Welcome to the weekend and our Friday Double Feature. Each week we’ll recommend two films, shorts, documentaries, music videos, video art pieces, etc. These will include, but not be limited to, works by Texas filmmakers. If you have a lead on an upcoming online release that might be fit to debut in this series, drop me a line.
Aggro improv theatre blurs an inner monologue and a public anxiety attack in the video T.Y.E (Tyler Harris) debuts this morning for “Asshole.” The trained opera singer raps about his alleged transgressions while walking past a few Deep Ellum standbys. He picks fights with those who travel in his pack. Each decision – to put out a cigarette, to knock a cap off someone’s head – was made spontaneously during the shoot with collaborator Dance Dailey. References to Fight Club in the song are served with a panicked overhead shot of Harris lying on the sidewalk, getting his from those he wronged.
“Some of those elements in the song are telling you how much of an asshole I am,” Harris says, referring to an immature and disgusting insult directed at an ex in the song, “and some are telling you how much I’m not … sometimes, after a while, being called an asshole, you get to going, ok, maybe I am an asshole, and you try to accept it, but then it comes back to haunt you, like in the video.”
The inner battle wavers between sarcasm and genuine introspection as Harris works things out in a long-sleeved Power Rangers tee. Dailey added effects in post to create an analog look — the synthetics lend something to the song’s fake-life slant. “Asshole” is ultimately punctuated with worry: Tyler Durden, Harris reminds me, is schizophrenic. The fear of becoming “a different person” is something Harris has been open about as he lives with bipolar disorder. The video reflects a duality of homage and criticism — of himself, and of the setting and the people with him (which include Harris’ older brother, and CentralTrack founder/early T.Y.E supporter Pete Freedman.)
“I wanted to emulate Dallas in the video,” Harris says. “I always want to show where I’m coming from.”
Harris says the idea for the video came from The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony,” another weighing of nature vs. nurture as cause of malfunction. Richard Ashcroft shoulders through the streets of Hoxton. It’s an area of London where some of the moated manor houses that belonged to nobility were converted to mental hospitals in the 17th century.