Posted Oct 28 2015

Song Of The Week - REM - Imitation Of Life

What can you say about REM? Except they were easily one of the bigest and finest bands of the last two decades of the last century. And this was one of their finest worksongs, their finest as a three piece in fact, once Bill Berry had gone off to raise tractors, or something.

It’s here for its movie connection of course. First and foremost, it takes its name from Douglas Sirk’s classic 1959 heightened Lana Turner-starring melodrama. Secondly, it was made by the British video makers Hammer & Tongs (who also made such classics as Supergrass’ Pumping On Your Stereo and Blur’s Coffee & TV), otherwise known as director Garth Jennings and producer Nick Goldsmith, those who went on to make the big screen version of Hitch Hiker’s Guide and the brilliant Son Of Rambow.

On top of all that it’s a remarkable feat of digital filmmaking. Michael Stipe once said it only took about 20 seconds to film. And whilst that is probably an underestimate, the way the piece moves within the single shot frame, rewinds, moves forward, prowls around, reveals previously unseen (or unnoticed?) actions – well, you could just sit and watch it for hours and still not work it out. A remarkable piece of filmmaking – a damn good song.

Why haven’t you hit “play” already?


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