Some of the more boundary-pushing film scoring work in recent memory has been a result of the ongoing collaboration between the Safdie brothers and their composer of choice, Oneohtrix Point Never. The man born Daniel Lopatin plunged viewers into a swirling galaxy of electronica first with his accompaniment to Good Time and then again with Uncut Gems, a favor that Josh and Benny have now returned.
The dynamic duo share directorial credit on the video for the latest single from 0PN, a haunting ballad called Lost But Never Alone. Released today, it’s a swan dive into a vortex of kitschy videotaped pastiche, and a radical departure from whatever we may have come to think of as the signature Safdie style.
Instead of street-level photography wending around corners and into dingy urban interiors, the Safdies have adopted a retro-mishmash aesthetic harkening back to the era of miniDV home movies and low-budget local access TV. (Think of the video for Hot Chip’s cover of ‘Dancing in the Dark’.)
As if in a pan-and-scanned dream, we zip through footage of an internally tormented monkey, a hooded crone in unsettling pursuit, and a Fresh Prince-style multi-camera sitcom with a green-haired punk in the Will Smith role.
In some respects, the clip calls to mind the Safdies’ previous music video effort for the Good Time soundtrack cut The Pure and the Damned, which memorably opens with a chilling computer-animated Iggy Pop approaching the camera like the ghost from Pulse. They enjoy off-putting CGI, in keeping with the psychedelic drift through a jewel-turned-colon that opened Uncut Gems not so long ago.
The song itself hews close to the sound of the Safdie albums, sparsely punctuated as it is by distorted guitar and warm buzzes of synth. The solo at the end shreds harder than the average 0PN track, too, a release of pent-up frustration from a disaffected youth.
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