Thursday, 3 March 2011

"It Happened Today" music video

Sure, he looks sweet, but he's actually a pyromaniac.
We have some progress! As you may recall, yesterday I went on a bit of a tirade against the music video for Überlin, which was meaningless and not even in time with the song (the latter issue I hammered home enormously, but that was mostly for comedic effect). The point was, it just wasn't relevant.

Now, however, we see an improvement with It Happened Today, along with the news that there will be a video for every track on the new album, each to be directed by different film-makers. In this new offering, the story seems relatively simple. A child wakes up in the morning and is bored with the monotony of his day (shown by the greyscale effect present in the first part of the film), until he has some sort of revelation and goes out into the snow. There, he befriends some sheep and a dog and finds a mysterious box with some roses in it... as you do. Cut to night time, and a hunter is watching the child set fire to one of his roses, which he then uses to light a hay bale before he runs away gleefully. He goes home, and the greyscale returns as he drifts off to sleep.

So, what do we get from the story, apart from that the child is obviously dangerously obsessed with flames? Well, on a serious note, this film fits the music much better than Überlin did. We get a feeling, partly due to the expression of realisation on the boy's face and the immediate transition into colour, that something really is happening here. Rather than make a video to fit the 3:47 track running time, the director (Tom Gilroy) has actually used the multitracks to remix the song, and push the music to just over six minutes. This gives him time to develop the plot, although what the true meaning of this plot is still eludes me.

NME has revealed the names of all the directors participating in this art project. Here they are in full:

  • Discoverer - Michael and Lynda Stipe
  • All the Best - James Herbert
  • Überlin - Sam Taylor Wood
  • Oh My Heart - Jem Cohen
  • It Happened Today - Tom Gilroy
  • Every Day is Yours to Win - Jim McKay, Chris Moukarbel and Valerie Veatch
  • Mine Smell Like Honey - Dominic DeJoseph
  • Walk It Back - Sophie Calle
  • Alligator Aviator Autopilot Antimatter - Lance Bangs
  • That Someone is You - James Franco
  • Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando and I - Albert Maysles and Bradley Kaplan
  • Blue - James Franco
I, for one, am particularly excited about the choice of director in two cases, for the simple reason that I think James Franco is a fantastic actor. Naturally, that may not mean he's a good director, but Michael must have faith in him if he's directing both That Someone is You and Blue. Incidentally, Michael is pairing up with his sister Lynda for Discoverer.

If you haven't seen Franco in his latest film, 127 Hours, then I implore you to do so. His acting ability is so great, that I nearly cried at the end of the movie. And no, I'm not ashamed in the slightest to say it!

Oh, you want to see It Happened Today as well as read about it? Well, here you go. :)

Before I go, there's one last thing I'd like to mention. I could be wrong on this one, but do I get the feeling that Gilbert is paying homage to Stipe at 1:21. The action the girl uses here is almost identical to that used by Michael himself during most live versions of Man on the Moon:

This could be an interesting point. If you have any thoughts on it, feel free to contact me. Until next time!

Yours truly,

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