Canberra, Australia is a city of few highlights, but one genuinely cool thing it does have going for it is the Australian War Memorial. A place that now houses in its collection surely one of this century's greatest works of art.


The image up top is a painting by Aussie artist Baden Pailthorpe, called Colour study (Top Gun). And while it looks like a gradient splosh of paint, it's actually the entire 1986 Tom Cruise movie crammed onto a single canvas.

How'd he do it? He broke the movie down into frames, then collapsed those frames "into a single image, averaged according to the colour value of each frame".

Once you know that, you can see it. Or...see the bits where they're flying in the desert and the bits where they're flying over the ocean.

His website describes the result as "a condensed visual essence of the entire film. A reference to the true nature of moving images as illusory series of stills, this image is everything that Top Gun is not; slow, meditative, deeply rich and quietly intense."


Um, excuse me, there is no scene more "deeply rich" or "quietly intense" in all of cinema than this.

Top Gun [Baden Pailthorpe, via Canberra Times]

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