This video contains strobing effects.
For a musician known for his highly vivid and often borderline disturbing videos, the latest music video for Oneohtrix Point Never, the near undefinable music project by electronic mastermind Daniel Lopatin, is strangely tame. "Animals," a track from OPN’s 7th studio album, Garden of Delete, revolves around film star Val Kilmer sitting in a particularly bland room, falling somewhere between that of a 2-star hotel and an LA mansion in disrepair.
For most of the four-minute video directed by Rick Alverson (Entertainment, The Comedy), the camera is focused directly on Kilmer sitting upon a beige bed. Donning a red tracksuit and sporting a gelled mane, the actor appears to be meditating or perhaps dreaming, the uncertainty emphasized by his meditative body language counteracted by the constant bobbing of his head and the sudden bursts of happiness that appear across Kilmer’s face.
Despite any uncertainty as to what the actor is in fact doing, ideas of midlife crisis and fading glory pervade heavily in "Animals." Besides Kilmer's faded star, everything from his athletic apparel to tackily decorated house to trendy attempts at meditation suggests someone struggling with time.
Exactly halfway through the video this idea is truly cemented when, after sudden flashes of black, Kilmer’s misleadingly happy face turns into one of mildly wrinkled disgust while the tone of OPN’s music shifts momentarily to a slower, lower pitched beat. Shortly after, the actor awakes from his dream-meditation still scowling.
Towards the end of the video, Kilmer once again appears in ecstasy, even opening his mouth for the first time. Suddenly, the screen flashes red. Heavily edited flickering of the actor in slightly different positions start appearing. Is it a death or perhaps a rebirth for Kilmer? Perhaps neither, as he opens his eyes with a contemplative look on his face as the camera pans away to the rest of his room as the video ends. Perhaps Alverson and Lopatin have created an actor’s purgatory wherein stars meditate forever on where it all went wrong.
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