Saturday, June 11, 2005

Clubbed To Death - The Visual Experience




CLUBBED TO DEATH (Video)
UK
3:21 2002
DIRECTOR: David Slade
PRODUCER: Barney Jeffrey
PRODUCTION MANAGER: Matthew Alden
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jo Willems
ART DIRECTOR: Tracey Collis
PRODUCTION CO.: Bullet
CO-PRODUCTION: Rolling Picture (Cape Town)
RECORD CO.: BMG

STILLS: Chinese propaganda

Shot on 35mm with an Arriflex 434 camera.
Used Flame v.7.6. for effects and compositing.


Inspired by the Aussie hip-hop composer's decidedly cinematic stylings, David Slade delivers his most overtly filmic offering with a bleak townspeople literally doomed to relive their history, wary of one man's striving to break the spell in a footrace for fiery, balletic freedom.

Styled and groomed from the 50's the retro aura is hightened by the one of the universal dimensions - time. It is here time is in reversed. But Dougan decidedly tries to break free of the confines of his prison - time. An analogy of his own music creativity, Dougan breaks down barriers, reforms structures and goes his own unique way.

In the video, he is struggling to push forward - blissfully invisible to the high class society all moving backwards around him. Dougan breaks loose, finally speeding up...faster, faster, FASTER.

David Slade outlines below the cinematic storyboard to Dougan's eye-catching music video -



Set the streets that could exist somewhere in a retro imagination, people are dressed in the 40s styling of “Brazil” or “Gattaca” the cars are old, and range between 50s and 70s in styling..

A street full of people, the air is thick with black and red smoke as a large crowd go about their business, the ground is wet as raindrops begin to drift upwards into the sky.

We see a street thick with smoke, the aftermath of a riot, a society in reverse anomie.

Time is running backwards.

We see giants taller than a man, perhaps 16 feet tall. They seem to be ignored by the world.

On the ground by one of the giant legs a child holding a ragged bear, an archetype of innocence with a dirt smeared face stares up at one of the giant figures as it passes by.

In the crowd Rob Dougan is trying to move against time but he seems almost frozen, he is trying to move forward in this reverse world.

He strains in a street where people pass by his near motionless body he begins to break loose and slowly speeds faster and faster, and as he gets faster so the structure of the video speeds with him.

He is at first wet then rain launches upwards, the air thick with a haze of torrential downpour, but as the rain abruptly stops he becomes dry.

In the crowd we see a tiny moment of redemption a couple kissing in heavy rain that threatens to drown them. But the kiss in extreme slow motion ends in expressions of horror from their faces as if each has just experienced violation.

Back with Rob moving forwards against the tide. Throughout the video he has the same determined look on his face of single-minded concentration as he powers along.

He runs in a straight line, he runs out of the crowded street speeding up a bit at a time, he soon reaches normal human running speed he runs through two people laying on the ground who reel upwards and then he takes off running even faster.

He leaves a blast of air in his wake that ripples the clothes of the people he passes while papers loose in the breeze swirl in a dissipating reverse vortex as he passes.

He is so fast that he is keeping up with cars, that speed backwards down roads. He veers out into roads and has to find longer straighter roads to accommodate his speed.

The police are attempting to track this speeding figure who is tearing down roads one after the other, his speed increases until he is running at the side of a police car, then out-running in lightning fast steps.

As he gets even faster so the video gets faster and faster, until he is tearing down straight roads in the middle of nowhere.


He runs past cars, looks in other car windows startling drivers and bored children who were sitting gazing out of the passenger seat window;

The child looks out and sees another giant figure standing by the motorway/freeway bridge.

Rob trips and falls rolling over. As he hits the ground everything seems to shake. A passing empty car window springs into a mass of atomised glass and reforms. He rolls over at increasing speed between moving cars, then gets up quickly to his feet and speeds away moving even faster.

He runs over the roof of a car that is speeding along backwards in the slow lane.

He zooms down road after road getting even faster and faster, the camera appears to be struggling to keep up, as we see him zoom off into the distance.

Then as we catch up with him we see that the road is about to run out and a brick wall runs across its width.

As the wall tears towards him he lifts his feet and finds he no longer has to run. He spreads his arms out as he tears through the air, a trail of fire breaks out behind him, he has become a human comet tearing towards his destiny.

He soars across the road in graceful slow motion heading straight for the brick wall.

Then we cut to real time and he blasts straight for it with pulverising gravity.

We cut the picture (the frame before he impacts) and fade up in the smoke filled street. The running man is striding through the smoke, now a giant towering above the crowd.

We cut back to an image of the child in the street. She leans over looks down at her feet and takes a step forward, gingerly as the world moves in reverse she takes one step after the next advancing into the smoke filled street.




David Slade Interview, January 2002


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