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David Knight - 18th July 2017

Now this is what we like to see. Scott Cudmore creates an intense, joyous, and eccentric video for Leslie Feist that feels like a return to the form of the singer's videos of a decade or so ago. With added Jarvis Cocker.

Feist's videos for 1,2,3,4, My Moon My Man, and others directed by Patrick Daughters are ten years old now - from another era almost – but they helped introduce more contemporary dance styles into music videos. Cudmore's video for Century follows that tradition, but there's also another level of gritty seriousness, to reflect the current age.

Feist is confronted by her opponent and alter-ego, in the shape of singer and actress Maria Doyle Kennedy, and each of the dancers in Feist's gang has their equivalent in Kennedy's. They square up to each other, under a freeway flyover, and then engage in a dance battle - choreographed by Noemie Lafrance.

Century reflects our harsh, combative society, damaged by social media abuse - but it's not all intense grimness. The iconoclastic mischievousness is encapsulated by the sudden and incongruous appearance of Jarvis Cocker in the final act, intoning about more important matters, in his trademark fashion. What an experience.  

SCOTT CUDMORE: 

"I think that dance is a very powerful image of the concept of ‘wholeness’. You can’t really talk about each individual aspect of the dance without involving their relationship to the whole movement. The current impulse of the western mind, however, is to break everything down into fragments, into the smallest pieces possible and in the same way that we apply that thought to our observation of the world around us we also apply it to ourselves, inwardly.

"This fragmentation creates division from ourselves, from each other and from nature. Our psyche, both individually and collectively, is reflected in our perception of the universe and vice versa. This is the fundamental idea at the core of the video for me. It was Leslie’s idea to use dance to show conflict and in that conflict to show how each side depends on the other for its very existence.

"Despite the promise of social media to be a unifying force it’s at the same time driven us further apart. At least that’s been my observation, where the destruction of ones opponent is the goal, rather than dialogue, without the realization that destruction of your opponent means self-destruction. You and your opponent are part of the same greater movement. In the “conflict" of this dance, each side is dependent on the other - without the opposing movement, there would be no movement in the dance at all.  

"Noemie Lafrance choreographed this video and I think she created a very powerful illustration of this concept. For me, the dance illustrates a movement going from the illusion of division and separateness to a realization of wholeness. I believe that this movement, which is the very movement and pattern of thought itself, is what is needed if mankind (or at least civilization) is not to fragment itself into annihilation.”

Credits

DirectorScott Cudmore
ProducerNicole Powell
ProducerKaty Maravala
Production CompanyRevolver Film Company
Executive ProducerRichard Cureton
Executive ProducerLuc Frappier
Director's Rep (UK)Chloe Page at Lock It In
Director of PhotographyPeter Hadfield
Camera operatorAlan Kelly
1st ACRico Moran
2nd ACNick Petrie
ChoreographerNoemie Lafrance
StylistSarah Millman
WardrobeAmanda Wood
ColouristClinton Homuth
Grading companyAlter Ego
Hair & Make-upClaudine Baltazar
1st ADJason Bourke
Lead actorMaria Doyle Kennedy
EditorScott Cudmore
Other credits2nd AD: Scott Weatherall 3rd AD: Edward Hernandez key grip: Cait Lusk best boy grip: Vicky Low

David Knight - 18th July 2017

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