Joshua Mosley, Beyrouth, 2001, computer animation, film still, 8 min 35 sec

Mosley’s film entitled Beyrouth, 2001 is an imaginary, operatic debate that he believes could have happened between his grandfather and great-grandfather. In 1999, Mosley wrote a Libretto (a short poem made of seven stanzas) inspired by a Goya etching featuring a donkey and English translations of short stories by Argentine writer Julio Cortázar. Mosley was impressed by the structure of the Spanish language which puts the subject at the end of the clause so "that around the corner would come something unexpected." His Libretto, which is partially based on conversations he had with his grandfather, underwent an English-Spanish-English translation to obtain the cadence of the Spanish language. The poem’s subject therefore deals with Mosley’s own grapplings with behavioral rules of conversation and the theoretical underpinnings of the structure of dialogue.

In each of the seven stanzas Mosley positions his grandfather (represented in the film by a 12 year old boy with long braids) and his grandfather’s elder (a donkey) in a philosophical discussion about the human relationship to decisions, faith, appetite, patience, observation, spirit and love which are all topics Mosley sites as common to religious texts. In Beyrouth, the poem undergoes one final translation into Arabic (his family descends from Beirut) adding another layer of connotation and is performed as an operatic soundtrack to the computer-animated illustration of his poem. The result is a dream-like film featuring a dancing Black-Eyed Pea, a swimming bus and a singing donkey which illustrate some of the more profound theoretical issues of human existence.
Joshua Mosley, Beyrouth, 2001, computer animation, film still, 8 min 35 sec

Mosley’s film entitled Beyrouth, 2001 is an imaginary, operatic debate that he believes could have happened between his grandfather and great-grandfather. In 1999, Mosley wrote a Libretto (a short poem made of seven stanzas) inspired by a Goya etching featuring a donkey and English translations of short stories by Argentine writer Julio Cortázar. Mosley was impressed by the structure of the Spanish language which puts the subject at the end of the clause so "that around the corner would come something unexpected." His Libretto, which is partially based on conversations he had with his grandfather, underwent an English-Spanish-English translation to obtain the cadence of the Spanish language. The poem’s subject therefore deals with Mosley’s own grapplings with behavioral rules of conversation and the theoretical underpinnings of the structure of dialogue.

In each of the seven stanzas Mosley positions his grandfather (represented in the film by a 12 year old boy with long braids) and his grandfather’s elder (a donkey) in a philosophical discussion about the human relationship to decisions, faith, appetite, patience, observation, spirit and love which are all topics Mosley sites as common to religious texts. In Beyrouth, the poem undergoes one final translation into Arabic (his family descends from Beirut) adding another layer of connotation and is performed as an operatic soundtrack to the computer-animated illustration of his poem. The result is a dream-like film featuring a dancing Black-Eyed Pea, a swimming bus and a singing donkey which illustrate some of the more profound theoretical issues of human existence.
Joshua Mosley, Beyrouth, 2001, computer animation, film still, 8 min 35 sec
Joshua Mosley, Beyrouth, 2001, computer animation, film still, 8 min 35 sec
Joshua Mosley, Beyrouth, 2001, computer animation, film still, 8 min 35 sec
Joshua Mosley, Beyrouth, 2001, computer animation, film still, 8 min 35 sec