REM’s Imitation of Life

For the video for their 2001  single “Imitation of Life,” REM teamed up with director Garth Jennings to create something different. The video depicts an elaborate Los Angeles pool party featuring diving children, illicit trysts and a man’s arm accidentally getting set on fire. However, as you watch the video, you begins to have a sense of deja vu  and also notice that some people are moving backwards. This is because this video is a simple loop of the same footage run backwards and forwards.

According to lead singer Michael Stipe, the video took only twenty seconds to film and only one camera was used to shoot it. From this single shot, Jennings then used pan and scan technology to move around the image and zoom in on select scenes. On top of that, for most of the video, the song is perfectly lip synced by actors in both the forwards and backwards footage.

This is a video you might want to watch more than once, just so you can catch all of the details going on.

About Michael Darling
Collector of the interesting and absurd.

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