A Dark Surrealist Cosmic Opera Music Video Made of 'OMNI' Stuff

A sci-fi fantasy feast in the vein of Solaris, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Kubrick, and the comic series Métal Hurlant.

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Dec 20 2013, 6:15pm

In the new music video for the astrological, astronomical tune "I'm Aquarius," the frontman of the band Metronomy travels through the galaxy before landing on a planet inhabited by giant hairless cats and a goddess who threaten to destroy him. It's a sci-fi fantasy feast in the vein of Solaris, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Kubrick, and the comic series Métal Hurlant.

But tucked in there too, I couldn't help notice the gloriously rich surrealism of OMNI, Bob Guccione's science and sci-fi monthly that for over a decade regaled us with dark but seductive visions of a strange future, here and on other worlds. The parapsychological, nanotechnological extended life was horrifying in some ways, sure, but, thanks to the work of illustrators like Tony Roberts, John Holmes and Chris Moore, it was gorgeous to look at

"While at first glance, the video may look a bit light and poppy," the video's director Edouard Salier said recently, "It's actually marked by an apocalyptic and dark [undercurrent]." The video was inspired by a "super urban universe...and theories on exponentiality—theories that everything grows, everything multiplies." He added that "I have a few ideas of the future, which are rather dark. I muster a sort of demon in me that makes those themes come out," like they do here.

Top: still from "I'm Aquarius," dir. Edouard Salier. Bottom: Tony Roberts in OMNI, April 1980

According to our sister site The Creators Project, Salier used miniatures to create the outer space world throughout the piece, like another of his inspirations, Ridley Scott (Creators promises a making-of video soon). It's not known if Scott was a fan of OMNI, as OMNI is of him, but the gothic surrealism of his Alien series wouldn't be the same without one of OMNI's go-to illustrators, H.R. Giger. In that haunting alien-infused work is a "quantity of reality combined with his own form of fantasy." (Though apparently, for Prometheus, Scott was apparently "very adamant about not doing the same thing.")

Here's a short clip of Scott talking about Giger in 1979:

OMNI's future-fever dreams weren't just great to look at: under editor Ben Bova, they were also fascinating to read about; the magazine's weird vision continues to beguile us in its recently reborn form too, edited by Claire Evans. And in May, look for a new oversized book promises to be the first compilation of OMNI's wonderful art.

@pasternack