Click on the arrows to get the full 360 degree experience.
I felt as impressed as everyone else did when I saw my first 360-degree video, the technology that allows viewers to “look” in any direction they wish. But most of the 360-degree videos that became popular early simply demonstrated the concept, and as much astonishment as the experience of the concept alone can generate, even more excitement came from thinking about the technology’s potential. It hasn’t taken long for 360-degree videos to look beyond virtual reality — indeed, to look all the way to virtual surreality, as envisioned by perhaps the best-known surrealist of them all, Salvador Dalí.
“Dreams of Dalí,” the 36o-degree video above, drops you into the world of Dalí’s 1935 canvas Archaeological Reminiscence of Millet’s ‘Angelus,’ an homage to an earlier work (Jean-François Millet’s painting, “The Angelus”) which enjoyed enormous popularity during Dalí’s youth. This earlier work, notes the Dalí’ Museum, was “reproduced on everything from prints and postcards to everyday objects like teacups and inkwells. The late 19th century painting depicts a peasant couple standing in a field with their heads bowed in prayer. For many it was a sentimental work, but for Dalí’ it was troubling, with layers of hidden meaning, which he explored through daydreams and fantasies.”
As the artist himself put it, “I surrendered myself to a brief fantasy during which I imagined sculptures of the two figures in Millet’s ‘Angelus’ carved out of the highest rocks.” His formidable imagination converted that mid-19th-century image of rural hardship and piety into the moonlit desert landscape through which “Dreams of Dalí” flies you. Created for “Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination,” an exhibit at St. Petersburg, Florida’s Dalí Museum on the friendship and collaboration between those two visionary 20th-century world-creators (see Destino, the short film Dalí and Disney collaborated on), the video not only gives the painting a third spatial dimension, but a detailed sonic one featuring the godlike voice of Dalí himself.
If you make use of the arrows that appear in the video’s upper-left corner or click and drag (or, on smartphones, press and drag with your finger) within the frame, you can turn the “camera” in any direction. Pay close enough attention, and you’ll spot more than a few touches not included in the original painting that will nonetheless delight fans of the Dalí sensibility, not all of which you can catch on your first flight through. But as much as the experience may feel like a dream — and it counts as one of the few works to really merit the term “dreamlike” — it won’t vanish as soon as you emerge from it; you can have at it again and again, seeing something new and surprising each time.
Salvador Dalí & Walt Disney’s Destino: See the Collaborative Film, Original Storyboards & Ink Drawings
Salvador Dalí Goes to Hollywood & Creates Wild Dream Sequences for Hitchcock & Vincente Minnelli
Two Vintage Films by Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel: Un Chien Andalou and L’Age d’Or
The Seashell and the Clergyman: The World’s First Surrealist Film
Alfred Hitchcock Recalls Working with Salvador Dali on Spellbound
A Soft Self-Portrait of Salvador Dali, Narrated by the Great Orson Welles
A Tour Inside Salvador Dalí’s Labyrinthine Spanish Home
Salvador Dalí Illustrates Don Quixote: Two Spaniards with Unique World Views
Salvador Dalí’s Haunting 1975 Illustrations for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Salvador Dalí Illustrates Shakespeare’s Macbeth
Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, the video series The City in Cinema, the crowdfunded journalism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Angeles Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.
I have been a Dali fan for as long as I can remember and this is just magical. Thank you.
Just magical and truly amazing. Let us all hope that there’s an after life so that the great man him self can cast his eyes on this modern work of pure genius. Thank you as l too have been fascinated by his works and thoughts most of my life.
Love this article. While the fillmmaking and VR storytelling is still in its infancy, the medium does look appealing. However, it’s more and more difficult to create stories in 3D. There’s no cinematography and your audience is literally walking on your movie set. It’s up to the director to find and place these limitations.
At Viar (Startup company from Central Europe) we have been hearing how tough it is to create an Immersive videos. I’d love to invite VR producers (if that’s ok to the website editors) to a private alpha for a VR editing platform in the making: goo.gl/InTNlP