Gino DePinto, AOL The Dirty Projectors constantly outdo themselves. The…
- Posted on Sep 7th 2012 2:30PM by Cameron Matthews
They were there to see the band's puppet master Dave Longstreth and the premiere of his first short film, "Hi Custodian" -- a bizarre musical flick that swims through surreal scenes about death in front of a California backdrop.
So what exactly is "Hi Custodian?" Well, I wasn't quite sure if it was a trippy comedy or just random images set to DP's cerebral, spastic music.
The film begins with our hero, Longstreth, fitted in a bright yellow hazmat suit, hobbling in front of a quarry of trash while the startlingly loud synth beats of "Offspring Are Blank" play in time with the singer's foot steps.
What follows is 20 minutes of stream-of-consciousness filmmaking. One minute Longstreth lies in a baroque-era bed while singers Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle lend forlorn stares to the distance while wearing Vermeer-style get-ups.
Scene after scene, the short straddles a fine line between comedy and despair, sometimes occupying both spaces at the same time. Dirty Projectors bassist Michael Johnson dons a red tracksuit (think "The Royal Tenenbaums") while jamming away in front of his presumably dead frontman. There are women in bikinis, abductions, religious imagery and a whole lot of other unexplainable stuff.
The film lacks a clear and concise narrative -- but that's not the point. It's merely a visual accompaniment to Dirty Projector's fantastic new sounds.
"I don't know the first thing about that," Longstreth said while pointing to the screen above him during the Q&A following the movie.
The video's director of photography, Bobby Bukowski, even asked the singer what some of his favorite movies are. "'Die Hard,'" he said. "It's got such a great story."
Dave dodged just about every single question about the film's content much like John McClane continually escapes flying shotgun shells.
"I wanted to make a lot of images that were really hilarious and really sad at the same time," he says, citing the grandiosity of Kanye West's "Runaway" and the loveable camp of Prince's "Purple Rain."
Still scratching your head about "Hi Custodian"? So are we. Check out the full film below and let us know what you think on Twitter @Spinner.