WOW this is a good choice. Music video-director and generally wonderful filmmaker Tom Haines has picked an absolute classic this afternoon to show you all. Yes it’s a bit of a spoiler (don’t watch this if you plan to watch Once Upon A Time In The West, ever) but it’s so incredibly spine-tinglingly terrific maybe it’s worth the sacrifice? After you’ve checked his favourite music video out, go over to Tom’s site where you can see some of the terrific videos he’s directed for people like Devendra Banhart, The Temper Trap, Nick Cave and many, many others. Wowzah!
Tom Haines: Arcade Fire – My Body Is A Cage directed by JT Helms
Maybe it’s a cop-out to not pick an actual music video, though I remember seeing this around the time I got into music videos and I thought it was such a perfect marriage of image and song. I know little about the video’s creator, JT Helms, and I think he might have got a little lucky with this grafting of Arcade Fire’s homily onto Sergio Leone’s classic 1968 Spaghetti Western Once Upon A Time In The West.
Or maybe it was divine providence, as Sergio Leone, together with Morricone, somehow acted as a precursor to music videos, using hyper-dramatic staging, and a musical refrain that often becomes synonymous with the films. Leone is also famous for playing music while he directed many scenes in his Westerns, so there is a historical truth to such a marriage. The net result is loaded with drama, tension and redemption and makes the simple and yet powerful lyrics in the song My Body Is A Cage echo out as we see Henry Fonda and Charles Bronson go toe-to-toe in an existential gun fight.