Ned Botwood - 20th June 2019

Colin Solal Cardo rises to the challenge of directing Robyn’s latest visual - a classic, electrifying performance in a sandy ruin. 

Robyn's visual canon has a mythical prestige. Before she was a name in the UK, the devastating video for With Every Heartbeat was in heavy circulation; Dancing On My Own wouldn’t be the gay anthem it is today without Max Vitali’s video;  and the singer's glorious power stance; and Call Your Girlfriend is one of the most imitated dance sequences on the internet.

These iconic pieces feel like the work of the same artist, but the common denominator is difficult to pin down. But at the heart of these videos are Robyn’s exhilarating performances. Her soprano voice can communicate a range and complexity of emotion in one bar, and these qualities bleed into her dancing. She is simultaneously strong and vulnerable, relatable and inaccessible, dorky and composed.

And this is completely true of Solal Cardo's video for Ever Again. Most recently, he helmed a genre-bending project for Christine and the Queens. Here, he had the challenge of directing a video for one of Robyn’s quietest songs, and the result is pure theatre. This is not a one shot, but everything suggests that this remarkable performance was captured in one take.

We also have an entire creative team clearly at the top of their game: the Romanesque set by Francesca di Mottola lends the video a classical gravity; Crille Forsberg shoots from every angle on glorious 35mm; Decida Wahlberg’s choreography is incredibly physical, oscillating between the poised and apparently spontaneous.

In one ecstatic moment, in a reverie, Robyn actually spins the microphone stand above her head. Dressed in white Louis Vuitton - designed by the creative director, no less - she twists through the room, kicks up sand, then casts herself into it. 

Robyn has never looked so much like Bowie, and it suits her. If this really is her last heartbreak, it’ll be a great loss.

COLIN SOLAL CARDO:

I wanted this video to feel classic, with an almost theatrical quality, but also raw and desperately alive, full of lust and energy.

"Working with Robyn has been one of the highlights of my career. She is a punk, a free spirit. A pop genius. She is also a true collaborator. Her passion and willingness to engage, debate and experiment has inspired me immensely.

"To me, Ever Again is about this space that exists in between the heartbreak and whatever comes next. You’re in this moment of doubt, broken but trying to become whole again. It's also a song about sex - how to reclaim your own desire when you think all hope is lost. I wanted this video to feel classic, with an almost theatrical quality, but also raw and desperately alive, full of lust and energy.

"I want to thank the team of artists that helped me make this fantasy a reality. Their outstanding talent and attention to detail has given this video all its texture and soul. I also want to thank Louis Vuitton for their support and especially Nicolas Ghesquière and his team for creating the original design that Robyn wears in the video. Seeing a few lines on paper become a drawing, then come to life on set was like a dream come true, something I’ll never forget."

PRO Credits

Credits

ProducerSonya Sier
Executive ProducerLuke Tierney
Production ManagerAmanda Tuckwell, Rebecca Mason
1st ADLouis Barron
Director of PhotographyCrille Forsberg
Focus PullerEve Carreno
2nd ACJames Malamatinas
GafferEdel Gardner
Art DirectorFrancesca Di Mottola
WardrobeNicolas Ghesquière For Louis Vuitton
HairFrancisco Ballesteros
Make-upGemma Smith Edhouse
EditorTianès Montasser
ColouristMatthieu Toullet @ Mpc
Post production companyMPC
Post ProducerAmie Kingsnorth @ Mpc
VFXMPC
CommissionerHannah Turnbull-Walter
ChoreographyDecida Wahlberg
Production CoordinatorJana Nouskova
Stylist (Artist)Tamara Rothstein
Prop MasterRobin Crowley
Art Department AssistantRachel Hopkins
Art Department AssistantFran Jones
Art Department AssistantVeronica Skoglund
Camera TraineeChrys Antoniou
RunnerCharlie Doris
RunnerOli Waters
RunnerEllie Taverner
Other creditsProp Buyer - Roya Fraser Prop Man - Charles De La Mara Grip - Llewellyn Harrison Grip - Ashton Lunn Desk Op. - Dan Coake Electrician - Rufai Ajal Electrician - Esteban Gimpelewicz Rigger - Steve Daly Rigger - Mark Redmond Prop Transport - Johnny Orsler Edit Agent - Pauline Perez Compositing - Lea Marcus Moffatt Compositors - Amy Smith, Andrius Jurkevicius

Ned Botwood - 20th June 2019

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