The Weeknd: After Hours

If you’ve been paying any attention to The Weeknd for the last year you may have noticed a few things: the same red suit jacket and black clothes and a bloodied nose and face. You read right, he’s been making live appearances wearing the same outfit and with makeup and prosthetics to appear bloodied. He’s essentially been telling a story over the course of 10 or 12 music videos and live performances. I’m not sure I can think of a case where someone has sustained a character AND story arc across this many videos.

I’ve compiled those videos below in what I think is the correct order. Some are, uhm, explicit. I’m not sure if this is the last of the videos, but if any more are released I’ll add them to this post.

Album Title

The character is seen driving and we learn the title of the album.

Heartless

Arrival in Vegas. Perhaps some inspiration from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and a touch of Casino? At this stage there are no injuries.

Blinding Lights

Starts where the last one ends, lost and stumbling in Vegas. The character is again seen driving and beaten by bouncers, acquiring his facial injuries. He also dons black driving gloves see in (almost) all of the remaining videos. This feels heavily influenced by both Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker performances.

Until I Bleed Out

The character appears at a party, injured, and somewhat out of it. He winds up unconscious in the desert, still wearing the gloves and has now added tape to his nose.

Snowchild

Snowchild appears to mostly be in the character’s imagination while he’s unconscious in the desert from the previous video. Includes flashbacks to The Weeknd’s past and career. The nose tape is present, but the gloves aren’t.

Heartless (feat.Lil Uzi Vert) Intermission

This is most likely unused footage compiled to make a video, but it works here. Why? It’s called Intermission and because we’ve already seen most of what’s occurred. There’s a jump from Until I Bleed Out/Snowchild to the next video, so this helps bridge the two.

Blinding Lights (Live on Jimmy Kimmel Live)

Technically fits in before After Hours (Short Film), since that video starts with an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live

After Hours (Short Film)

This video serves as a bridge from one video to the next and does not include a performance or a full song. We see the character’s emotions and motivations change.

In Your Eyes

This video picks up where the last one ends, The Weeknd is see boarding an elevator with a man and a woman. This one is basically a slasher/horror theme.

Too Late

Picking up where the last one ended, the story continues the horror theme. Whereas the previous video was fairly ’70s/’80s influenced, this one feels more contemporary.

Save Your Tears / In Your Eyes (live)

Given the bandages, this could probably be slotted here (between Too Late and Save Your Tears).

Save Your Tears

The character is back and looking a bit different (including the red jacket).

Other notable live performances and videos

Probably one of the slickest late night TV musical performances I’ve seen

This doesn’t quite fit in to the story like the others, but the scale is impressive!

Even this duet holds a key to the story!



Update:

I compiled all of the videos into a YouTube playlist from the sequence outlined above.

Halloween III

Continuing on my horror movie and TV kick (see also Halloween and Halloween II, here are some more recent watches:

  • Phantasm (1979)*
  • Prom Night (1980)
  • The Funhouse (1981)
  • Chopping Mall (1986)*
  • Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)*
  • Sleepaway Camp II (1988)
  • Sleepaway Camp III (1989)
  • Body Bags (1993)
  • Hereditary (2018)
  • Lovecraft Country (2020)*

*Currently watching or started

I’ve slowed down a bit on the scary stuff as Die Hard and Home Alone season is in full gear. Maybe it’s time to fill in some of my Christmas/horror flick gaps!

Halloween II

Continuing on my previous post, I’ve watched even more horror films. With Halloween and a Friday the 13th so close together, it seemed only appropriate to watch a certain franchise (plus a few others) to stick with horror films.

  • Friday the 13th A New Beginning (1985)
  • Friday the 13th Jason Lives (1986)
  • Jason Goes to Hell (1993)
  • Jason X (2002)
  • Friday the 13th (2009)
  • Sleepaway Camp (1983)
  • Ready or Not (2019)
  • Lifeforce (1985)
  • Maximum Overdrive (1986)
  • Children of the Corn (1984)
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Halloween

I’ve been on a bit of a thriller/horror kick lately, given the season. I’m normally not a huge horror fan, though I like it when it’s done well. There are a few more I will probably try to squeeze in over the next few days. Anything I need to watch? Right now I’m curious about Overlord – seems like a good combo of WWII and zombies!

