape from my brother, but by then it was getting old and falling apart. (The miniature magnets on the tape were actually peeling away from the strip!) When I later heard that Larry Fast had remastered and re-released the songs on CD, I was ecstatic, and got myself a copy as soon as I could.
On the one side of the original tape was what Larry Fast calls his "Metropolitan Suite" and on the other is a collection of several independent "musical abstractions." As the musician says in his comments on these songs, "Make up your own stories. I have mine." The song "Prairie Lights" does indeed remind me a lot of the twinkling lights I saw on the prairie many times when driving at night through Michigan and Ohio, but actually I've never been able to see twinkling city lights through a window at night anywhere when I'm riding without thinking of this song. For all the film noir I've seen in anime, though, I never thought I would find an anime which complimented it so well until I happened to find just that this year.
That anime is "Night on the Galactic Railroad." It suits this song especially well because it's what's known as a millieu story, which focuses not so much on the characters as on the places they visit. Coming from a story written before our nation dropped the big one on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, its many odd symbols may very well reflect a true Christian's beliefs, although if so, it's still as strange as anything the Japanese have ever made about religion. Actually, what I find even more amusing is that this could be published with an official seal of approval from the Japanese Ministry of Education without any band of hypocritical self-righteous secularist fanatics yelling that it violated their mythical "separation of church and state" dogma.
I suppose a few things in this AMV could be considered spoilers for the film, although only if the viewer is really paying attention to all of the symbols I've included and what they mean. The film is very much the same way: specifically, having some knowledge of the Titanic (the actual history, that is, not the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio) helps a lot when making sense of some of the things that happen in it. It also requires an attention span considerably longer than a hyperactive four-year-old's, so although I can find nothing the least bit objectionable (to anyone but the aforementioned secularist fanatics) anywhere in the film, I recommend it mainly for emotionally mature people.
As with my Boogiepop Phantom AMV, this AMV is long enough to disqualify it from any number of contests. The song fits the movie especially well because they climax and resolve in similar patterns;as such cutting the music in any way would have detracted from it. I've done what I can, though, to make your next eighth of an hour watching it (to paraphrase Mystery Science Theater) seem only like seven-and-a-half minutes. Digital effects would likewise only have detracted from the footage, but I have added a few on the bumper at the end, so if you're thinking of rating this piece, consider the rating for these strictly optional.
One last recommendation: as with my Boogiepop Phantom AMV, this video is best viewed in the dead of the night with all of the lights off.