Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"I wanna hold her hand and show her some beauty before this damage is done"
November 24, 2010 11:59 AM   Subscribe

Arcade Fire: The Suburbs. Youtube. A video by Spike Jonze. Background: 1, 2, 3. Previously
posted by zarq (29 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previously when the video was shot where you grew up.
posted by GuyZero at 12:08 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love how the whole police-state element was introduced so slowly. There are glimpses of barbes wire or military vehicles, but never enough to really conclude anything until around halfway through.
posted by Taft at 12:15 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


This fan-made video is quite good. More compelling that the official video, in my aged opinion.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 12:18 PM on November 24, 2010


Love the video, looking forward to the film.
posted by NationalKato at 12:19 PM on November 24, 2010


Interesting. At least it's a little more subtle than this, which is a pretty obvious influence. The central metaphor's a little opaque to me, though. I mean, it's pretty clear there is one, I'm just not sure exactly what it's supposed to be saying.

That said, this doesn't even come close to being the best collaboration between Jonze and Arcade Fire. The first Where The Wild Things Are trailer is / was a thing of pure fucking perfection in its blend of the cinematic and the musical.
posted by dersins at 12:20 PM on November 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Love Jonze, love Arcade Fire, love this.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:25 PM on November 24, 2010


Rush is a really good band.
posted by The World Famous at 12:25 PM on November 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oops - forgot the link:

Rush is a really good band.

And I really like that The Arcade Fire's homage / sequel to Subdivisions seems to be a multi-part epic.
posted by The World Famous at 12:29 PM on November 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Rush is a really good band.

You take that back!!!
posted by lattiboy at 12:31 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Speaking of suburbs, Rush hail from the same suburb, Don Mills, Ontario, where I grew up; for a while anyway, and then we moved to various other suburbias. I do my best to avoid such places now, which is best accomplished by not owning a car.

As for Arcade Fire + Spike J ... go guys, go! If such is hipsterism, I'm all for it. But dersins is right, that Wild Things Trailer is an amazing piece of something-or-other. Nothing particularly wrong with the movie -- just not as .....
posted by philip-random at 12:36 PM on November 24, 2010


I started watching the video happily thinking "Oooh, a video about the suburbs! I grew up in the suburbs!"

Then the rest of the video happened.
posted by exhilaration at 12:45 PM on November 24, 2010


I like this video. The atmosphere and cinematography are very compelling, it's like the "1979" video but more sterile, serene even, despite being set in what looks like, well, a war zone.

But I don't understand it, and I wonder whether I should try to. Is it an Israel/Palestine allegory? A comment somehow on growing up and loss of innocence? (It is Arcade Fire, after all.) Or just American suburbia with a couple of armoured vehicles thrown in for colour?

And what was the fight scene in the diner/restaurant all about? Was it a revenge tale of some sort and did I just miss the plot line?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:48 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


But I don't understand it, and I wonder whether I should try to. Is it an Israel/Palestine allegory? A comment somehow on growing up and loss of innocence? (It is Arcade Fire, after all.) Or just American suburbia with a couple of armoured vehicles thrown in for colour?

A related blog entry with links has been posted on their site.

I thought it was about youth, growing up and loss of innocence, yes. The loss of civil liberties which we begin to take notice of as we get older.
posted by zarq at 12:56 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I feel sort of dumb, but the guy who beats the other guy's ass in the restaurant is the dude with longer hair who's had it cut because he was detained by the military police because of something the redhead did? Is that correct?
posted by codacorolla at 1:21 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel sort of dumb . . .

I love MeFi because now I know I'm not the only one. I found this entrancing but I couldn't follow it at all.
posted by The Bellman at 1:23 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is a wonderful pairing, and the song captures perfectly the nostalgia of growing up with the reality that is life.

Sometimes, security is simply ignorance to real danger and the ugliness of the world.

This song takes me to that melancholy place that good music has a habit of guiding me.
posted by glaucon at 1:24 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't think it had a plot per se rather it was interpretive. There was a fight. That's about it.

Also, on the topic of homages to Rush's "Subdivisions" there's "Here Come The Geese" which while a little less dark is still pretty damning of the banality of the suburbs. Is it just a kids' song or is it a tale of a place so dull that the arrival of migratory water fowl is headline news?
posted by GuyZero at 1:37 PM on November 24, 2010


For some reason, the whole album had a very 1970s-vibe to it (which may just have been shaped in my mind by the cover art). I sort of expected that all of the videos would be shot in faded kodachrome.

(Also, the video description makes reference to it being an excerpt from a longer short film? Maybe the plot holes will be filled in there?)
posted by schmod at 1:39 PM on November 24, 2010


Feels like a mashup that doesn't quite work.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:42 PM on November 24, 2010


An updated version of Over the Edge.
posted by Sailormom at 1:54 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like it. Somebody once complained that American art doesn't handle ambivalent tones and uncertain elements well, but this is nothing but. It evokes a mood very effectively. I suspect there is a story that can be teased out of it, and I appreciate that it makes you work for it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:55 PM on November 24, 2010


Very good! The bike riding reminded of a scene from Gummo.
posted by orme at 2:38 PM on November 24, 2010


I loved this video. It's very disquieting. The thing I took from it most was the uneasy juxtaposition of happy Americans living in the suburbs while simultaneously we're engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seeing our troops here, in the US, is intensely uncomfortable for me. I didn't need it to mean anything more than that.

(I suppose the comparison to M.I.A. Born Free is inevitable but the difference in tone is significant and, in my mind, everything.)
posted by Nelson at 2:41 PM on November 24, 2010


Love the Win and Regine cameo at 2:36.
posted by mewithoutyou at 2:45 PM on November 24, 2010


Really nice. I've read a bunch of kids' dystopian books recently that don't handle terror in the American landscape (or adolescence) nearly as succinctly.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:13 PM on November 24, 2010


Watching this I was struck by the fact that these scenes of constant and intrusive police action are what many inner-city kids really do grow up amongst. It only seems like fiction because it's set in the suburbs with white kids; it's actually been fact for 20 years in parts of Los Angeles.

This is not a comment for or against the video. I was just thinking about how bad it would be to have to live like that, and when I saw the scene of the cop shining his flashlight in the kid's mouth, it reminded me of photos from the LAPD's gang crackdowns.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:39 PM on November 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


Nail on head, Kraftmatic. But I'm guessing the wider point might be something about the transition from a world in which there are safe suburban homes, and safe suburban kids, to a world in which there isn't.

That said, love the song, love the vid. Thanks.
posted by Ahab at 10:35 PM on November 24, 2010


I think this is my favorite song on the album. Something about the jangly piano, the strings, the lyrics, the tone of his voice, it all just hits me perfectly.

This video feels incomplete to me. It feels like they set out to make a short film and decided to use what they shot for a music video instead. I hope the film is released at some point, though - Jonze is one of my all time favorite directors, and this seems like it has the potential to be great, it's just not quite there yet.
posted by JimBennett at 7:42 AM on November 25, 2010


Amazon has the Digital edition of this album on sale for $1.99 today!
posted by Geoffk at 9:12 AM on November 26, 2010


« Older Watch a language evolve in a single afternoon in p...   |   "Yeah," she told me. "What we'... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments