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The National "Abel" by Associates in Science

who says performance videos can't be intriguing? (or is it just that i like this band?)

qt file here

alternative qt link here.

dickensian_hero, October 13, 2005 at 11:29:21 PM CEST

what is it you like about this video progosk? it can't be the unorthdox framing or the snow footage......

my favorite thing about this video is the bearded homunculus playing the guitar.

captainmarc22, October 14, 2005 at 12:03:51 AM CEST

really great looking film.

Never know what to think of a video like this which is 80% performance 20% concept.

Did they not shoot enough concept? Why not just go 100% peformance?

The concept did not come across, on top of that. Can it ever w/ 20%?

progosk, October 14, 2005 at 12:09:47 AM CEST

not that it's super-original or anything, but (in a fitting contrast to the track's reiterated despair) it's so tightly controlled: the band squashed into a corner of the studio, the tonal balance, the slight shifts, the unnecessary clothes switches, the slow meaningless moments inbetween the studio parts, the layering analogy of noise, the strict tobaccoey whiteness of the whole thing - i dunno, it's just a very studied intriguing aesthetic.

do you have a particular bone to pick with it?

ps: as i said, might just be i like their music...

dickensian_hero, October 14, 2005 at 12:20:49 AM CEST

i think those are good reasons to like the video progosk. maybe it's that i tend to look at music videos from a filmmaking standpoint, which probably isn't fair. i'm generally more interested in what the director is trying to do than the what the music is trying to do (the exception being when the music is really excellent).

in the case of this video, i agree the style is very well suited to the music and presents as you said - a very studied aesthetic. i guess in the end that's all a music video is supposed to be? so maybe i just don't like music videos. huh.

doubleplus, October 14, 2005 at 12:34:53 AM CEST

the direction i think is very tight, just about every shot has everything going right for it, or a somewhat engaging thing going on - ie everyone's doing cool looking stuff and are lit/framed well. lots of pretty fast cuts too. i get the impression that tons and tons of footage was left on the floor for this video, esp for the performance. and a lot of the concept stuff was awesome, like the setting the glass down on the table slowly and the tea or paper rising in the drink were very evocative to me. maybe beverages just give me a boner i dunno

isaacrentz, October 14, 2005 at 1:12:26 AM CEST

What a fantastic song. When it hits the bridge it sounds like the whole universe collapsing. Nice video too.

dothestrand, October 14, 2005 at 8:01:07 PM CEST

Alligator is one of the best albums of 2005, and Abel is definitely one of the stand out tracks. Matt Berninger is a very dynamic frontman; when I saw him live, he was just like he is in the video; possessed and full of energy. It's an effective video, plays to the band's strengths, and the little touches are nice.

familiar, October 14, 2005 at 9:52:16 PM CEST

Very good video. Not sure if you guys are familiar with Associates In Science, but it looks like they're taking a break from the heavily layered aesthetic they usually use for their videos. Much better. Too bad The National have been upstaged completely by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on their tour. They deserve more than that...


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