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black midi 'Eat Men Eat' by Maxim Kelly

David Knight - 17th June 2022

Maxim Kelly has created a fabulous fever dream of a Western - shot in blinding black and white - for experimental rock combo black midi.

The song Eat Men Eat - from the forthcoming album Hellfire - is a typically eclectic fusion-jam (Rock meets Flamenco!), with lyrics by vocalist Cameron Picton, about two men and their quest to overcome the cruel captain of a mining facility. That's the starting point for Kelly's interpretation where two prospectors become embroiled a similarly overbearing personality, and their efforts to poison him.

That barely does justice to the sense of abandon and euphoria, laced with doom and destruction, that powers the story. It features a compelling performance by Calvin Cornwall as 'the captain', luminous cinematography by Pieter Snyman, a brilliantly unhinged edit by music video editing legend Vid Price. Kelly also incorporates a characteristic multi-media element, which adds to the strange surreal silent movie atmosphere.

 

“The story starts in the desert with two men engaged in a desperate search for missing friends," says Cameron Picton of the song. "Their quest leads them to a strange mining facility which, despite a death of natural resources in the area, opens its door for even stranger hosts to welcome them.”

Kelly adds that meant the story was already largely in place when it came to making the video. 

"I just worked to visualise that narrative whilst staying true to the band’s vision and songwriting," he says. "So, I had this idea in my head of an old silent movie aesthetic with inter-titles. But every now and then it turns into a 'talkie' with parts of lip-syncing.

"It’s a structurally unusual song, so it’s wonderful when a track like this comes along and forces you to break your usual patterns and habits and push yourself as a director.

“I first listened to black midi in 2018 when my friend recorded a live performance in his studio for NTS Radio. I think this might be one of their first-ever recordings, and it blew me away. So I’m thrilled to have the honour of making their latest music video."

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David Knight - 17th June 2022

Tags

  • Director's notes
  • Narrative
  • Pick of the Day
  • Rock
  • Western

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Maxim Kelly
Producer
Aisha Kemp
Production Company
Executive Producer
Eleri Evans
Production Manager
Phin Shaughnessy-Symons
1st AD
Joe Mulvihill
Production Runner
Hamish Frew
2nd AD
Bradley Baterip

Camera

Director of Photography
Pieter Snyman
Focus Puller
Oliver Bingham
Camera Trainee
Owen Rumsey
Camera Kit
Panavision

Lighting/Grip

Gaffer
James Duffy
Sparks
Cleo Vogler, Daniel Svilenov
Lighting Trainee
Dylan Rogers
Lighting Kit
Cinelight London

Art

Production designer
Syd Harmony

Wardrobe

Stylist
Celia Arias
Hair & Make-up
Melissa Davies
Stylist Assist
Anastacia Malikova

Casting

Cast
Captain

Editorial

Editor
Vid Price
Editing company
Trim Editing

Grading

Colourist
Tom Mangham
Colour grade company
Black Kite Studios

Commission

Label
Rough Trade

Misc

Clapper Loader
Charlotte Hayde

David Knight - 17th June 2022

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