Patrick Daughters – music video and commercial director of “Maps” (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), “1234” (Feist), and “Two Weeks” (Grizzly Bear) fame – directed the video for French rock band Phoenix’s latest single “Entertainment”, and it is a rather eccentric piece of short-form filmmaking.
Some brief thoughts:
Daughters cross-cuts between a variety of mini-stories and characters, with a cast of actors in multiple roles, creating a kitschy montage (shot with what appears to be high frame-rate cinematography) of historical romance, pop music stardom, soap-opera-y melodrama, and action tragedy. While the elliptical editing suggests abstract (if existent at all) connections between the various ‘narrative’ strands, Daughters allows genuine affect to emerge from the diegetic web when the vocalized lyrics of the song are lip-synced to certain characters. This creates, at the very least, an overarching linkage rooted in the music’s relation to each scenario.
There’s plenty more to think about with regard to these elements, and matters of representation and meaning are surely more suited to deeper analysis but on a purely formal level “Entertainment” is one of the more striking works of the music video form in recent memory.