Ned Botwood - 11th June 2019

An alcoholic rages against her domestic life in this devastating ballad of addiction and inherited trauma - parts 1 to 3 of an ambitious visual album for The Lumineers, following three generations of an American family, directed by Kevin Phillips. 

A rural farmhouse is the ghostly setting for the story of the family matriarch, Gloria Sparks. In the first part, Donna, she struggles to adapt to her role as a new mother. In Life in the City, we glimpse the chaotic life she had to leave behind. And in Gloria, we return to the present to find her spiralling headlong into alcoholism and violence. 

This is a remarkable, intense trilogy of interlocking works, centring around an electrifying performance from Anna Cordell as Gloria, and showcasing Kevin Phillips’ singular directorial style: a curious hybrid of wide-eyed New England gothic and the brand of cheeky experimentalism pioneered by CANADA.

While Gloria, is the climax of this trilogy, Donna is a jewel in Phlllips’ crown. The first video in the series examines Gloria’s new life in parallel with that of her late mother, Donna Sparks, who married young. In the exhilarating chorus, when we finally encounter Donna, you can see shades of her daughter in her inscrutable face. This single shot underlines the spectral presence Donna has on her daughter’s life. It is difficult not to be overcome by the weight and mystery of this intergenerational tragedy.

Credits

DirectorKevin Phillips
ProducerNeighborhood Watch
Production CompanyNeighborhood Watch
CommissionerThe Lumineers
Lead actorAnna Cordell

Ned Botwood - 11th June 2019

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