No modern musical act is as synonymous with soul-wrenching drama, symphonic orchestrations, and spacey atmospherics like the deeply emotional and evocative Sigur Rós. (The Icelandic group's concerts are ear melting in volume and heart-stoppingly overwhelming.) For the most recent album, the group tapped stars, artists, fans, and filmmakers for its Valtari Film Experiment, a series of shorts showcasing a different song with a visual interpretation.
The first entry that garnered attention was "Fjögur Píanó," a Shia LaBeouf-starring production that features the young actor very, very nude — and on drugs, and doing ballet. Since then, Ryan McGinley and John Cameron Mitchell have both taken their turn behind the lens, but none of those efforts were quite as moving as Floria Sigismondi's "Leaning Towards Solace."
The director (who helmed Runaways and music videos like Katy Perry's "E.T.") directs a forlorn Elle Fanning, who shuffles through a rundown, apocalyptic midwestern town, stopping only to look at flowers or shiny objects. Wearing ripped and torn fairy wings and ill-fitting shoes, Fanning dances while her father drinks. She switches to beat-up point shoes for a sad solo while her dad (played by the incredible John Fawkes) encourages her, via voiceover, not to be afraid.
The video is absolutely captivating. That's partially because of Elle sobbing while doing real ballet — and partially because of the intensity of the song and its metaphor of reincarnation...and the unfiltered grit of being alive. Not your traditional holiday video, to say the least.