Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Surrounded: LCD Soundsystem "All My Friends"

LCD Soundsystem "All My Friends"

dir. by Tom Kuntz

If you're working with a track on the scale of "All My Friends," among the best songs of the year, your job must seem both impossibly difficult and beautifully simple. On the one hand you would assume such a great song could pretty much carry any visuals you throw at, while at the same time you're directorial impulses may push you to create an opus that matches James Murphy's creative peaks. Finding a balance between the two poles is where you want to end up, but few videos get there consistently.

Tom Kuntz effort is amiable because it shows a true understanding of the original song in a thematic and musical sense. The early concentration on Murphy's face, like the opening of the song itself, is drawn out to the brink of annoyance. We are forced to hear the words and digest the lonely emotion of his facial expression - covered in cold metallic paint - without a single cut. Just when we think we've had enough, the screen begins to come to life and we are enthralled in a burst of colors, mirrors and rain. Then as soon as it begins, the flurry of emotion is over and we're left with the lingering air of the climactic line - "where are your friends tonight?." Despite the somber tone of that consistent note throughout the song, the paint has washed away in the end, and it's ultimately a cathartic experience.

It's not perfect, but the video neither limits nor overpowers the strength of the song - which continues to dominate every mix CD we create.

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