Melancholia (1)

Melancholia is a symbolic experiment contemplating the human condition's struggle with mental health. Animated clips mediating emotive concepts in an intentional repetitive manner to replicate certain patterns experienced in life. The imagery for this work was inspired while considering various theories encountered in science, including some basic principles established in physics. Attempting to create a simple visual metaphor for alienation, grief, depression, isolation, etc.

  • Michael Amter
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    Mental Health, Melancholy, Sorrow, Suffering, Depression, Mania, Pain, Saddness, Grief, Variable, Mutation, Wave, Uncertainty, Limit
  • Completion Date:
    March 5, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 4th Photometria in Motion
    September 20, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival
    May 30, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Filmfest Bremen
    April 14, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Kinam, International Film Festival
    Mexico City
    February 17, 2021
    Official Selection
  • New Jersey Film Festival - Spring
    New Brunswick, NJ
    United States
    January 29, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Lift-Off New Year Extravaganza 2021
    The Lift-Off Network
    January 4, 2021
    Official Selection
  • AltFF Alternative Film Festival
    Toronto, Ontario
    December 27, 2020
  • MicroActs • Artist Film Screening
    United Kingdom
    December 10, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Near Nazareth Festival (NNF)
    December 4, 2020
  • Festival Fotogenia
    Mexico City
    November 12, 2020
    Central American Premier
    Official Selection
  • Amsterdam Filmmaker Festival
    December 13, 2020
    Honorable Mention
  • Canberra Mental Health Film Festival 2020
    October 25, 2020
    Australian Premier
    Official Selection
  • Beyond the Curve International Film Festival
    October 31, 2020
    European Premier
    Official Selection
  • Visceglia Gallery at Caldwell University Presents Melancholia Exhibition
    Caldwell, NJ
    United States
Director Biography

Michael Amter developed an exquisite personal vocabulary of metaphorical imagery over the years. He began serious artistic study at Washington University in St. Louis. There he was recognized early for an obsessive work ethic producing a unique expression. During this time a number of his paintings were stolen during a special exhibition at this institution.

Michael has a truly diverse background, including extensive work in television and film production to support his personal artistic endeavors. The artist has exhibited extensively throughout the globe, beginning professionally with the iconic 01 Gallery in Los Angeles during the early 90’s. Later he would be known for a wild variety of film/video experiments, rewarded by several opportunities to contemplate various themes with extensive travel in France, Japan, Singapore, etc.

Michael’s impressive history involves a wide range of noted entities, including 3331 Arts Chiyoda, Apexart, Cité Internationale des Arts, Creative Time, Des Lee Gallery, Gallery Aferro, Instinc, Meridian International, Studio Kura, etc.

The artist has encountered a number of humbling moments in relation to his personal expression. Notably a request by former director Mr. David Ross to provide a submission for the Whitney Biennial in the 1990’s. Michael’s piece created for a special 9-11 memorial exhibition is included in a collection with the US Library of Congress. However, his most memorable experience proved to be visiting the impressive special needs artists of Atelier PorePore in Tokyo during the Fall of 2016 and Summer of 2019. Currently a sampling of the artist’s drawings can be found at the Pierogi Gallery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in NYC.

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Director Statement

A number of variables were created with this animated experiment,
please review these alternate attempts for consideration at the links below.

4 micro versions - 45 seconds in length - can be accessed here:

A modified version - 02:47 minutes - can be accessed here:

Alternate FilmFreeway Project Page:


"Exploring mental disorder commonly experienced with the human condition. Aspects of this study were originally exhibited in the Visceglia Gallery at Caldwell University curated by Andrew Baron. This experimental effort was recently revisited and reworked during the Covid19 pandemic. A series of animated clips mediating emotive concepts in an intentional repetitive manner to replicate certain patterns experienced in life. Attempting to create simple visual metaphors contemplating alienation, grief, depression, isolation, loss, mania, mortality, etc."


"The imagery for this work was inspired by creating a simple graphic metaphor while considering various theories encountered in science and physics. The primary symbol dominating this experimental work is a direct reference to basic codes experienced in genetics, DNA, etc, mixed with various elements impacting life; including light, gravity, time, space, etc. The animated symbol was modestly conceived during a humble reflection after studying various theories regarding particles, waves, etc. A primary factor involved was Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, producing numerous variations of this graphic motif's movement with random changes impacting direction, size, shape, etc. Trying to interpret the vastly complex in the most simplistic manner possible. Of the many variations, the mutated results, four animated examples are on display in the video submitted here, selected for their relation, contrast, effect, etc."