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September 12, 2014

The Dove & The Wolf: The Words You Said

A Balearic-Hued Indian Summer for the Rising Duo

Apparitions of a sunshine romance haunt director Zack Spiger’s vision for “The Words You Said,” the latest release from Parisian singer-songwriters The Dove and the Wolf, aka Paloma Gil and Louise Hayat-Camard. “It's a story about a lost or unrequited love,” says London-based Spiger of the video’s hazy, saturated flashbacks. “When you try to relive that moment from one summer a long time ago that keeps haunting you.” Having honed his skill as a cinematographer, the filmmaker zoomed in on the island’s bucolic, rolling landscape, which meant hours waiting for the right light and the appearance of a custom fish tank on set to tackle the underwater shots. “In Ibiza you can't get underwater housings for cameras,” he says. “But it worked out well—by the end of the shoot we were swimming around in the pool with the tank, drinking beers and eating calamari.”

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Natasha Khan: Under the Indigo Moon

The Bat For Lashes Songstress Heads For the Hollywood Hills in a Self-Directed Short

“I wanted to explore a trashy, playful, US motel aesthetic, like Patricia Arquette in True Romance,” says London-born Natasha Khan, better known as Mercury nominated singer-songwriter Bat For Lashes, of shooting YMC-styled fashion film Under the Indigo Moon in LA. The sepia-coated, sun-kissed road trip was shot on 16mm and sees the baroque-pop chanteuse driving along the snaking Sunset Boulevard with her LA-based buddy, former Devendra Banhart drummer Gregory Rogove. Khan was raised on a diet of Kate Bush and Tori Amos, whose soft-focus influence courses through the short’s soundtrack that was created over an afternoon in a Cali studio with Beck. “I have loved Beck for years,” she says. “We started working together about three years ago; I stayed with him for three weeks, and we jammed out and generated a lot of material. He’s got loads of weird dulcimers, amazing drum machines and really obscure instruments that make wonderful sounds.” The clip was produced by Lana Del Rey collaborator Neil Krug and heralds Khan’s foray into filmmaking, a hobby she plans to turn into a long-term pursuit.

Would you ever consider making a full-length film?
Natasha Khan:
I’m writing a screenplay for a short for FilmFour. It’s a really dark, gritty, family based drama, with hints of magic realism. We’re going into pre-production soon with a view to make it into a feature-length film in the next couple of years. I’ve got some things up my sleeve with my producer Dan Carey, so I want it to be a music and visual collaboration. I’m going to illustration classes at the moment, and I’ve got a huge desire to tell stories through film and paintings rather than just music, so Bat For Lashes is on hold for the meanwhile.

Are there any lynchpin directors you can pinpoint as influential?
NK:
Funnily enough, David Lynch was a lynchpin! In my early 20s, I was obsessed with Eraserhead, Wild At Heart, The Elephant Man, Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet. I used to go to midnight screenings in Brighton, seeing films by Roman Polanski, Gregg Araki, Ingmar Bergman, Lars Von Trier... I could go on forever.

In terms of music, who are the artists that you look up to?
NK:
I’ve always loved how artists like Patti Smith and PJ Harvey explore popular portrayals of the female form. When I was a teenager, I saw a picture of PJ in a big, padded bra that she wasn’t filling out, I know that she was trying to present something outside of the norm: a nakedness not meant for the male gaze.

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Spotlight

Jamie xx: Sleep Sound

Deaf Dancers Move to the Silence with Artist Sofia Mattioli

“I was on a train listening to music, getting deep into it, and this girl started staring at me,” says London-based artist and poet Sofia Mattioli of the genesis of her video for Jamie xx’s “Sleep Sound.” “After a while I took my headphones off and she came up to me, started signing and then wrote me a note to say that she was deaf but could almost feel the music by my movement.” With the germ of an idea from this chance encounter, Mattioli was asked to create a video for the member of The xx and Grammy-winning producer of Alicia Keys, Gil Scott-Heron and Drake. During the course of one day, she danced with 13 members of the Manchester Deaf Centre with ages ranging from five to 27 years old, who responded to the movement of the artist and the vibrations in the air given off by the song. “The relationship between silence and music is a big part of what I am trying to express with my work,” says Mattioli. “The first kid in the video, Archie, was bliss—all of them were amazing. I hope this is a project I can develop further.”

"Girl / Sleep Sound" is out May 5 on Young Turks.

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