‘All Is Not Lost’ is a love letter to Japan

Google Japan, OK Go and Pilobolus got together to make a love letter to Japan using HTML 5, called “All Is Not Lost.”

In the first week after the earthquake, Google Japan reached out to OK Go. It’s a message of positivity and hope–how we as a human race can rise to be the best possible community.

The video was directed by Trish Sie (choreographer) along with OK Go and Pilobolus. It works best on, what else? Google Chrome.

OK Go is a rock band that formed in Chicago, but is now based in Los Angeles and composed of Damian Kulash on guitar and providing lead vocals, Tim Nordwind on bass guitar, Dan Konopka on drums and percussion and Andy Ross on guitar and keyboards.

They won a Grammy in 2007 for the best short form music video “Here It Goes Again.” The video also won a YouTube Most Creative Video award.

Pilobolus is a type of fungi that grows on herbivore dung, but in 1971 at Dartmouth College a dance class taught by Alison Becker Chase became the basis for a contemporary dance company called Pilobolus.  You’re probably seen them perform their contortions. They use the bodies of the performers to interact and form things such as at the 2007 Academy Awards where their act was done behind a translucent white screen to form the Oscar statue, and logos or scenes for various movies such as “Happy Feet,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Snakes on a Plane” and “The Departed.”

Pilobolus has three companies: Pilobolus Dance Theatre which is the touring group, Pilobolus Institute which is their educational programming group and Pilobolus Creative Services which is the group for film, advertising and publishing. The theatre group is based in Washington Depot, Connecticut.

The performance video for “All Is Not Lost” might remind you of work by the Los Angeles-born Busby Berkeley (1895-1976). That Hollywood choreographer and director was well-known for his musical numbers that formed geometric shapes and patterns in a kaleidoscopic effect.

Berkeley choreographed the Warner Bros. musicals “42nd Street,” “Footlight Parade,” “Gold Diggers of 1933” and “Fashions of 1934.”

“42nd Street”

“Gold Diggers of 1933”

Although he was removed as director for the Judy Garland vehicle “Girl Crazy,” he choreographed and directed the number “I Got Rhythm.”

Remember Carmen Miranda’s “Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat”? That was for the 1943 20th Century-Fox movie “The Gang’s All Here” and was choreographed by Berkeley.

Berkeley also choreographed numbers for Esther Williams films.

“Dance Until the Dawn.”

Berkeley looked from above but Pilobolus and OK Go look from below. Initially the perspective is disconcerting, but eventually you lose the sense that you’re looking at butts and see shapes. The worm’s eye view angle also at first obscures individual identities. In the end, it’s fun.



About Jana J. Monji

I've written for the Rafu Shimpo, LA Weekly, LA Times, Examiner.com and, more recently, the Pasadena Weekly and RogerEbert.com. I formerly worked for a dot-com more interested in yodeling than its customers.

Posted on August 1, 2011, in Music videos and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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