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Filmmaker Landon Brands' short film Under the Sun exploring Ecclesiastes 1-2 and the theme of destruction. The piece hinges on the idea that all our toiling, all our work is essentially meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 1:18

Ecclesiastes 2:1–13

Under the Sun


Landon Brands


Curated by: 

Michael Markham



Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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This piece, a response to Ecclesiastes 1­-2, was inspired partly by observing my own tendencies to work extremely hard for long periods of time–to excess, some would say. I remember reading this passage on a quiet fishing trip several years ago, and it immediately jumped out at me. Out there, away from cell phone coverage and reminders of work or school, it made sense. Nowhere else in scripture is it so blunt: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the teacher. “Everything is meaningless.”

That can be hard to hear when we’ve been told all our lives that work = achievements = position = happiness. (It was tough for me.) While our accomplishments may bear short term rewards, will anyone remember (or care) after our short time on earth is up? With this piece I aim to question the toil-­fueled, achievement-oriented definition of success that is en vogue in Western societies today.

I’m not suggesting that accomplishments and work ethic are without value, but we need to stop and think (and consider higher things ­­lasting things) before we pour every drop of our lifeblood into the temporary pursuits of this world.

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

Landon Brands is a digital creator of film, video, and motion design. He has nearly completed his BA in Media Arts at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN, graduating this December. Landon works at the intersection of creativity and technology. A true digital native, he first experimented with graphic layout at the age of eight and completed his first video production at 13. He brings this curiosity and methodology to his work today, working in a variety of mediums (including live action, animation, and motion design) and often mixing them together. He has worked commercially for over 30 clients — a combination of directing, shooting, producing, and editing. He has also assisted in the production of several national and international commercials, music videos, and TV promotional campaigns. Landon's paramount goal is to tell stories that matter.

Landon Brands

About the Artist

Landon Brands

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