It’s a dark and rainy Wednesday, your inbox is full, you’ve got back-to-back meetings, half your colleagues have just called in sick and, come to think of it, you aren’t feeling too great either – the weekend can’t come soon enough. Being overwhelmed is an experience common to us all and one that inspired Will Hooper’s newly released music video for Idles’ new song Colossus. The film’s protagonist, Joe, perceives each menial task as a crushing challenge, be it trimming a hedge or doing a crossword.
Will Hooper has an eye for comedy. In Colossus, Will flexes his filmmaking muscles to produce a relatable narrative that sits true with the majority of us. “Joe [Idles] was telling me about how their second album is partially about overcoming adversity – and pulling through difficult times with the help from your friends. And this was really the catalyst for the film,” Will tells It’s Nice That. In order to visually represent the hardships, Will drew on the muted, earthy tones used by the Belgian painter Michaël Borremans in his sombre, uncanny portraits.
From overview shots of Joe lying down with a newspaper on his head to close-ups of him singing from inside the hedge, Will’s video is immaculately structured. “So the gag in the film is that Joe is overwhelmed by these various situations like pruning a hedge, ironing his clothes, making his bed and, as a result, has buried his head in an attempt to withdraw from performing them. The film then displays the ‘world’ in where his head is buried as he sings about how the weekend felt like twenty years,” Will says. The witty filmmaker had a long list of – in his words – “wouldn’t it be funny if he had his head in that” ideas. Together with designer and close friend Jack Needell, the duo set to work to execute and realise these absurd scenarios.
Beyond the comedy, the film also serves as a tribute to the men who help Joe combat these feelings of helpless anxiety. In the first half of the music video, the viewer is introduced to a number of men with little context. Only at the end of Colossus does their role become clear. “They are the friends who have helped Joe overcome his withdrawal and assist him in performing the domestic duties he has struggled with earlier,” Will says. “Colossus is a touch absurd. A little bit awkward. And slightly silly. As is everything I seem to make.”
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