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Bloc Party "The Prayer" Dir. Walter Stern

scooper, December 6, 2006 at 3:02:55 PM CET

Was expecting a bit more from Mr Stern. Good to see someone still (ab)uses Inferno suites!!

hassinator, December 6, 2006 at 4:00:28 PM CET

too be fair this is a crap link and this needs to be seen big to fuly appreciate it - lets see if we can find a better one

scooper, December 6, 2006 at 4:38:23 PM CET

would love to have seen his script for this concept. I read one he wrote for a bowie video that was one line only...

lusk81, December 6, 2006 at 4:55:04 PM CET

SCOOP: What was the one line?

scooper, December 6, 2006 at 5:05:23 PM CET

don't quote me, i never kept the treatment but something like....'david's world collapses, calms, then the pieces gently come back together again'(vid was Survive)

ohscarlet, December 6, 2006 at 6:31:31 PM CET

oh man, I'm excited to hear the album.

captainmarc22, December 6, 2006 at 7:18:35 PM CET

cool effects but felt way too abstract. i assume there was some reasoning in the narrative that was poorly explained.

hassinator, December 6, 2006 at 9:24:40 PM CET

it was indeed a short script with a couple of refs

it looks the nuts on a monitor but i bet thats what all the boys say

nicknick, December 6, 2006 at 10:58:03 PM CET

it was hard to tell what was an effect and what was a flash video glitch at points.

overall, it was pretty dull. imagine how much more could have been done for a song like that with the kind of money that was probably behind it.

i think the only truly amazing bloc party video is the one with the giant hands for 'Banquet' by Alex & Liane, but for some reason that was buried when they got more international appeal and a really awful, heavily effected clip was made to replace it.

the hands video was awesome.
can't wait for this new album.

kevathens, December 6, 2006 at 11:35:11 PM CET

Hella nice to see Stern back in the game. Hopefully he'll stick around!

Pretty good vid, really. The solid dp/directorial work seems to ground it in quality.

scooper, December 7, 2006 at 12:07:27 AM CET

agree with nicknick, the alex&liane vid was their best video to date. i think that dissapeared due solely to a management issue. I like this video the more i see it and I think hass is right, on a proper screen with proper audio I reckon the mood may be right for the track. Sometimes, though, I reckon what is planned and discussed conceptually within the label/band/director circle is ultimately lost on an audience who don't get to know what was the initial idea actually was. I prefer brave, challenging, difficult videos over anything else and this, I feel, is one of those. So many comissioners/artists/labels play it safe and I think you, Mr Hass, are one of the few who truley WANT to make something different, push the envelope, give new blood a chance. Revolution is evolution and all that.

So I'd rather see this and let it grow on me (like many, many great songs do) than another disposable half arsed performance video by someone like Gril Phiffin (name changed to protect the ignorant!)

I know videos are commercial and are supposed to have instant appeal, but sometimes we forget that it can be a real platform for some great art. Look how many classic films were panned on initial release!

Shit, this vid better be good when i see it on telly after all that waffle...

progosk, December 7, 2006 at 12:34:24 AM CET

it's just idiocy to do your big fucking exclusive release of a video via a medium that guarantees you it'll look like shit. this is the first time i've had to resort to the goddamn real stream in order to see anything at all. what the fuck was the label thinking? (and the beeb: wmv+real or else non-loading muddy flash? ooh, party like it's 1999...)

with that out of the way... bloc party is a band i haven't learned to appreciate. the video... it's intriguing, i guess.

davidbowie, December 7, 2006 at 3:04:47 AM CET

damn. i think we all wanted to like this. it's difficult though.

hnaughty, December 7, 2006 at 4:21:44 AM CET


This is the Bloc Party video that everyone has wanted all along and now that you've finally got it, there's so much criticism. I love the pacing, it gives such a tense feeling to a tense song. The quality is sub-par but the song and the video are great. Their new album is clearly going in a different direction, but it's a change and a good one (after hearing a leak). "The Prayer" definetly hints at a direction for Bloc Party that could be massive...

osophy777, December 7, 2006 at 4:08:14 PM CET

Definitely needs posting at a decent resolution. From what I can see the video fulfils all the requirements and limitations that the band and label probably imposed. No obvious performance - some lip sync - a concept - dark and moody.

Just seen it on a big screen. All negative points swallowed and taken back. A master class in celluloid post effects. Loving it more every time I see it...

familiar, December 7, 2006 at 6:20:26 PM CET

""The Prayer" definetly hints at a direction for Bloc Party that could be massive..."

It is the high point on a relatively unexceptional CD. The song itself borrows from TV On The Radio, production-wise. The effects-heavy video is fine; the band look their pouty selves.

hnaughty, December 8, 2006 at 2:40:03 AM CET

While I respect your opinion, I disagree with it greatly. The direction bloc party is taking is less TV on the Radio, and more M83... which holds a great deal of potential for them.

I think critics are going to be divided over this one, as for myself, I love the new cd.

familiar, December 8, 2006 at 8:54:27 AM CET

That song, specifically, is what I was referring to with the TVOTR reference. The album comes across like a pastiche of different directions; and while generally I wouldn't say that's a bad thing, it doesn't work for me in this case.

Yes, I think you're right -- it's going to split the critical camps through the middle.

(I guess I'll add that the only M83 track I found compelling was "Don't Save Us From The Flames")

kolley_kibber, December 8, 2006 at 12:29:50 PM CET

For a limited time only here's a much better quality link;

or a downloadable version here;

The post effects are pretty subtle for the first 90' of the track and are completely lost with the appalling quality of the BBC's media player.

moogafufa, December 8, 2006 at 3:18:28 PM CET

ah thank you very much for the great link.

i looked really closely at it, but still found the video impeccably boring. Those effects were so damn subtle that i fell asleep by power of suggestion from the band.

adambiz, December 11, 2006 at 3:17:53 PM CET

Now, this is how a Bloc Party video should look like. I think it works with the song really well.

milkyjoe, December 11, 2006 at 9:24:17 PM CET

I love the track but it's a very very druggy video like a visual demonstration to the way MDMA and ecstasy feels. I had always regarded Bloc Party as a bit above that, this feels more like a missed oportunity for someone like Kasabian. It does feel a bit like the video got away from it's self in the creative process.


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