The home video is an intimate beast. Countless families have old tapes of dad filming private family moments. Sure it’s an insight into the lives of a person rarely glimpsed by outsiders, but what makes it special is that it is being captured by someone who is a part of that circle. It allows you to act more natural, or in the case of Zefereli, just downright, bat-shit bizarre.
The ultimate home movie, Zefereli and Clea takes us on a surreal adventure in the video for 54321.
Zefereli is the solo outing of Alistair Richardson, the frontman of Brissie faves The Cairos. One of the most endearing things about Zefereli is that it allows Richardson to be as creative and strange as he wants. His previous visual offerings for Once In A While and Withdrawls are both starkly different from each other in terms of direction and tone. Featuring Clea, 54321 is no different, embracing the DIY aesthetic of the family home movie and injecting it with a hefty dose of goofiness.
The inspiration for the video came during Richardson’s time touring with Gang of Youths earlier this year. “I started playing with my iPhone learning how to make videos through first making a song with GarageBand and then editing footage with the iPhone movie maker,” he reveals. “Pretty much before every show we’d have a new song and video to match and it became addictively fun. I love homemade videos, I love when the people who are being creative take control and experiment. It’s like a new way of connection.”
Inspired by a mix of Magical Mystery Tour, Natural Born Killers and The Graduate, the video for 54321 is a surreal look into the private lives of a couple, their relationship portrayed through a fever dream of vivd imagery. It’s pretty much like the the Ren and Stimpy of music videos. Nothing really makes sense but you are continually drawn to what plays out in front of you. It’s obvious the two had a ball letting their imaginations run rampant. Their animated performances contrast with the somber nature of 54321.
“Clea and I kind of made it up excitedly over a cup of tea and scribbled out ideas of various fighting scenarios,” says Richardson. “I think we just love being in character. It’s really hard to act as yourself on camera so being able to dress up and throw food at each other and have pillow fights and wear suits and get married was the perfect way to unleash the inner weirdness that we have going on.”
Naturally, the 54321 was filmed by the pair themselves who embrace the DIY aspect of it and refuse to hold back on the scenarios they can think up. “It was an interesting way of filming, I think it gives it a real sense of intimacy and a home video quality,” says Richardson. “It was fun going through using different editing apps to film things in reverse, super slow mo and adding clouds to our faces. I don’t think we could have acted as weird if we had someone else filming.”
54321 rides a delicate line between dark melodies and silly visuals. It works, and if you allow multiple viewings a vivid narrative begins to form. It’s not a linear narrative but a conceptual one that tells the story of a couple and the tiny battles that are waged throughout a relationship. Revelling in its home video nature 54321 is a fevered experience that will demand repeated viewings.