Saturday, December 20, 2008

Speaking of David Bowie...

A little while back I was involved with a woman (musician, nothing to do with animation) who had this:


For you younger readers, that's a "picture disk". It has music "encoded" into circular grooves which can be heard by spinning it against a needle with an amplifier attached. Sort of like this:

Usually they were round and black like in the picture above.

Picture disks were special promotions. Collector's items, like pogs or Grimace glasses from McDonald's.

This picture disk was the eponymous single (don't make me explain that...) by David Bowie from the soundtrack to the animated film When the Wind Blows.

I hadn't seen the film at the time I was dating the woman. For clarity's sake, she hadn't seen it either.

The film was released in 1986. I remember 1986. As a child, I was afraid of nuclear war. Reagan was a scary son of bitch. The media uproar over The Day After led to school board assemblies across America. What should we tell our children? The children! The children!

Today, when I hope against hope for an atom bomb to plop square on my noggin, When the Wind Blows is a curious artifact. It's production technique is interesting -painstaking in its day, easily achieved by amateurs 20 years later. The characterizations and animation are heartfelt.

The story -a long, brutal descent into wretchedness and death by two geriatric Brits -is, well, a long, brutal descent. I suspect the content of the film is as alien and bizarre today as the 45 rpm picture disk pressed to promote it.

1 comment:

Liesje Kraai said...

What a strange way to promote this film... Not the release of the single. That's expected especially with Bowie attached. But it's a little creepy seeing these two characters spin round and round, knowing what their fate will be... it certainly isn't like seeing Mickey's happy mug on some T-Shirt or watch (although he's pretty creepy in his own respect).