While they may not be touring in support of Collapse Into Now, R.E.M. sure have been keeping it interesting with a flurry of “short-film” releases for each track. You can read the announcement on REMHQ, and find out more from Michael Stipe’s chat with NME. In a nutshell, Michael has curated a collection of videos by noted filmmakers and artists, and each has put their own interpretive spin on the album’s tracks. Almost half of the album’s tracks have videos associated with them, now, and the rest are on the way. It’s an interesting project for a band that has shied away from videos in the past few years, and well worth having a look. So, follow me, and get caught up on all the short films and in-studio clips!
First up, the “Short-Films,” and “Überlin” – directed by Sam Taylor-Wood. From REMHQ:
The film…was shot in and around London’s Brick Lane in one afternoon and stars Aaron Johnson who dances and maneuvers his way deftly through the streets in a vintage R.E.M. t-shirt. Speaking about the video, Taylor-Wood noted: “Michael Stipe gave me complete creative control and trusted me to make this piece for R.E.M.” Michael added, “Sam and I had talked about doing something for R.E.M., but I had no idea that she and Aaron would create such a work of beauty. It’s as if all the film references instantly updated themselves to “21st Century Now.” Taylor-Wood added, “Aaron gave me his wild, free spirit and the collaboration was pure magic.”
Next up is the Dominic Dejoseph directed “Mine Smell Like Honey:” From REMHQ:
[I]t was shot last summer in Berlin at Hansa Studio, in the stairwell that connects the recording studio to the big room several flights down. it was boiling hot and dusty as hell, and we had a great time doing it. thanks to everyone and especially to Dominic!
Next up, “Oh My Heart,” directed by Jem Cohen. From REMHQ:
Jem, who has directed numerous videos for the band in the past (“Country Feedback,” “Nightswimming,” and “Talk About the Passion”) shot the music film for “Oh My Heart” in Vienna, Austria.
Next is the video for “It Happened Today,” directed by Tom Gilroy. From the New York Times release:
“I say film, just to separate it from music video, because I feel like we’re just way beyond that as a viable medium,” Mr. Stipe said in a telephone interview. “It’s my attempt to approach the idea of an album in the 21st century, and acknowledging that technology has made it possible for the idea of an album to be anything.” (Full article)
The video is not currently embeddable, but you can view it here.
Next up is the Lester Bangs directed “Alligator_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter:”
Finally, on our parade of short films, is the Sophie Calle directed “Walk It Back:”
R.E.M. hasn’t just been releasing short films…they’ve also been putting out lots of live, in-studio clips of the new songs. Here’s a round-up of those:
“Mine Smell Like Honey:”
“Oh My Heart:”
“That Someone Is You