The first hour and a half or so of this edit is phenomenal and truly amazing, if it stayed that good it would almost have a 10/10 score for me but sadly I have complaints. After the scenes about the virus start things start to get confusing as time becomes harder to keep track of. Instead of easily pin pointing where in time I am watching like the rest of the film the final "third act" is a bunch of tribes from various movies, mostly interacting with Americans. The scenes dragged on so long and had been done better earlier in the film. These scenes really ruined the movie and its pacing, it should have been replaced with world wars and famous disasters but instead it ended, boring and confusing. HOWEVER the first hour is truly amazing and a wonder of cinema and I highly recommend at least watching the first half.
This is beautiful.
A beautiful, bold and lyrical experiment in artful storytelling.
I will be honest, I did not quite grasp it all. But what did not register with my intellect definitely manipulated me emotionally. There were moments where I did struggle with the narrative; where it felt a bit too long or drawn out, but then the story would evolve and I would find myself engrossed again.
I don't know if is this something I would watch repeatedly, but I do feel richer for the experience.
Thank you TMBTM!
Parts of Cosmogony were beautiful, combining tone poetry with reflections on life and humanity. I'm reminded of some of the documentaries and movies that have caused me to think of my place in the universe, and this ambitious edit is like a feature-length collage built from those pieces.
Cosmogony felt overly long in places, and large swaths of footage from The Emerald Forest carried unintentional goofiness that didn't match the tonality of the rest of the edit. The soundtrack was overlaid evenly and with skill and was appropriately ethereal or elegiac in places, though other musical selections didn't work so well and took me a bit out of the experience, particularly the overly dramatic synthesizers attached to the Apocalypto chase sequence.
The meditative and almost spiritual nature of TMBTM's effort reminds me of blueyoda's superb (fe) la vie series, in that they rely on no primary cinematic source to tell a deeply emotional story that cannot be neatly summarized. Definitely worth a watch.
Somewhat shamefully, my anticipation for this, TMBTM’s latest fan-editing exercise, was dampened by a certain scathing review which appeared for one day and then disappeared the next. I thought to myself, could one of the best fan-editors in the community have really dropped the ball that badly?
The concept of Cosmogony excited me greatly. A deep, meaningful and very ambitious fan edit about “us”, using visuals and music to power the heart of the story. It’s quite honestly the kind of edit I’d been longing for an experienced editor to turn their hand to. The trailer just whetted the appetite even more, with Jean Michel Jarre’s mystical, majestic music marrying to beautiful imagery with effortless aplomb.
Most challenging question for an edit of this nature, especially one which runs over 2 hours, is simply in how well it can engage the viewer. After all, it’s all very well having pretty images to look at, but after about 30 minutes, if there’s no substance to engage us then one’s concentration and interest will undoubtedly begin to wane.
Initially, as the different chapters begin to unfold I was preparing myself for a narrative which would feel very loose and not necessarily hang together that effectively. It was a delightful surprise therefore to realise that TMBTM has taken much more care than that, with a linear storyline which actually makes sense, has relevance and perhaps most surprising of all, an emotional power which touched me greatly during various parts of the edit – particularly in the relationship we have with our own planet and how ruthlessly we treat it at times. In a way, I wasn’t prepared for how successful this element would be and I have to applaud TMBTM for his efforts here.
The music choices are varied, but uniformly excellent. Being a fan of the aforementioned Jean Michel Jarre , I was jumping for joy at the use of some of the composer’s lesser known pieces. He’s certainly the most prominent composer used (including some good use of the symphonic versions of his work), but there’s also some inspired choices from the likes of Judas Priest too. I have to admit that I was skeptical of actual songs being used, but TMBTM squashes such fears with the lyrics of the songs chosen being very relative to the scene they are combined with.
On the technical front I was amazed at how good the picture is for what is a single layer DVD. Yes, it would have been amazing to have this edit in HD, but to be fair it didn’t bother me one bit. Not to mention that ripping blu-ray files for the amount of films which are used here would demand a very big hard drive and a RAID RAM set-up to work well in the editing suite. Also, I love the stereo mix on the audio front. It sounded excellent through my system, and the absence of 5.1 mix didn’t even cross my mind. Plus, with the amount of extra “stereo” based music used in the edit, it would just seem superfluous to create a 5.1 mix for an edit like this.
Overall, Cosmogony is a fantastic piece of work. TMBTM always produces fine work, but here, with what many will label as a self-indulgent arty fanedit, he has arguably created his finest achievement to date. Perhaps not an edit for everyone, but I loved every beautiful second of it.
My first impressions were mixed. I do not think the subheading fits the title, because “Cosmogony” has a high tone that does not gel with the demotic “a fanedit about us”. The cover art was exceptional though and fitted the theme perfectly.
The DVD main menu was simple and effective, with a short, well-chosen clip that avoided the usual trap of animated menus: boring me senseless with a repeating montage of what I am about to see. (It could run for a little longer before it loops though.) The chapter menu is fine, but the black text does not work well against the background image. There is a nice trailer as an extra.
The division of the work into sections, with well-chosen headings, is successful and helps to unify the edit and give it structure; however, some sections are overlong, feel disjointed and feature too much material from the usually-well-selected films from which they are sourced. As a result, there are moments in which the edit feels like watching the originals and loses pace. These include the extended sequence with the proto-humans and the latter half of the one from 1492.
Where it succeeds, the edit is wonderful. Where it doesn't, it is always interesting, even when it has ceased to be enjoyable, and this says a great deal about the scope of the edit and the ambition of its editor. A strong beginning and ending help greatly and serve to bookend an edit that feels more like a fan-creation than a fan-edit.
The video, drawn from a variety of sources, is of high quality for DVD. Extremely rarely, there is some blocking. Perhaps inevitably, the quality is not always consistent, and I couldn't help feeling that some color grading could have been applied to give the edit more of a look of its own.
Unfortunately, the edit cuts between sources that display nominal analogue blanking and sources that do not, with the result that the transition from one source to another is sometimes visible, and this should have been addressed during editing. What effects shots there were did not stand out as being added, which means they succeeded. :-)
Overall, Cosmogony presents a pleasing and generally-stable image.
The audio is harder to judge. It is well edited. No cuts stand out. Dynamic range is subject to personal preference but, as the edit is largely music-based, it is worth noting that sometimes the volume is a little high. Music choices are a matter of taste, so I shall simply observe that the music chosen usually fitted the subject matter and say that the replacement of the original scoring showed skill.
TMBTM's work is always vibrant and artistic; Cosmogony is no exception. It wavers between the broad, almost dreamlike sweep for which it aims and its focus on individual moments, but is diverting to the last.