For the new video from Icelandic rockers Sigur Ros, actor Shia LaBeouf strips down for a bit of tasteful full-frontal nudity in a role that couldn’t be more different than his Transformers character.
But it wasn’t a big paycheck that drew the Hollywood star to the “Fjögur Píanó” clip. The eight-minute video had a budget of $10,000 – the same as every other video off Sigur Ros’ new album, Valtari. The band did not request a movie star; in fact, they didn’t request anything specific.
Sigur Ros, which crafts ethereal jams that are either wordless or comprised of its own made-up language, gave 14 different filmmakers a budget of $10,000 and zero instructions, only a song off Valtari. The directors then crafted their own visual interpretations of the songs, and now the results are being rolled out over the course of five months. The project, dubbed the Valtari Mystery Film Experiment, began in late May with the release of the “Eg Anda” video and now makes its third installment with the “Fjögur Píanó” video, directed by documentary filmmaker Alma Har’el.
Watch the NSFW video – but be warned, it does feature mature content.
In the clip, LaBeouf plays opposite a female love interest, but it’s not all proverbial lollipops and butterflies – though the video does use both in the literal sense to a dramatic effect. It becomes clear from the start of the video that their relationship is an unhealthy one littered with addiction. Sure, the couple spends plenty of time dancing and painting each others’ naked bodies, but an unkempt LaBeouf also ritualistically cuts into his lover’s back with a knife. The video is clearly not condoning that kind of violence, but it does force viewers to address those serious issues, set to an introspective soundtrack of Sigur Ros.
Director Har’el told the Wall Street Journal that the video’s nudity was not planned – rather, a “group consensus” during the five–day “Fjögur Píanó” shoot. “That’s the difference between working within a corporate system and something that artistically takes you places you wouldn’t expect,” Har’el explained of the nudity. “To me, it’s erotic, but it’s not selling anything.”
– Jillian Mapes, CBS Local