Sure, 14 minutes sounds like a pretty hefty commitment, especially for a music video (really more a short film) featuring ambient drones and water sports. But this is worth it. Unlike a lot of the internet’s average muck, “Not Giving Advice,” produced by Broken Machine Films, shows us images so specific and so well managed that, while still weird, one can chart a real aesthetic arc over this film’s quarter hour. There’s a genuine and nuanced reality on display, which is one of the highest achievements I can hope to discover through any careful twisting of sound and vision.
The first few minutes are all washed out in ochre, of a visual quality that suggests film. I’d say “found footage,” but who knows. There’s something inherently appealing in pairing imagery of antique physical feats with contemporary digital beeps; I get a kind of voyeuristic thrill when the five ladies in canary tutus glide one-footed, hand-in-hand atop the pond at 1:24, and then an inexplicable emotional surge when, immediately after, the Olympian oaf sheds his skis in a single leap, skates the lake on bare feet, and then flips face down into it, with grim spume rising as a wake. The images go on and progress following a loose congruity of water imagery and warm weather. The medium shifts as tape footage surfaces, film founders, and color is born until the last minutes, when the blood hue comes back along with film’s endearing freckles. By the time the mermaid-esque women make an appearance at the end, we’ve arrived at something so alien that the uncanny has cracked into a gentle riptide of fear.
Long Pond’s Pageants is available on cassette from Koppklys Records.
• Koppklys Records: http://koppklys.blogspot.com