Since 2011, the 31-year-old Frenchman has been recording under the name Woodkid, creating high-impact, maximalist orchestral numbers with vocals that have earned him comparisons to both Antony & The Johnsons and Bon Iver. Since 2008, however, the creative polymath has also been responsible for music videos for the likes of none other than Lana Del Rey ("Born to Die"), Drake ("Take Care"), Katy Perry ("Teenage Dream"), and even Moby ("Mistake").
In the spring of 2013, Lemoine debuted his latest album as Woodkid, entitled, The Golden Age, around which the artist crafted a trilogy of self-written and directed long-form music videos. The final film, for the single “Embers,” feat. Max Richter— which made its debut only four days ago— found Lemoine, fresh off of his collaboration with JR, behind the camera yet again, not only directing, but pulling double duty as the VFX artist for the video's opening sequence. Beginning with 3D visualizations of skeletal, muscular, and circulatory systems, what at first seems mere CGI quickly turns into something truly mind-bending:
Coiled in a fetal position inside a sleeping man, the body of a boy rests like a Russian nesting doll. Simulated camera movements around his tiny body create the impression of a hyper-modern ultrasound— at certain points in the opening sequence, especially in the initial shots, the piece even echoes the visual feel of Peter Saville's famous Unknown Pleasures album sleeve.
In transitioning to the second part of the video, Lemoine graphically matches the 3D-scanned boy with a more traditional black-and-white shot of the same child, this time, asleep in bed. From there, the film unfolds in a swampy locale worthy of Terrence Malick film: poetic, earthy, and with all the precision required of a multitalented artist's singular vision.