Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs album began as music, morphed into a web browser experiment The Wilderness Downtown, and is now a short movie by Spike Jonze. Shown at the Berlin Film Festival in February it was due to have its worldwide reveal online at Mubi to coincide with the release of a Limited Edition version of The Suburbs album which includes the movie.
There is some confusion however as you may or may not be able to see it depending on which country you are logging on from depending on where the new album is being released
Jonze movie is genre mash of coming-of-age/nostalgia/sci-fi/dystopia written by band members Will Butler and Win Butler (brothers) and according to The Hollywood Reporter, with a castthat of enthusiastic amateurs – “The lead girl was a drama techie who did lighting for school plays.” Jason Sondhi of film blog Short of the Week caught it online before it disappeared and wrote,
“If the Arcade Fire’s previous album Neon Bible posited that our culture’s sins would be visited upon us in cataclysmic catastrophe, then this film, standing in for the followup record, exhibits a pessimism of a more subdued sort – our corruption will be internalized, eating us from the inside out, dissolving our families and turning friends against one another.”
The project marks an evolution of the music promo. The music video special has so far been defined as the event Promo, from Michael Jackson’s Thriller of the 80s, through to Madonna’s Sex in the 90s, to Gaga’s current pop-baroque extravaganzas. Spending some money to hook up with an interesting director may make the a Music/Film CD a desirable, collectable object encouraging fans to buy the CD rather than filesharing.