Woa. It is INTENSE. First let me start from the beginning. A few months ago I talked about this video coming out…and now it is finally here. Ledger started working on this video in early 2008 and it just became available on MySpace yesterday.
And let me tell you, what seems to be a pretty wholesome cartoon video takes a turn for the worse about halfway through. So let me start from the beginning. Simply enough, instead of a human driving a boat it is a whale—so kind of reverse of what you would expect when going out to sea. The colors are pretty gloomy with various shades of blue…but as the song goes on, nothing dramatic happens. But if you know Modest Mouse, you know that when a song gets passionate, there is a little bit of raspy semi-yelling that goes on. He whales (hahaha, I didn’t even make that play on words on purpose!) And let me tell you, the graphics defffffinitely match with the change of tone. As the whale sings intermittently throughout the video, suddenly there are PEOPLE swimming in the sea and it is the whale that, with a cigar (or maybe even blunt) in mouth, starts fishing for people–hooking them and reeling them in. What was just a blue screen is now mixed with red as the humans bleed from being caught. The whale then skins the humans and packs them away. It is pretty tragic–my words aren’t very descriptive…I’m not some journalism major or anything. This happens for a bit and it is pretty gruesome for a cartoon. The dead humans are then taken to the factory and made into seal treats (like doggie treats but following the sea theme the whale’s best friend is a seal rather than a dog). And we get to watch one scary seal chew on some processed human. Yum.
Gets the point across, right? Well, according to a press release, the video is protesting the “illegal commercial whale hunts taking place off the coast of Australia.” (the Masses) I figure that Ledger felt the best way to get the point across was to do a reversal of the situation and obviously that can’t be done in real life–thus the video via art.
Everything aside, the drawing and artistry is beautiful. The concept is good and the point is made. It just wasn’t what I was expecting. A wee bit intense. Makes me wonder if whales really could turn against us…. 😉
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