Poetic Short Film 'Gravity's Law' Is a Surreal Take on Falling Down

Rainer Maria Rilke's poem, "Gravity's Law," inspired filmmaker Matt McDermott to take a closer look at what modern life is missing.

by Francesca Capossela
02 August 2016, 6:30pm

Images courtesy of the artist

Covered in flowers and vines, two bodies fall, fly, float, and eventually meet and embrace, their sensuality contrasting the sharp edges of Brutalist buildings. The characters, a woman in a flowing dress and a man with his hair up in a bun, seem seem perfected in their appearances, and at odds with their surroundings. In the background, Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem, "Gravity’s Law" is read. This poem, in which Rilke urges that we “fall, patiently trusting our heaviness” was the inspiration for Matt McDermott’s video, which is also named Gravity’s Law.

Rilke’s poem was especially meaningful to McDermott in the context of our current social and cultural environment. McDermott explains that the need for many to work at an inhuman pace, as well as a cultural obsession with material possessions and with social media personalities, made him understand the poem in a new light. McDermott’s concern that we, as a society, have lost connection with the natural and spiritual, was the starting point for his video, which premiered on Channel 4 Random Acts. The short film, McDermott explains, is about “waking up to the important things in life.” Check out Gravity’s Law below:

Matt McDermott - Gravity's Law from RANDOM ACTS on Vimeo.

Click here to visit Matt McDermott's website. 


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