Dell'Amore Non Si Sa
|Title:||Dell'Amore Non Si Sa (Stargate Atlantis vid)|
|Date:||16 February 2006|
|Music:||"Dell'Amore Non Si Sa" by Hayley Westenra and Andrea Bocelli|
|URL:||offline (vid announcement)|
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Vidder's summary: "Elizabeth asks Atlantis about John's heart."
"Overall impression: I must admit that reviewing this vid was quite difficult for me. It seems quite obviously a shipper vid and I'm not a shipper of any sort. So I feel that I may be missing things because I can't really "get into the spirit" of the whole emotional crux of the vid. Messages that shippers would get just pass me by and therefore I really am not sure that I will do the vid justice. That said, I think this vid has a lot of good points, but also a few that confused me, so these are what I will discuss here.
Titles: The titles are simple, effective and non-intrusive. Simple white text on black background at the end of the vid. I don't feel that they really form part of the vid, rather they are simply an after addition as an FYI at the end - and that works just fine for me.
Music choice: Okay, this is such a subjective thing. Sounds weird perhaps, but I really don't believe in judging another vidder's song choice. Just because one viewer doesn't get why the vidder chose the song, doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with their song choice. It could simply mean that the viewer is limited their perception and/or understanding. So, speaking only from my own personal viewpoint, I have mixed feelings. One the one hand, I've got a soft spot for Andrea Bocelli, but on the other hand, the voice of the female vocalist in this duet really grated on me. I tried to translate the Italian lyrics of the song and I think I got the basic gist. It's a love duet for a shipper vid which totally makes sense. I have no problems with the music and my thoughts on the vocals are as stated.
Narration: The vidder has provided a summary which states an intention to depict some sort of conversation between Elisabeth the city of Atlantis about her feelings for John. Sometimes during the vid, I can see where the attempt to tell that story is happening, but at others, it's not at all clear to me. Some of the clip choices seem somewhat incongruous to me, particularly those that involve characters other than John and Elisabeth. Like in the beginning, when Elisabeth is looking down over the unnamed fallen soldier and the lyric is "speak to my heart", we haven't yet really got a good glimpse of John yet in the vid. If I hadn't been told prior to watching that Sheppard/Weir was the focus, I might have momentarily thought that Elisabeth's "heart" was that unconscious guy. Then for the next line "pain of my longing seems to grow" the image is of Elisabeth being held hostage by Kolya which seems more like pain of being held hostage rather than pain of longing (unless she longed for Kolya and I don't think that was the intention). Eventually with "tell me if he will come" we get a visual of John's approach, indicating who Elisabeth's feelings are really meant to be about. I'm not a shipper but I really found it confusing. Overall, some clips seem to be chosen to correlate directly with only one or two words of the lyric "pain", "smile", "walking by", etc - but without taking into account of the whole sentence in that lyric (eg the "pain of my longing" mentioned above). And again with the extraneous characters, later when John pulls the gun on Caldwell, to include the way John looks to Elisabeth and they work in tandem makes sense to me because it shows a bond between them, but I don't think it was necessary to see what or who it is that they are standing together against. So Caldwell's appearance here is distracting because actually seeing him there makes this viewer, at least, start thinking about why he might be there which distracts from the main story of the vid. But one thing in the narration that I really did like was when the images of John matched up with Andrea Bocelli's vocal. This "casting" of John as an Italian lover really works for me. Germaine Greer once said that she thought Italian men made great lovers because they were repeatedly told that they were beautiful boys by their mamas from the time they were born and it gives them a special confidence with women. And that sort of effortless sexual confidence is something that I can really see in John Sheppard. And his colouring works quite nicely too so he makes a great "Italian lover" - perhaps Northern Italian? Works for me.
Tone, Movement, Cuts, Transitions, Effects & Colouring/Coloring: I like the opening sequence, before the vocal starts. The combination of the song's instrumental into and the clips chosen builds a nice little sense of anticipation. Unfortunately, for me, the "pay off" when the vocal starts doesn't really work for me (and I think it's partially because of that "extraneous unconscious guy" distracting me). I don't know if it was in intentional, but there is a noticeable change to brighter clips at that point (0:10) which strikes me as an interesting technique but doesn't really engage me emotionally. In general, the movement in clips works well, but sometimes the clips chosen have the subjects (ie. the people vid is focussed on) too far away in the background eg. 0:42 where Elisabeth is far off in the background (even though she's centrally placed) and Carson is much closer to the camera and moving. This makes the viewer look at Carson and again loses the focus of the vid. I have no qualms about the transitions. I've noticed that some reviewers think straight cuts are somehow "purer" than crossfades, but I've always liked crossfades and think they are used to good effect in this vid. I think the colouring is good pretty much throughout the vid and there's that interesting change in brightness at the beginning that I already mentioned.
Specific vid & music notes: I really liked the timing from around 3:15 to the end of the vid. The movement of John coming from behind to stand next to Elisabeth really matches well with pace and tone of the way the two singers' voices come together for what is essentially the coda of the song. And then the shot panning away from Atlantis again matches this coda which is very effective.
Final notes: All in all, there is a lot I liked about the vid. I got a bit lost with the idea that Elisabeth was conversing with Atlantis, but I loved the idea of John as the Italian lover. If I had one piece of advice to offer the vidder, it would probably be that the vid would probably seem a lot more "focussed" if the clip choices were a little more "judicious", particularly looking at minimising appearances by characters that don't add to the narration (and distract from it) and also when matching images to lyrics, focus on the meaning of the whole sentence rather than individual words in a sentence. But the vidder seems to have a great sense of colour and movement which should always stand them in great stead."