Milton’s Paradise Lost gets reimagined, and an animated Satan apologises to God, only to be brutally punished by him, in a Super Nintendo-inspired music video. From the director who 3D-scanned people into the celebrated “Another Love" video, the piece for electronic duo Delta Heavy's “White Flag” is visually striking, conceptually powerful, and funny. Writer-director Najeeb Tarazi, who has worked on Pixar films Toy Story 3 and Monsters Inc, heard the energetic beat and emotional sincerity and was immediately reminded of the retro aesthetics of the role-playing games of his childhood. Then, he thought about the theme of surrendering to love at the core of the song, and decided to invert the story of Paradise Lost, the 1667 epic poem about Satan’s fall from heaven and eventual revenge on God.
It was actually after Tarazi wrote the script that he learned Delta Heavy's new LP was titled Paradise Lost. Many of the scenes in the video are taken from the poem, though the text is simplified a bit to fit into the gaming-styled format. Beelzebub, a giant gray and pink fly with bulging eyes and a pentagram on its forehead, tells young, cherubic Satan to “defeat God,” and so the journey begins. The resulting trips from Hell to Heaven and back are reminiscent of repetitive, multilevel side-scrollers, and the playful command options like “fight,” “run,” and “apologise” hint at questions of penance, redemption, and retribution.
Delta Heavy, made up of British duo Ben Hall and Simon James, has released two EPs: 2012's Down the Rabit Hole, and 2014's Apollo. Their hit single, “Get By,” charted at #30 on the UK indie chart, and #37 on the UK dance chart in 2012. The music video for “Get By,” which was also animated, depicted the murder of beloved board game pieces and has over seven million views on YouTube. Paradise Lost is Delta Heavy’s first full-length album, and is more song-oriented than their previous work. The duo is currently on tour in Europe.
Watch the music video for “White Flag” below: