Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Eye Candy #6: IV Thieves, Herr Barr, Guster

Honestly some really great videos today...2007 is slowly but surely picking up steam...

IV Thieves "Take This Heart"

dir. by Laurence Dean?

Among the best kaleidoscope videos ever made, and one that also fits the song quite well. This Black Keys-ish tune is all about heartbreak and the shattered feelings that follow it, so the director whittles down these rockers until they've nearly disappeared into the bleak-colored walls. Would love to get a confirmation on the director if anyone knows.

Clark "Herr Barr"

dir. by James Healy

(yes, it's supposed to look like that - though obviously YouTube makes everything look worse)

Winner of the recent Radar Festival music video competition, this is a highly-stylized artistic achievement. But superior technical skills can only get you so far without an ample dose of heart. Thankfully Clark's video is filled with purpose, albeit a rather obscure one. Healy's work is impressive precisely because it is open to some interpretation. The pixelized nature of the video is intentional, and meant to give definition to the images through movement rather than conclusive visuals. In a similar fashion the imagery of the piece is a puzzle to be solved.

Though the embryonic reference is unmistakable, the body being birthed is not that of a child. Rather than a nativity story, this is something of a re-birth allegory. The opening solidifies our perception of the bird-like figures as human hands, and as time progresses more and more appear on the scene. These hands are caressing, pulling and prodding what seems to be their own creation until they finally unlock its secrets.

The unfolding of man is given a communal credit, rather than the traditional supernatural or scientific definitions (even though it seems to commence in the heavens). What we see here is not the literal birth of humanity, but rather the growth of man - the journey from ignorance to enlightenment that we may have yet to complete. What is so compelling about this vision of evolution is that each hand does so much in progressing the whole forward. Like the millions of pixels that go into a computer image, or the blips and beats of the notes in the song, every human being is part of a greater body of work.

These different parts, moments or perhaps ideas come together to give true life to "man." The final breath isn't the first bit of air humanity has gulped, but it just may be the first taste of real freedom or happiness. Healy paints a hopeful picture where just when you think we're doomed to be ever silent creatures - one last pair of hands comes along and breathes life into our collective voice.

Guster "Satellite"

dir. by Adam Bizankski

Director of that excellent Wolf Parade video last year, Adam Bizankski returns with what is surely an equally if not more impressive animating job. Using supremely detailed stop-motion animation (there's proof of this on VideoStatic) the director tells the tale of star-crossed lovers doomed to never meet. The spinning stage may just seem like a nifty prop, but it neatly surmises the idea in the song of two people so near - yet so far. While they are actually living in the same world, even passing each other at times, they unfortunately seem to be on two different sides of life. Despite having similar interests in astronomy and being lifted by the beauty of nature, these two only connect in their minds - which might just be enough to make it through the night.

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Depth of Focus Videographies: Radiohead / Bjork / Michael Jackson / Bowie