Actor/director Shia LaBeouf caught our attention a while back with his graphic music video for Marilyn Manson's “Born Villain.” His latest visual opus is not as scandalous, but still contains a few decidedly shocking moments.
The video for “Haunted Love,” a single from the dark synth-pop band Future Unlimited, becomes an exploration of abusive relationships, as seen from a distorted, nightmarish perspective. LaBeouf had recently been working with Lars Von Trier (Antichrist) on the upcoming film Nymphomaniac, and their association had an influence on the final product.
“I started throwing him ideas of a scene, not for a video,” Shia explains. “This led of course to other topics, domestic abuse in history and so on... he was very encouraging towards my wanting to explore topics like this myself behind the camera. So between the magic of timing and having a genius as a bounce board, I wrote a script and contacted the band.”
To interpret darkness and death in a new way, he drew on his work with director Alma Har'el (for the Sigur Ros video “Fjögur Píanó”) to create a symbolic dance in the Japanese butoh style: “It typically involves playful and grotesque imagery, taboo topics, extreme or absurd environments,” he says of the ancient art, “and is traditionally performed in white body makeup with slow, hyper-controlled motion, with or without an audience... I thought a woman losing her mind might be inspired to butoh privately.” The woman is played by Mia Goth, Shia's girlfriend and Nymphomaniac co-star.
Now you've got the backstory, so press that play button and get ready for a gorgeous nightmare...