Fleet Foxes have shared a gorgeous new video for the album-opening song suite off 2017’s Crack-Up. The video for “I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar” was directed by Robin Pecknold’s brother Sean, who has directed much of the band’s previous videos, and was released Thursday in partnership with WeTransfer.
The video was shot entirely on 35mm film, which, when combined with the striking color palette, makes more clear the decision to market it as a short film, rather than simply a music video. There’s a strong strain of Kubrickian influence, not just in the cinematography, but in the symbols, too. There’s a focus on pyramids and desert vistas, as well as a monolith-like red cube that crops up repeatedly. The house the main character wanders into near the end of the video bears more than a passing resemblance to HAL’s memory chamber in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the running footage has the same uncomfortable, voyeuristic quality as the famous tricycle tracking shot in The Shining.
“With the film I wanted to visualize the struggle within the song through the story of a fictional character trying to escape from his house and reach an ever elusive mythical place only to be brought back to the start by the pull of a mysterious red cube,” Sean Pecknold explains. “At the start of the film it’s as if we have happened upon a man tired from a repetitive struggle that has been going on for weeks, months, even years. There becomes a frustrating sense of repetition as he attempts to reach these metaphorical end goals and fails time after time. It’s something I can relate to, and hopefully others can too.”
You can watch the video (plus an early Fleet Foxes performance from the Paste archives) below and read an “in-depth discussion with Sean over at WePresent.