Okkervil River – Your Past Life As A BlastBy Craig Smith • Nov 3rd, 2011 • Category: Webcut of the Week
Given the dream-like quality of the music and the wide scope of the title for visual artists to work with, Okkervil River have unsurprisingly released a second video for the song “Your Past Life As A Blast” taken from I Am Very Far. How do you capture a memory? This is the main question director Isaac Ravishankara attempted to answer with his video. He explains, “My initial inspiration came from some of William Faulkner’s novels, especially The Sound and the Fury, where the same story is told from four unique perspectives. Also, I had been reading a lot about how the brain processes time, and also thinking a lot about meaning in juxtaposed images.”
The narrative is straightforward: a boy and a girl sneak away to a lake, jump in the water, swim as far as they can, and then lead the rest of their lives. The concept Ravishankara created out of this storyline results in an expressionistic piece that illustrates the subjective perspective of two memories of the same event. Over the course of months the video changed & grew through the editing process eventually bringing to the fore an abstract quality that mimics actual memory.
The small crew filmed with actors Benedict Mazurek and Margaret Miller upstate in New Paltz, NY. “We were out in the woods for 2 days and the night in-between,” says Ravishankara, “The woods were filled with nature, which often was literally on top of us. Mostly snakes. Ben caught one, actually, on Day 1. But the hardest part of the shoot, by far, were all of the water scenes. We spent hours in the lake and it was awfully cold. By the end of the day, Ben and Margaret and I were so cold, our shivers had turned to full-on uncontrollable shaking, which Kevin (Haden, DP) thankfully captured. That last shot in the video is my favorite shot I have in anything I’ve ever made.” He adds, “I hope you enjoy the video, and I hope it moves you, even if just a little bit.”
Okkervil River will be on tour in Europe through the end of November. Dates are listed below.