30-minute film premiered at Berlin Film Festival this week.
By Eric Ditzian
The Arcade Fire's Win Butler
Photo: Mark Metcalfe/ Getty Images
Arcade Fire has showed off snippets of their Spike Jonze-directed short film, "Scenes from the Suburbs," on oversize screens during their summer tour shows and in a five-minute music video in November. Finally, this week, the band got to display the full 30-minute film at the Berlin Film Festival, which frontman Win Butler hopes will become part of the group's "visual legacy," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"So that 30 years from now, when a computer virus crashed all the computers, and people have to look at DVDs to see what life was like in the early 2000s, there is some record of what we were thinking visually," he explained at the festival. "And we didn't want that to get completely lost just because of the times that we live in."
The short continues the band's exploration of their experiences growing up within the often staid confines of the suburbs, which, as their tour collaborator Terry Gilliam has told us, is a "place that if you're creative, you just need to get away from." The film, however, spins suburban life into an impressionistic portrait of a group of teens living in an alternate reality where different towns go to war against one another.
"You start from a feeling and it's not necessarily the plot points of a song," Butler said. "To me the film is very much about trying to talk about the relationships and the feelings of that age."
"We were trying to show the emotion and the emotional links without necessarily getting deep into the plot," he added, citing influences ranging from Gilliam's films to B movies. "It's inspired by watching the first half of films and not having to figure out how to resolve them."
The Berlin premiere capped off a pretty stellar week for Arcade Fire. On Sunday, the band pulled off a shocking Album of the Year upset at the Grammys, then quickly jetted to London for the Brit Awards, winning Best International Album and Best International Group. And yet, for all this musical success, Butler suggested that perhaps a visual medium is where the group's true artistic talents lie.
"I think we would have been a band of moviemakers if making movies wasn't 140 times more expensive than making records," he said.
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