The Twilight Drone: Sleepytime/Johannes Contag
By Issac Rankin
At 49 minutes Johannes Contag’s third instalment of his Sleepytime series is said to be the world’s longest music video. ‘The Twilight Drone’ is a DVD & CD package, an ambient film coupled with a mesmerising soundtrack of undulating waves of sound. The film’s general structure remains constant throughout, using a single camera position to show three silhouetted figures prancing and stomping around in a snowy field. The figures are slowed down, sped up, overlapped, and repeated, subtly interacting with the music while almost floating through time and space. Colours punctuate the piece; starting as B&W and progressing through blue, orange, and green. A gentle pulse persistently rises and falls, and after about 20 minutes a simple melody and percussion have emerged, coaxing your attention along. There is no narrative or character development, only a minimal rise and fall structure expressed by the pace of the characters and music. It feels like watching a tide come in and go out again; relaxing and refreshing yet potentially very boring. With a little effort however the viewer is rewarded with something majestic, a truly hypnotic experience.