I came across this making of for NIN’s video Closer, and anyone who’s seen this, know this video is as weird as they come. I highly recommend watching this (it’s about half an hour long, so be prepared) because it’s really interesting to see all the kind of work and art background information that went into it.
- really yucky facts (the pigs head and the meat ribs were real, not props, and were stinking up the entire set…gross; the ribs were bought cheap because they were already rotting…ok, even grosser; Trent Reznor apparently pucked from all the spinning);
- technical stuff that makes you go, was that really necessary? (it was shot with an old silent movie camera that kept breaking down, as opposed to being filmed with an actual camera and adding the old stock look in post production; there was no artificial lighting, the set was built to have natural light);
- and ofcourse a really interesting lowdown of director Mark Romanek‘s influence stream.
Francis Bacon, Man Ray, James Van Der Zee, the Quay brothers and Joel Peter Witkin were all artists he took inspiration from, and altough I was somewhat knowledgeable on some of them, it made me want to dig up their work to see just how it influenced the making of this particular video (more on this below).
THE MAKING OF
THE END VIDEO (there’s also a version with comments by NIN frontman Trent Reznor here)
The Quay Brothers – Streets of Crocodiles
This animated short creeps me out…probably some badly resolved childhood issue with porcelain dolls! Their work has also inspired Tool’s videos “Prison Sex” and “Sober“, and they worked on Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer.
This particular work was based on a short novel of the same name by the Polish author and artist Bruno Schulz, and was selected by director Terry Gilliam (Brazil, 12 Monkeys) as one of the ten best animated films of all time.
What is it with painters and their obcession with meat? Mark Ryden’s approach though is more my thing, Bacon’s style is rather austere.
Joel Peter Witkin
He deserves a LOT of credit for the visuals of this video. His visuals are all over the place. You can get an actual comparison between these and the frames of the video here, along with some other JPW photos (but beware it’s NSFW ;)
Witkin’s macabre output was also featured in Alexander McQueens S/S 2001 runway show. You can check the video for that here (at aproximately 2:55) and compare it with the original here.
The imagery of the woman with the spinning eggs on her fingers was inspired by a detail of this 1948 painting by Rudolf Hausner, “Forum optyki zwróconej do wnętrza”
NIN and Mark Romanek also collaborated in the video for “The Perfect Drug”, which I’d actually posted a while back and whose visuals were heavily influenced by the work of illustrator Edward Gorey.