florence + the machine complete the odyssey with final chapter third eye

Florence Welch pushes music video boundaries with raw, emotional hour-long cinematic promo.

by Tom Ivin
|
25 April 2016, 11:52pm

Music videos might be losing their budgets, and many fear that social media is leading the medium down a disposable path, but it's refreshing to see filmmakers creating something larger than a 4 minute promo. Certain musicians deserve bigger. Certain albums demand more.

Directed by Vincent Haycock, with Ryan Heffington and Holly Blakey on joint choreography duties, Florence Welch breathes new life into her album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful in a string of cinematic music videos that follow our heroine through a Dante's Inferno of personal struggle. The ninth and final instalment comes in the form of Third Eye, which sees a cathartic end to the narrative that reflects the singer's life.

Florence's journey ends with a Birdman-style one-shot chapter, where the singer is carried through LA streets, revisiting her demons one last time and returning to her former self, to perform to a baying crowd, completing the cycle of regeneration that began with the first video in the ennealogy, What Kind Of Man. However exotic the locations, and however many extras were involved, the film manages to feel small, personal and raw without feeling intrusive.

A screening and Q+A with the director and Florence herself took place in East London last week, hosted by another i-D favourite director A.G. Rojas. Florence discusses, "the highs and the lows of love and performance, how out of control I felt, the purgatory of heartbreak, and how I was trying to change and trying to be free". She also described the visceral visuals to smell exactly like "sex... and the sea".

Stream the full project on Florence + the Machine's website.

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florence and the machine