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The Sun's Shadow

High Quality On-Demand Stream (Full-Screen) iPod compatible Quicktime/MOV

Contact: Michael McGuirk   
Starring: Riria Niimura, Jonny Footman, Margaret H Baker
Director: Mike McGuirk
Writer: Franz Xaver von Schönwerth
Producer: Leo Kuelbs, Mike McGuirk
Runtime: 9 min
Synopsis: The Sun’s Shadow is a single channel video art piece by filmmaker Mike McGuirk, which was adapted from the works of 19th century neo-gothic author and fairytale bard, Franz Xaver von Schönwerth.

We were attracted to the story and origin of The Sun’s Shadow because of the rich visual characterizations and timeless themes, that still resonate today. Schönwerth narrative parallels common Greek mythology with three central themes: Death (men), The Sun (women), and The Moon (non-gender specific entities). They quarrel for control over Earth, but, ultimately the Sun is victorious, takes pity upon Death and provides him the robe to keep performing his necessary duties.
We took an approach to stand-in themes of technology to convey Death as a lurking uncontrollable force. The sense of time is manipulated through editing and practical in-camera effects, which implements contemporary digital methodologies, such as manipulated Java Script, Google Deep Dream processing, and Animation; all of which are lensed cinematically in an anamorphic aspect ratio that reflect the folkloric theme of Schönwerth's original story.

Alex Hamadey composed the original score using a hybrid of digital, analog and acoustic sound sources that blend in and out of the general themes, as well as the more micro-nuanced characteristics of the piece.
Principal photography took place over the course three days in Southern Utah, shooting in Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, and Monument Valley. We were attracted to these locations because of the epic primitive landscape, removed from civilization...and we also felt a spiritual interconnectedness with the pristine native land and the thematic power of Gods existing in this environment.

The viewer’s disbelief is suspended through spiritual symbolism that leaves a haunting feeling of a redefined existence of Death in today’s digitalized world. Death is personified as the “Technological Singularity,” frighteningly interwoven with other philosophies, such as “Roko’s Basilisk,” a thought experiment with the premise of an all-powerful, futuristic artificial intelligence with the ability to retroactively punish those who do not help bring about its existence. Themes of gender, with an emphasis on feminism, are also portrayed as a regulating force that evokes present global resistance and discourse. Our objective is to offer an alternative look at life and death as something that exists within the fabric of our universe and lives within the digital landscape.
  Copyright: 2017
Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama
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