It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything, never mind following through with a post about GIF culture under the I Grok GIFs series. So why not toss some kittens in the yard and restart this thing.
Reverse Animal Rescue is a subreddit that evolved out of r/reversegif and a sick sense of humor which imagines upgrading your car’s suspension with some purr power or some sailors abandoning a dog in icy waters. I believe this is the reddit comment thread which lead to the creation of the these particularly themed reversed GIFs.
I think this is an extension of the perversion of reality we find in the reversing of realtime footage. The unnaturalness is often funny, but I’m reminded of the use of reversed footage in the film Orpheus by Jean Cocteau. There were a pair of special gloves which could be used to walk through mirrored surfaces to the underworld. To create impression that an ordinary pair of rubber surgical gloves were special, Cocteau reversed the removal of gloves to have them freakishly latch onto the fingers, push over the hands and up the wrists in an instant.
He also cleverly blocked his actors so that some reversed footage had some characters appear to move naturally forward, while others performed extraordinarily. Such was the case in which The Princess – Death reanimates Eurydice from her death bead.
Artist/Director Simon Bouisson does an in-depth study of this strange effect in his eight hour film Tokyo Reverse. He films an actor walking the streets backward in such a way that when played in reverse his gate appears to be a natural forward movement, while the rest of the city is upended.
If you’d like to play with making some surreal GIFs just by simply reversing them, there are some simple web generators you can use as suggested by the subreddit:
The recommended way to reverse a GIF is to use http://gifgifs.com/reverser/, as when uploading with a URL there seems to be no file size limit, however it does seem to have issues with the gif being distorted with random coloured pixels, if this happens then use http://ezgif.com/reverse (File size limit of 20Mb).
Ok time to get out of the water and back to work.