The way we interact with music videos has changed a lot since the days of Total Request Live on MTV. (Viewers need merely make requests of their laptops now.) That change isn’t necessarily one-sided, though. The band Sigur Rós has taken a nontraditional approach to creating music videos with its latest album, and the results are anything but typical.
Sigur Ros’ Valtari Mystery Film Experiment involves giving a dozen filmmakers a modest budget of $10,000 and the laissez faire guidelines to do whatever they want to do on film with songs from the band’s new album, Valtari. (The ‘mystery’ part is because the band has no idea what they’re going to get until they get it.) The latest entry in the experiment, “Fjögur Píanó,” arrived yesterday. Directed by Alma Har’el , whose Bombay Beach won the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival documentary award, it is a hauntingly beautiful short film that seemed to catch the Internet off guard.
To make the entry even more of a ringer, “Fjögur” stars bearded, shaggy-haired Transformer jockey Shia LaBeouf and the dancer Denna Thomsen as a couple engaged in what is clearly a passionate love affair, replete with drug abuse, morning dancing, and occasional cross-dressing. Dead butterflies abound in the apartment they share, symbolic of the doomed half-life of some beautiful creatures. The languid piano-led tune follows this tragic couple into the blessed-out euphoria of some unspecified drug, represented by rectangular lollipops that look like different shades of flames (blue and orange.) Once the high wears off, though, the couple is left with a void that they struggle to fill.
Below, watch the previous video from the Valtari Mystery Film Experiment, “Varúð” by Inga Birgisdóttir