Over the last few weeks I’ve watched the following movies and TV shows:

  • American Horror Story 1984 (2019)
  • Dark (2017-20)
  • Raising Cain (1992)
  • Sisters (1972)
  • Evil Dead (1981)*
  • Final Destination 5 (2011)
  • The Thing (2011)
  • Creep (2014)
  • Creep 2 (2017)
  • Poltergeist (1982)*
  • Midsommar (2019)

*Previously seen

Mini Movie Marathon: UK Miners

I watch a lot of movies and love lists and connections.

Get ready for archive footage of Margaret Thatcher and songs by The Clash!

  • Billy Elliot (2000): Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Gary Lewis
    Billy learns to dance while his brother and family are on strike. Features a great period soundtrack.
  • Pride (2014): Joe Gilgun, Dominic West, Andrew Scott, George MacKay, Imelda Staunton, Liz White, Bill Nighy, Paddy Considine
    An LGBT organization supports the striking miners and find commonality between the two groups. You may not recognize all the cast members’ names, but if you’re a fan of UK film and TV (or ‘The Wire’), you’ll recognize some faces.
  • Brassed Off (1996): Pete Postlethwaite, Ewan McGregor
    Ten years after the miner strike, now out of work miners form a brass band.

Signs

The Seeb remix of Mike Posner’s I Took A Pill in Ibiza is one of those ear worms, something you can’t shake – even if you want to.  I’ve attended my fair share of Dylan concerts, own most of his albums, and have seen any movie he’s been a part of (yes, that includes ‘Hearts of Fire’).  Because of this, the inspiration for video for the original version of Mike Posner’s the song was not unfamiliar to me.  In my youth I remember buying INXS’s ‘Kick’, and more than a few ‘Weird’ Al albums on cassette.  This prompted the need to have a little video marathon and I thought I’d share it here, too.  Did I miss any others?

 

 

 

 

Honorable mentions:

Night of the Living Dead

Did you know it’s legal to share the movie “Night of the Living Dead” online because of a mistake with copyright? It’s true!  If you’ve never seen it, give it a watch.  I hear the restored version is even better and I can’t wait to check it out!

Here’s why it’s free to watch, share, etc…

Happy Halloween!

The Game

I first noticed David Fincher’s work as a music video director in the ’90s and it really stuck with me.  How bid of a fan am I?  I’ve probably seen Alien³ and The Game more than Fincher has.  Despite having followed his career from almost the beginning, I was a bit taken aback by this video, which details his subtle usage of VFX in his film.

Here too are a few favorite videos:

Everyone loves a little Walken in their music video.

This is literally the Citizen Kane of music videos.

Quentin Crisp on MTV, who would have thought it possible?

Author’s note: Aerosmith is terrible, but the video is another story.

You can also see the influence of David Fincher in the music videos of Michael Bay.

Ireland: Intermission

To help brainstorm titles for the Ireland pieces I’ve been writing, here’s a list of all the films and TV shows set or connected to the Republic or Northern Ireland that I’ve seen.  Is there something Irish that I need to see and don’t have listed?  Maybe I’ve seen and forgotten, but either way, let me know!

Continue reading Ireland: Intermission

We Don’t Need Another Hero

Last night my wife and I saw Mad Max: Fury Road.  Holy crap.

To have a film look so gorgeous, be so crazy, and retain the right elements and tone of films shot between 1979 and 1985 is a major achievement.  Though they’re apples and oranges, I see Fury Road upping the ante for the new films in the Star Wars franchise.

Director George Miller has long been an enigma to me.  He studied and completed his residency to become a medical doctor, working on film sets in his spare time.  Not only did he eventually write and direct the first three Mad Max films, he also wrote both Babe films and directed the second (yes, the talking pig movies), and wrote and directed Happy Feet (yes, the penguin movies).  Lorenzo’s Oil, The Witches of Eastwick, and a segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie are in there, too.

If you like the Mad Max series, make sure to see the documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!  It chronicles the early years of Australian cinema in a visually interesting way.  The films profiled are so insane and graphic that I didn’t feel comfortable sharing a trailer here.  As crazy as Fury Road felt, it’s nothing compared to some of the films from the region in the ’70s.

Nice work Mr. Miller.  I’m glad a few more films planned in the series, too.  Can’t wait for Mad Max: TheWasteland.

Song referenced: We Don’t Need Another Hero (from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome)