Sleater-Kinney, possibly the rockingest chicks of all time, look sort of like, well, 9-to-5 cube drones, so it's oddly fitting that the narrative here is about such a loser. In a nutshell, a depressed corporate underling of a nerd, moved by images of birds and kites, painstakingly makes wings out of plastic-windowed envelopes and eventually flies off the roof of her workplace to, presumably, freedom. The usual intercut lip-synced band shots benefit mightily from a backdrop of strips of similar plastic envelope windows, looking like strange celluloid hung out to dry.
Director: Matt McCormick, Food Chain Films Editor: Chris Jones, Downstream
The Duke Spirit, "Cut Across The Land"
A no more than OK track with a largely monochromatic video treatment, cut slow and methodical, is nevertheless riveting, based on the visual conceit of lead singer Liela Moss' blonde tresses, extending behind her like a weird Rapunzel, attached to a lighthouse, car headlights and other luminosities. "I was looking at photographs of the band and I came across a high-contrast shot of them performing live, in which I was immediately struck by Liela's blonde hair-her hair and face came across like a streak of light in the photo, " explains director Woof Wan Bau. "I decided to have some sort of setting that could hold the idea of light as being a kind of magic. I was looking at work by fin de siecle artists, paintings by Symbolists like Gustave Moreau." Tres sweet.
Director/Editor/Effects: Woof Wan Bau, Nexus Productions
Alias, "Sixes Last"
This bizarre clip debuted at last month's Resfest Cinema Electronica Showcase. The track is a piece of low-key ambient noodling that makes a fine background for watching 1st Ave Machine's alien flora stretch their exotic limbs and blink what seem to be their exotic eyes, which is about all that happens here, but it's endlessly fascinating. "It's about how artificiality is creeping into the modern-day world," explains director Arvind Palep. "We're looking at the merging of synthetic biology, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence." It's better than smoking Miracle Gro.
Director: Arvind Palep Producer: Serge Patzak, 1st Ave Machine