Grizzly Bear “Two Weeks” Video

Video Rating: 78%

Patrick Daughters directed this promo for Grizzly Bear, the first of several I’m sure from their new album Veckatimest, due out May 26. In this clip, the four band members play the part of peculiar sunday school churchgoers singing their twisted hymn while seated in pews backed by stained glass panels. Shot after shot they ooh and they aah and they sing and they glow. You’ll notice fairly quickly that the band look a bit, um, different than you may have remembered. As they sing with independently blinking bug eyes and creepily rosy cheeks, we begin to suspect they have a secret they really want to share with us, and by the end we realize they most certainly do.

On paper, this promo could definitely work well and be interesting/disturbing. The problem, however, is that it requires a certain level of realism in order to succeed. I’m reminded of Chris Cunningham’s early videos and adverts, where he would distort faces to invoke a creepy, unsettling effect. He did it by convincing us that these alien humanoids really existed, and Cunningham shot them in a way where we felt he was just showing us the mutation on film.

Grizzly Bear "Two Weeks"

I commend Daughters for taking a risk with this clip. The slow-motion camera work kept me engaged until the end, but I have to say it all looks a bit too Steve Madden in execution, seeming gimmicky where it could have been unnerving. The effect works better on Chris Bear and Chris Taylor than it does on Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen, though while trying to foreshadow the glowing climax of the promo, several shots come off like a Photoshop tutorial gone awry. And what was with those Sapphire Sparks filters at the end? Geez. Another nit pick, there’s a low angle quarter view shot at the end, where the band don’t have the eye effect on them; just sort of bugged me (pun intended).

In summary, amazing song, great album, mediocre launch video. Now let’s see what While You Wait for the Others and Cheerleader come out looking like when their videos arrive….

Grizzly Bear "Two Weeks"

I still think they should have just used shots of my daughter dancing around to their song. Maybe I’m just a poor, jaded director after all.

One Response to
“Grizzly Bear “Two Weeks” Video”

  1. Nonamerequired February 1, 2011 at 2:15 am #

    You’re really missing the point. Focussing on the technique and not perceiving the poetry and beauty of it.

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