It's already been described somewhere as an instant classic, and we are not inclined to disagree with that assessment of Emily Kai Bock's wonderful video for Grimes's Oblivion.
Arcade Fire 'Afterlife' by Emily Kai Bock
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.
|Director||Emily Kai Bock|
|Executive Producer||Kathleen Heffernan|
|Executive Producer||Charles-Marie Anthonioz|
|Production Supervisor||Danielle Oexmann|
|1st AD||Brandeaux Tourville|
|1st AC||Davie Carothers|
|Editor||Emily Kai Bock|
|Production designer||Hannah Hurney|
|Commissioner||The Creators Project|
|Other credits||Special thanks: Justin Benoliel at Ramble West Productions|
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