Ned Botwood - 16th Sept 2019

Billie Eilish is a choking fallen angel in this oily creature feature, directed by Rich Lee. This part-sequel to Bury a Friend feels like the spiritual culmination of the various themes and motifs that circulate in Eilish’s artistry: the use of the abject, the gallows humour, the black viscera, and the burdensome injustices handed to the youth.

It is testament to Eilish - the salience of her mythology and her unshakeable fanbase - that this single and video are even allowed to exist. Gyrating in front of a crucifix may have done Madonna more good than bad in 1988. But conventional wisdom tends to decree that, if you have the profile, and you’re itching to piss off American Christians, do it gently. And with enough cynicism to give yourself some plausible deniability. But thanks to this eagerly macabre video, and a couple of choice lyrics (“even God herself … will want the Devil on her team”), the young star has developed a reputation as a Satan worshipper.

But Eilish’s stunt mangling of Christian symbolism belies a more urgent message. Timed to coincide with the 2019 Climate Action Summit, the video is an environmental call to arms. This hellish vision of the future alludes to both oil spills and the 2018 California Wildfires.

This is Rich Lee’s second monster movie released this month. Eilish’s shuffling angel is a cousin of Lana Del Rey’s vengeful giantess in Doin’ Time. The two videos share a similar crew, including Christopher Probst, ASC and Production Designer Brandon Mendez. The pyro, wings and oil were all achieved using partially practical effects.

Credits

HairTammy Yi
DirectorRich Leee
Executive ProducerJustin Diener
Director of PhotographyChristopher Probst
Production designerBrandon Mendez
GafferDennis Ivarsson
Key GripKaiyoti Pesante
Set DecoratorChristian Corio
PropsRobbie Duncan
Stylist (Artist)Samantha Burkhart
Production CompanyDrive Studios
Make-up (Artist)Rob Rumsey
SteadicamAri Robbins
Post ProducerMichael Shores
VFX SupervisorRich Lee
EditorGrant Surmi
Post production companyExile Edit
ColouristChristopher Probst
ProducerMichael Angelos
Edit AssistantDustin Zimmerman
Other creditsSet Dresser: Jevon Dismuke Wing Fabrication: Lelan Berner Contact Lens Tech: Brittani McNeal Water Feature: Craig Rosales Pyro: Rene Diamante Makeup FX: Hanny Eisen VFX Team: Louise Lee, Anika Morris, Jean Delauney, Casey Benn, Clark Jackson, Sean Struble, Ben Thronburgh Flame Artists: Chris Moore, Chris deChristo Sound Mix: Sound Brigade

Ned Botwood - 16th Sept 2019

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