I’ve seen some powerful videos in my time but the recent video for alt-J’s ‘Pusher’ left me speechless. The video has, not surprisingly, been generating a lot of comment and theories.
From the opening scene we are presented with a gloomy inner-city estate in which an audience of clone-like office workers await like a a scene from a Magritte painting. Whilst the main character takes to his box, inspired by Hyde Park Speakers’ Corner, he tries to awaken those present to their plight. Those around him fail to be drawn by his words and begin to lose interest.
The frustration that builds is so palpable, a very real projection of what many maybe feel about things that are wrong in the world today – mass-ignorance – brainwashing. The video finale is shocking. Director Thomas Rhazi said he and alt-J frontman Joe Newman “wanted this film to be very humanist and as deep and simple as it could be…The hero does the most excessive act because he can’t do anything else – shaking up people’s minds in those dark and sad times.”