Tango Piano On and On Common People…

I love following threads, usually Wikipedia but sometimes YouTube, and quite often connections that only exist in my brain.

Take this Oscar winning animation, one of my favourites ever from Zbigniew Rybczy?ski which:

“Thirty-six characters from different stages of life – representations of different times – interact in one room, moving in loops, observed by a static camera. I had to draw and paint about 16.000 cell-mattes, and make several hundred thousand exposures on an optical printer. It took a full seven months, sixteen hours per day, to make the piece. The miracle is that the negative got through the process with only minor damage, and I made less than one hundred mathematical mistakes out of several hundred thousand possibilities. In the final result, there are plenty of flaws black lines are visible around humans, jitters caused by the instability of film material resulting from film perforation and elasticity of celluloid, changes of colour caused by the fluctuation in colour temperature of the projector bulb and, inevitably, dirt, grain and scratches.”

The success of Tango meant he went to New York and worked on videos for the likes of Pet Shop Boys (the second and I think better less Amish-in-a-hole Opportunities video), Rush, Mick Jagger, Simple Minds, Rush, Grandmaster Flash and Art of Noise, such as the original piano-destructive clip for Close to the Edit:

which apparently the band hated cos it made them look like ‘Huey Lewis and the News’. Odd, cos it’s an amazing music video.

Well back to Tango and the 1980s…those in the UK might have recognised it, as it was ripped off for a infamous Ariston advert. I’d seen Tango on some late night Channel 4 show (they used to show amazing animations unannounced inbetween programmes) and must’ve been a strange child shouting ‘You ripped off Zbigniew!’ at the screen when it came on:

Nice bit of 8bit music there! I guess the big change was computerisation vs analogue optical printing…the computer controlled camera, and I’m guessing all of the ‘loops’ were done with computer help.

But I just realised that Pulp’s Common People also shares a debt to ‘Tango’ with it’s looped dancers and repeated footage of extras in the background:

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.