That Spike Jonze finds this band inspiring is no secret. But back in April the internet got wind of something particularly clandestine brewing between the auteur and Arcade Fire, with the only details either camp would confirm being that it was some sort of short film centering on “friends growing apart” shot somewhere near Austin, TX. Today we can confirm that confirmation, and also confirm that this is the thing that everyone will be talking about this Friday AM. Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs,” music video by Spike Jonze, here:

(via GvsB)

Comments (47)
  1. Wow that was really good

  2. Gotta love Win and Regine as cops.

  3. this is great.

    i think the cops are win and sarah though. right?

  4. so many paradoxes. cool video.

  5. Pretty darn good acting.

  6. Okay, okay. Maybe I am dense… Please help me out:

    1. What is in the paper bag?

    2. Did he cheat with his friend’s girl?

    3. What is with the militarized Austin?

    • I’ve been trying to figure that out as well, plus im realitivly sure the two guys (the one who gets beat up and the other who does the beating) arent her boyfriend.

      Still good shit though

      • Not trying to argue, but I think her boyfriend is the one who cuts his hair after being interrogated (and then beats up the guy). Not sure why though. It appears he confronts her at the party. Not sure hoe the guy is at the party and then at work though…

        • hmmm, that opens it up a little more, and yeah i have no idea who the kid who gets beat up is either. I thought the kid who hugged her at the party was her boyfriend, i might be wrong.

          • My guess at first was that the kids got the other kids family arrested for something as drugs or something els. Although there is no proof of that i don’t know one of you are probably right. But I do think the kid that beats the other one is the boyfriend.

    • No the girl didn’t cheat if you watch in the same scene the guy who gets beat up takes the baby from a different girl the short haired guy is comforting his “girlfriend” on the couch

  7. the dystopian future of the “1979″ video.

  8. I like how subtle it is….

  9. At least part of this is played during their shows. In St Paul it was anyway.

  10. Once through I’d say I like it but admittedly do not understand it at all.

  11. I would say it’s heavy handed, but I have no clue what the message was :\

  12. I like Spike Jonze but I hate his methods of trying to convey meaning…in the end you just end up with a lot of morons saying “Well I think….” “This means that…”

    • Isn’t that kind of the point of just about any song, movie, or combination thereof? To ask people to think about something?

      Insert snarky comment about the post-Pop Idol world here, I guess.

  13. I watched this yesterday on their website and after watching it about 5 more times today I have to say that I am officially IN LOVE with Arcade Fire… as a 13-year-old still growing up in suburbia, the shots of them riding through the cul-de-sac on their bikes, BB guns tied to their backs really affected me for some reason…

  14. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  15. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • As a consumer I oppose this deeply, but with the struggles the music industry and more specifically the independent music industry has, along with the fact that videos are really only good advertising and not for making profit, this is a good money making idea, and it would keep the music video, which we all love, from going extinct or becoming irrelevant. After all the music business is a business.
      No one can argue the genius of Arcade Fire or their business manager. My grandmother ever loved the wilderness downtown project.

  16. My only take from the video is that the destruction of the suburbs was getting to the long-haired kid, changing him, destroying him. To me the suburbs represent youth and a time of peace and when you move away once you’re older you leave that behind and experience the ass-beating that life has in store for you. Just my 2 cents

  17. It’s easy to miss the first time you watch, but the kid in the first scene is holding a rubber mask, which makes the rest of the video make a lot more sense.

  18. Also did anyone else find this video to be a little too literal? I.e.: “all the walls from the seventies fall” etc…

    • It’s an excerpt from a longer short, I think it’s been kind of edited to reflect the lyrics in that sense. I like this, but I’m quite a bit more interested in seeing the full length version before I try figuring out what the story is.

  19. All I know is that I don’t feel sorry for kids in the suburbs.

  20. All you need to know is that slowly your rights are being stripped away from you and this is what the great american dream you all bought in to really looks like. it is the oh-so not distant future… the message is trans-fucking-parent.

  21. Why does film need to be thought of in a linear sense? Maybe it’s meant to fit the lyrical nature of the song. The Suburbs seems to be about a feeling, not a particularly story.

    • Agreed.

      People forget that a video’s main purpose is to reflect the emotion of the song. The song and video both have a feeling of nostalgia and care-free attitude of youth. The song is more about the disappointment of growing up while the video shows how easy friendships used to be or seemed to be when we were kids. The song is in a way about how we all seem to go from pure and childlike to something not pure but still has an optimistic, however unwarranted, viewpoint. The video goes into the way growing up, especially being surrounded by violence and chaos, makes life and relationships become harder and more complicated and dramatic.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t think it has to have a clear cut story line to be a fucking good video.

  22. The only bad thing about this video is that it doesnt automatically play “ready to start” when the song is finished lol. This is my favorite song on the whole album though. I’m not going to begin and try and explain what its supposed to represent but I took something from it just like everyone else did; same goes for any other song as well, its all personal.

  23. This is a beautiful, brilliant piece of art and Spike Jonze must be commended for it.

  24. Butler has mentioned a few times, in some older interviews, that when he was a kid, he and a friend came up with a story about a civi war breaking out in the US. I think this is basically an offshoot of that idea.

    I don’t think it’s necessarily about the loss of civil liberties in a direct, “Ooh, look at the TSA being jerks, weren’t the Tea Party right?” kind of sense, but I do think part of the idea is to remind people that this stuff happens all around the world, and people still have to find a way to live with it. There are plenty of kids trying have their childhoods in the shadow of warzones and at the mercy of nervous soldiers, and I think it’s an interesting idea to bring that unfamiliar scenario home to a familiar setting; to force people to think about the full implications of the stuff they hear about on the knews, to see kids who look like kids they know being treated as potential enemy combatants.

    I don’t think the soldiers are really the most important part of the video or anything, but as far as they are significant to the idea behind it, that’s my thinking. Looking forward to the full short to have some more light shed on it though.

  25. Was this video originally intended for James Brown in the 80s? check this out … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0UXeqyuhx0

  26. For those who don’t understand the music video, it’s not really a music video as much as it’s a trailer for Spike Jonze’s upcoming short film “Scenes From the Suburbs.” So when that’s released, it should all make more sense.

  27. i would say, by the way it was put together, the two boys where friends , and the one who got beaten up , it was his fault that they got taken away in the truck , or so the long haired kid(with the girl) thinks, and he gets revenge by destroying the kids bike, then beating him up

  28. I Absoloutly love dis video.
    i listen to everyday:D
    arcadew fire is my new
    favorite band!& da guys
    in da video r hot<3

  29. i guess to get the video you have to watch the short film scenes from the suburbs
    http://www.putlocker.com/file/07E1E26CDFBFE404

  30. Thanks Jennifer for the link to the short film!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post, reply to, or rate a comment.

%s1 / %s2