Ned Botwood - 1st Oct 2019

Wait— how did they do that? Saam Farahmand’s grand, torch song of a video is a lesson in delayed gratification. Look away for a moment and you’ll miss what makes it so compelling.

Don't Leave Me Lonely doesn’t need a lot of exposition. Ronson and YEBBA perform back-to-back in a vast, dark courtyard. A couple of electronic lights flicker into life in the far distance. Nothing of note happens for a while. Then, somewhere - and this word is key, as it’s a challenge to say exactly when it happens - dawn arrives. And as the song comes to a climax, and the two are surrounded by an expressionless army of witnesses. The impact of this trick is difficult to explain. You’re left with the impression of a slick studio performance video with the spirit of an emotive, spontaneous performance.

Farahmand’s experimental impulses defined a very specific era of indie music videos. His work was prototypical for premier British scenesters: The XX, Klaxons, These New Puritans and Tom Vek. In fact, his ubiquity in the late noughties lead to an article in The Guardian referring to him as “one of the most talented music video directors of his generation.” More recently, he has had a productive working relationship with Mick Jagger, making a series of politically charged videos featuring Luke Evans and Jemima Kirke.

One of his crowning videos was for the low-charting Mark Ronson single Somebody to Love Me. Despite being only 5 minutes long, the visual, a fictional home movie starring Diane Kruger as Boy George, managed to not only fool a vast audience into believing its archive footage conceit, but also completely eclipse a Boy George biopic released in the same year. It’s a shot of nostalgia that remains equally as stirring today as it was in 2010.

Don’t Leave Me Lonely is Farahmand’s first collaboration with Ronson in nine years. May there be many more.

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorSaam Farahmand
ProducerJudy Craig
Production CompanySmuggler
Production CompanyDivision 7
Executive ProducerElizabeth Doonan
Executive ProducerDavid Richards
Director of PhotographyAdam Richards
Production ManagerGiovanna Giangregrorio
Production designerAlexis Johnson
StylistSamantha Burkhard
Make-upAdam Burrell
HairMiles Jeffrey
Location ManagerMarc LaBelle
VFX CompanyPlatige Image
EditorMark Gethin
CommissionerDaniel Millar
LabelSony Music
Other creditsDon’t Leave Me Lonely” for @iammarkronson directed by @saamfarahmand Managing Director: Patrick Milling-Smith and Brian Carmody Head of Production: Alex Hughes VTR: Oskar Salas Production Assistant: Drew Burt, TIm Carter, Eddie Gress, Lucas Pedersen, Seleny Sanchez and Jamie VeZollers

Ned Botwood - 1st Oct 2019

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