From live cuts to clips of Michael Stipe falling up stairs, we’ve already seen our share of videos in support of R.E.M.‘s latest, Collapse Into Now. (Stream now, btw!). But Stipe and co. are just getting started when it comes to their use of the camera as they have commissioned 12 short films to accompany each of the album’s 12 tracks. On the heels of the Dominic DeJoseph-directed “Mine Smell Like Honey”, R.E.M. today unveiled parts two and three of this series, more specifically “Ãberlin” and “It Happened Today”.
Directed by Sam Taylor-Wood, Ãberlin opens with Aaron Johnson (yes, the guy that played John Lennon in Nowhere Boy) stepping out of the door and proceeding to do what everyone wishes they had the cajones to do every time their iPods randomly play a most excellent song. Filmed in and around London’s Brick Lane in one afternoon, there isn’t much more to the clip, but watching Johnson hop, skip, jump, twirl, and climb lamp posts in it is interesting to say the least. One thing is for sure though Michael Stipe loves it. A post on the bands official website says that he gave Taylor-Wood complete creative control and has called the video a work of beauty.
The clip that accompanies “It Happened Today” starts out a bit more subdued and finds a young man that is already so bored with his mundane, suburban life, that he decides to go on his own Into The Wild-esque adventure (frolicking with sheep anyone?), which leads him to splattering ketchup and mustard onto a perfectly good bouquet of flowers and setting fire to what looks like a bale of hay. Odd, but visually stimulating to say the least.
You can check out the video for “Ãberlin” below, and “It Happened Today” can be viewed here. The remaining nine videos will be premiered at broadcast and web outlets over the course of the next few weeks. It’s also worth noting that Stipe directed the clip for “Discoverer”, while Oscar host James Franco oversaw the creation of “That Someone Is You” and “Blue”, reports NME.
Also, be sure to pre-order Collapse Into Now — which drops on March 8th via Warner Brothers — at Amazon.com.