Davis Silis - 22nd Nov 2013

As beautiful as it is heartbreaking, the Emily Kai Bock-directed video for Arcade Fire’s ‘Afterlife’ is above all a stand-out piece of nuanced storytelling. A family of three men — father, teenager and young son — each lament the loss of their mother and wife in a narrative that blends their lives with their dreams.

It’s a device that is often practiced but seldom produces the kind of haunting and poignant impact Kai Bock achieves, like Linklater’s Waking Life did over a decade ago. By the end of the video, nearly eight minutes of subtle and insightful storytelling swell to a melancholy conclusion that leaves you yearning.

‘Afterlife’ reunites Kai Bock once again with cinematographer Evan Prosofsky. Their collaborative efforts have been so consistently strong, when you hear murmurs of them being on another set patience suddenly becomes scarce; you know it’ll be great, but you can’t wait to see how great.

Prosofsky’s lens picks up the subtext of story as if it were just another layer of celluloid, and he exercises ornamental restraint to craft images that are as pure as they are thought-provoking.

Of course, it’s difficult to watch ‘Afterlife’ without considering the live rendition recently directed by Spike Jonze and featuring Greta Gerwig at the first YouTube Music Awards. Kai Bock’s video is patently distinct, but it’s an interesting comparison to make; one is an iconic director and the other is on her way to becoming one.

PRO Credits


DirectorEmily Kai Bock
Production CompanyIconoclast
Executive ProducerKathleen Heffernan
Executive ProducerCharles-Marie Anthonioz
ProducerAnne Johnson
Production SupervisorDanielle Oexmann
1st ADBrandeaux Tourville
1st ACDavie Carothers
SteadicamAri Robbins
EditorLeo Scott
EditorEmily Kai Bock
Production designerHannah Hurney
GafferDaniel McNutt
StylistOlivia Segerstrom
StylistJamie Catino
Make-upHaley O'Neil
Make-upGrace Pae
CommissionerThe Creators Project
Other creditsSpecial thanks: Justin Benoliel at Ramble West Productions

Davis Silis - 22nd Nov 2013

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