I’ve spent a solid third of my life loving the music of Feist, the Canadian musician who I featured a few posts ago when it was just emotions taking me over. Until today, I’d been convinced that both as a solo musician and as a member of the larger collective of Broken Social Scene, Feist could do no wrong. She’s cool, smart, talented, and one of the queens of her genre, and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t spent more than a few hours contemplating what it would be like to be her.
Unfortunately, there comes a time when we realize that the people over whom we geekily obsess can indeed do wrong. That time for me with Feist came earlier this morning, when I watched her new video for “Graveyard.”
On Pitchfork, Feist offers some explanation for the video, discussing the desolation and big-picture thoughts that accompany grief. I understand what she was going for; I’ve lost a number of people in my life, and I was pleased to read that she and the director chose not to interpret “Graveyard” so literally.
Yet when I actually watched the video, I was thrown off both by the cinematography and the connection the video was supposed to have with the song. I get that the stillness of the frames represents the stagnation that grief elicits, that the musicians popping into the scene as the song builds are like spirits or ghosts in a graveyard. Forgive my lack of cinematography vocabulary, but the sliding shots? The butterfly? The fuzzy quality of the video? Those elements make the piece seem all at once cliché and pretentious. It’s exactly the type of thing Pitchfork goes gaga for while the rest of the world tilts their collective heads sideways and thinks what the actual f*ck is even happening here?
Though clearly Feist and director Keith Megna weren’t aiming to gain the mass appeal of “1234,” this clip seems like a total cop-out. Call me crazy or a grandma or an uncultured square, but it looks more like a low-budget project for a film class than a professional music video.
What do you think? Am I totally missing the mark in my interpretation? Or are you also disappointed by “Graveyard”?