chrysta_bell_david_lynch_all_the_thingsStolen Shots is a column in which our bud, fellow director Caleb Jackson picks apart some music videos that we love. Check out what he’s got to say, because it’s awesome.

So… I basically fell in love with this video. It really does have more than a lot going for it in many ways, and in my opinion, is seriously underseen. Granted, Chrysta Bell is still in need of more widespread attention, but I think that’s what made me so taken by her performance. She’s a little different- she’s got the aura of a classic Hollywood actress, the voice and presence of Florence, and dark producing accompaniment that rivals Lana Del Rey. Her performance was enough on it’s own to make this a 3-time watcher. She doesn’t act much, but you’d think she does. This starlet suggests a kind of enchantment that I just don’t see much anymore.

The directing is superb, and a bit richer than the other content I’ve seen from director Nicolangelo Gelormini. He apparently hasn’t done a music video since 2003, but this one feels like he’s got much more up his sleeve. Utilizing his skill in low light, he achieves a beautiful, haunting gray in the exterior scenes that are absolutely captivating. With previous work that features some stunning architectural cinematography, he makes the most out of the epic Italian architecture with seamless time-lapse photography, matching the passage of time to the narrative. I love how he threw his Italian flair onto this project, but also just let the story speak for itself. If you want more from Gelormini- I suggest checking out his short film Reset. It’s got a lot of similarities to this video, and has a more European, almost Michael Haneke vibe to it.

The style of the video catches my attention most in the way it combines high art with low art. Bava also shared a penchant for this juxtaposition, and I could see his influence scattered throughout in the solemn gothic setting, and candy colored lighting schemes. I love how the horror element is very controlled; the narrative is emotionally jarring, and abstract, but never dips to being arbitrary, or cheap. When Chrysta looks down and sees the hole in her chest, her performance reminded me that emotional horror can still be done well, and isn’t just for films of the past.

Lastly, the sweeping sounds of loss are shown in such a delicately complex fashion. In Lynch and Bell’s other collaborations, there feels like a more distinct echo of Lynch, but ‘All the Things’ seems to go out on it’s own and do it’s own thing. As much as I love the cigarette – huffing transcendentalist, I appreciated the originality. I mean, you can see a little Mulholland Drive sneaking in there… but how could you resist, with Bell having such a striking resemblance to Naomi Watts’ imaginary girlfriend?

Caleb

Author Caleb Jackson is a director/writer/producer at Felt Film. He’s got some more music video reviews at Lowlyer.