Iconic British band Radiohead been gearing up for something lately, but we weren't sure what until now. Over the weekend they erased their digital footprint on their website and social media platforms, after recently sending out mysterious leaflets to fans with covers bearing the words "Burn The Witch." This morning they teased a creepy animated clip on Instagram, and now they've released a full animated video for a new song, "Burn The Witch."
Shot in claymation in the style of a children's TV special and directed by English director Chris Hopewell, the video's story is set in an idyllic town in the countryside, evocative of feel-good stories about heterosexual nuclear families and the valorization of good, hard work. What we end up seeing, though, is how the power dynamic in the town is dominated by the exploitative, patriarchal rule of what looks like an expensively-dressed magistrate of some kind and a local official. They survey the town, overseeing the burning of a witch and regulating the working conditions of farm workers, before their greed and self-obsession eventually leads to their fiery demise.
The plot recalls that of the film The Wicker Man (initially produced in 1973 and remade with Nicholas Cage in 2006), which centers on the journey of a Christian policeman to an island dominated by paganism in search of a lost girl. His investigation concludes in flames, very much like the video here, with his murder taking place as part of a sacrifice involving a similar wooden statue.
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