Spike Jonze is a director whose work always excites and enthralls. Whether he’s directing feature films about portals to John Malkovich’s brain, metadramas about orchid poachers, surreal 3D hurt-fests with Johnny Knoxville and his self-injuring buddies, touching romances between analogue robots, or his plethora of celebrated music videos. In the latter category came last year’s video for Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs,” an homage to lazy summers and 80s Spielberg movies where teenagers whiled away their time riding their bikes around the neighborhood, waiting for something to happen. But unlike those misspent summers of our youth, something does happen in this story. Something which incongruously necessitates armed military personnel roaming about, putting a bit of a downer on those freewheelin’ good times.
If, like us, you wondered what the video was all about, you’ll be pleased to learn it was actually scenes from a short film by Spike Jonze and Win and Will Butler from Arcade Fire. The film, called Scenes From the Suburbs, will be showing at SXSW in Austin, TX on Wednesday and has a DVD release scheduled for May (so unless you’re at SXSW, you’ll have to wait until then to view it). All that’s currently available is the trailer above, narrated by Win Butler featuring Arcade Fire’s song “Month of May”.
Here’s what the SXSW events schedule says about the film:
Director Spike Jonze teams up with Arcade Fire to create a thirty-minute short film inspired by their critically acclaimed album, The Suburbs, and its themes of war and coming of age in suburbia. Co-written by Jonze & Arcade Fire’s Win Butler & Will Butler, this companion piece to the album follows the narrator, living in a suburban dystopia, trying to piece together fragmented memories from when he was a teenager, and his experiences with his friends as they grow apart.