The British director Daniel Wolfe takes the whole term of music videos to another, aesthetically higher level. He often shows the world as a dystopia of human misery, disease, violence and death.
He created The Shoes “Time to Dance” video, in which Jake Gyllenhaal plays a disturbed serial killer who is addicted to fitness. Together with his brother he also did an award winning film, “Catch me Daddy” about a girl who runs from her family, gets into drugs and thugs, facing her darkest nights. But among these amazing videos, there is a distinct masterpiece. In 2014 the musician Paolo Nutini sent his song “Iron Sky” to Daniel Wolfe, and magic happened.
“I was sent the track with no explanation from Paolo. As a child I stared at the planet Jupiter and had a vivid hallucinatory experience. A feeling of abject terror. In bondage to an omnipotent machine. When I heard the Chaplin quote I remembered this clearly. So the video became a dystopian vision of the future as imagined by a child in the 80s.”
The film is grainy and distorted, filmed on a Arriflex 235, Zeiss Master Prime Lenses, 35 mm, reminding you of another time. The video starts, and a distressed woman speaks; “They say it’s a power, a ’thing’. How do we know this? How do we know this is not the will of god, that this suffering is not a form of ecstasy?”
The film cuts to a wrinkled man. He starts to talk. He looks tired and depressed, he tells how he can’t think or breathe. There’s a ringing in his head, in his brain constantly. You start hearing a low ringing sound, like you are about to develop tinnitus in your own mind. You quickly get into the mood of the film, and just wait, it is just so intense and beautiful, that your hair on your arms will rise to the sky.
But there’s no reason to explain more. If you haven’t watch Daniel Wolfe’s work yet, you should spend some time doing so: