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Unseen Forces (2004)

Unseen Forces (2004) is a hilarious sequence of vignettes from the history of science to Sagan's music. Sidestepping any expectations of high falutin' experimental art video in favor of ... See full summary »


Ryan Junell


Ryan Junell


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Credited cast:
Wobbly Wobbly ... Dr. Carl Sagan
Blevin Blectum Blevin Blectum ... Dr. Marie Curie
M.C. Schmidt M.C. Schmidt ... Empedocles
Drew Daniel Drew Daniel ... Pausanias
David Cerf David Cerf ... Johannes Kepler
Ryan Junell Ryan Junell ... Tycho Brahe
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Erin Bradley Erin Bradley ... Inspired Show Goer
Lance Grabmiller Lance Grabmiller ... Show Goer #1
Angie Hile Angie Hile ... Show Goer #2
Lesser J. Lesser J. ... Dr. Pierre Curie
Brian L. Perkins Brian L. Perkins ... Dismayed Show Goer


Unseen Forces (2004) is a hilarious sequence of vignettes from the history of science to Sagan's music. Sidestepping any expectations of high falutin' experimental art video in favor of slapstick narrative, these wryly subtitled re-enactments of important historical breakthroughs come off as a weird hybrid of Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" and Led Zeppelin's "The Song Remains the Same". Commencing with a turtlenecked Carl Sagan lookalike invoking the sun, Junell's film proceeds to romp anachronistically across history in a playful homage to "Cosmos": The Big Bang is restaged by a flashlight-wielding modern dance troupe (played by real life astronomy buffs recruited online), whose cosmic choreography goes largely unnoticed by their glib, uncomprehending audience. The Greek Rationalist discovery that air is a substance is refigured as a gay pick up technique in an ice cream parlour, with Matmos' M. C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel playing Empedocles and Pausanias. In the final ... Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

science | cosmos | reason | logic | See All (4) »


Music | Short







Release Date:

3 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The short film was initially released on DVD along with a CD of the same name on the Matmos-owned label Vague Terrain. See more »

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User Reviews

this is excellent
2 January 2005 | by blevin-2See all my reviews

the CD/DVD are both totally rad! highly recommended! I really enjoyed the scene in which Matmos portrays ancient Greeks in a San Franciscan soda fountain parlor. And I hear that there are extra easter eggs hidden on each item of the DVD menu, which you can access by hitting "up" and then "enter" on you DVD controller... things like a video for a cover of Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire", and some video that Ryan Junell has done for other projects, and stuff like that. AND the audio CD portion of the release contains many hours of mp3 recordings of live shows by the band! If you live in the San Francisco bay area, you'll also enjoy train-spotting the locations filmed - sort of like watching the 1970's version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.. the aerial views of the Headlands are particularly nice (complete with dandelions). If you like the solo work of the audio band members (Lesser, Wobbly, and Blevin Blectum, who also have starring roles in the Unseen Forces DVD!) then you will probably love Sagan even more!

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