Monday, February 21, 2005

The Archon Wore Prada

This is from this Sunday's New York Times Magazine:
Last week, the four-and-a-half minute "Thunder Perfect Mind" made its debut at the Berlin Film Festival. Directed by Ridley Scott, "Thunder Perfect Mind" is part of a burgeoning genre of cinema — the superlong commercial as short film, in this case created for the introduction of the new Prada fragrance.
There is no dialogue, just a poem read in a voice-over and set to a smooth, jazzy soundtrack. "The poem was too perfect," says Jordan [Scott, co-director], who happened upon it nearly a decade ago and was saving it for the right project. A Gnostic text probably written around the first century, it prescribes a wisdom that cuts eerily to the quick on more than one level: I am shame and boldness ... I am the substance and the one who has no substance.
As every schoolboy knows, "Thunder, Perfect Mind" (and, yes, that is a really cool title) is one of the Gnostic texts discovered at Nag Hammadi. (Read it here.) The Dead Sea Scrolls are probably more famous, but I'm pretty sure none of them are going to be used to sell Prada. (Although .... 4Q184, "The Wiles of the Wicked Woman" ... quick, call Ridley Scott!)


Anonymous said...

Agree with you, enigma

James said...

I love this! I've long been familiar with the text, and I really like the treatment with the Jazz score. I'm scouring the web looking for a version in stereo so I can save the soundtrack as a standalone musical piece, which is how I came across your blog entry, and I'm glad I did -- very interesting reading!

I chose the same graphical template for my own Blogger blog, -- I have a feeling you might enjoy some of my posts. It's running a little stale now due to our moving to Albuquerque and getting our life turned upside down, but I hope you'll check it out.

Have a good life!


Anonymous said...

This is a great poem, it is lovely in its simplicity. Stories like this are extremely moving.

Anonymous said...

I have heard people use snippets of this text before, but I had no idea it had anything to do w/ Nag Hammadi. Thanks for sharing.