Because the filmmaker includes this warning with the video, we thought it correct to do so as well. Be warned that the imagery seen in this video may not be suitable for people with photosensitive epilepsy. For everyone else, put this on the biggest screen you’ve got and enjoy.
When was the last time you made a potentially crappy Monday extravagant with a mildly psychedelic video of outer space? My guess is that it’s a rare event in your life, as it is in mine. But that’s changed today with “Around Saturn,” a short video created by the visionary Italian filmmaker Fabio Di Donato, who has gone far beyond a generic peek into the cosmos and given the world something truly unique. Well, there are actually other videos out there similar to this, but this is our favorite.
Dedicating the video to the recently deceased Italian astrophysicist and science writer Margherita Hack, Di Donato selected his imagery from over 200,000 images taken by the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft for its mission on and around Saturn, all of which are available through the Planetary Data System. Set to the tune of Shostakovich’s “Jazz Suite No. 2: VI. Waltz 2,” the video is less a scientific video and more a surreal voyage around the ringed planet and all of its moons. It’s like if Fritz Lang had watched Disney’s Fantasia while playing Galaga and then had a nightmare about it. There’s no denying tgar the rapid ADHD style of editing and composition won’t be for everyone, but that’s what makes it so very striking. The constant shakiness and grainy aesthetic give these gorgeous images a distinctly human touch, which admittedly takes away from the majesty of the heavenly bodies but adds a mysteriously creepy vibe that static images just can’t convey. And both the grain and the frequent appearance of Saturn’s rings make me think of vinyl records, proving that I have absolutely no current references to compare this video to.
Speaking of current and Saturn, though, NASA recently released an image taken on July 19 that shows the first time Cassini has snapped a photo of Earth that wasn’t taken with filtered sensors. Take a look at the gorgeous image below, in which Earth is the tiny bright blue dot just off-center. I think I can see my house from here.
Check out other videos from Di Donato below, the first of which is a stitched-together video of our planet created from photos taken from the ISS.
This next one is on a whole other level, as it portrays a view of the world as seen from the cockpit of a high-speed train traveling through Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. It starts as a beautiful light show and then drifts into something far more maddening.