Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Coming on like a mash-up of Alain Resnais' Last Year at Marienbad and Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, Andreas Nilsson's video for the Fever Ray song "If I Had a Heart" sure gives me the creeps. That's significant, because few full-length films ever do that to me anymore. (I think the last time I felt it was during the tightest parts of Vacancy.)

By now, I've watched this video many times. I've created my own stories & plot possibilities from the images, and, from that, even more movie references have popped into my mind: Children of the Corn, The Night of the Hunter, The Lovers, The Emerald Forest, Walkabout. Are these legit connections? I seriously doubt it. They're probably just memories triggered from the music, from the boat, from seeing a native black man with white kids.

There's an argument that videos can ruin songs as much they can enhance them. For example, can I hear "If I Had a Heart" on the stereo and not think of its video? Not anytime soon, no, but I've never bought the Eddie Vedder post-"Jeremy" argument that videos cheapen the experience a listener can have with a song, nor the more cynical take that a music video is simply "a commercial". Any regular moviegoer can tell you of a favorite movie moment where song and screen merged and created a separate joy.

"Joy" is the wrong emotion to bring up at this moment, because at this moment I say watch the video:



Marilyn said...

What a bitch to actually get this to load, but well worth it. What a great mini horror movie for this music dirge.

One pet peeve: I can never understand the lyrics of songs these days, and it's not just my hearing. But even after I looked them up, I found them incomprehensible. The film was much better!

Thanks, Fox.

Rick Olson said...

Are these legit connections? I seriously doubt it.

What's the difference? You mean connection the artist meant to make?

Great video, Fox.

Fox said...


I feel your pain on incomprehensible lyrics. Maybe it makes us sound old, but that is often one of my complaints with bands.

And I'm ok with dumb/bland/unimportant lyrics if the song itself is still good, but I still like to know what they are saying.

Sorry about the slow load. Don't know about that stuff. It works fine over here.

Oh... and Marilyn, the director has done quite a few music videos. Here is his site if you're curious. As far as I know, no full-length narrative films yet.

Fox said...


Yeah. I meant as far as what the filmmaker was intending. I agree that it doesn't make a difference, but I doubt he was thinking of those films the way he was apparently thinking of Marienbad and The Shining.

Marilyn said...

Fox, it's probably just my computer. We don't exactly have state-of-the-art here in nonprofitland.

I'll look at the site at home on a faster-loading system.

The story I took away from this film was of some kids either rescued from a bloodbath in their home, or kidnapped. I think the kidnapping has more possibilities, like The Searchers, only more macabre. Perhaps they will be worshipped. Perhaps they will be enslaved.

:Debbie said...


it kinda feels like a video game (resident evil?) in a good way.
where you just kinda take in the surroundings and piece together the clues.

Fox said...


I had a similar reading of it. The kids seem to have been kidnapped (ie why The Emerald Forest came to my mind) while the "natives"/tribal-looking figures did some weird freaky thing to the elders at the estate.

But THEN, I started reading it as if the kids had planned it (ie why Children of the Corn came to mind) with the assistance of the natives.

And I wonder what the tribal-looking figures did to kill the people at the estate. There is no blood! And why is the water out of the pool? And in that shot of the pool, why does there appear to be a person unaffected by whatever went on, walking beside the house?

But the shot that intrigues me the most - storywise - is the one before the shot of the boat going out to sea. It's sketchy and gray, but it looks like it's those two tribal figures from the beginning walking across the land. I can't tell if they are dragging something, or if it's the dog they had with them.

Tell me what you think when you watch again tonight!

Fox said...


Totally. I think that's why I enjoy watching it over-and-over. It's like a little mystery. Not too many shots, but what is there is full possible information.

What did you take from it?

I'd also like to do some research later and see if I can find out where it was shot. What that house is, etc. The director and the musician are Swedish, so...

:Debbie said...

What did I take from it? I'm not sure I understand this question.

I didn't read into it.
I just felt it.

My favorite part was the glimpse at the German Shepherd.

:Debbie said...

who is this band? i really like the song.

Fox said...


The band is Fever Ray. It's a side project of the Swedish electronic/electro-pop band The Knife.

Fever Ray is basically the female part of the duo that is The Knife. I'm sure there are other musicians in Fever Ray, but I haven't looked into the liner notes yet.

You can here the music here.

Anonymous said...

the symbol at the house... it's like maths.. the circle, the square and the triangle...all the mayor math figures are there...what does that mean? looks like a secret society killed by their on childs..that didnt like where they were they ask help from the past..just trying to make sense to this amazing song and vid.

Anonymous said...

amazing band. powerfull song. but the symbol at the house is killing me!
ANYONE knows what does it mean?

Anonymous said...

amazing band. powerfull song. but the symbol at the house is killing me!
ANYONE knows what does it mean?

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