MUSIC VIDEO, 2020
Director: Sinéad McDevitt
Producer: Séamus Waters
Cinematographer: Ashley Barron ACS
A man comes face-to-face with his shadow for the first time in this stunning music video for Mick Flannery.
Devastated from past mistakes, the man – played by Steve Wall – is spiralling out of control. Haunted by memories of a steamy affair with a woman in the backseat of his car, he attempts to walk away from his problems. But he is followed by another version of himself, and things lead to an unexpected and poignant climax.
The mood is very much reflected in the aesthetic of this piece, with DOP Ashley Barron contrasting expansive, lonely shots of the landscape with up-close, uncomfortably intimate portraits.
Sinéad spoke about the idea for the video:
When I first listened to Wasteland, it hit me in the belly with a wallop. F**k that’s powerful. Mick’s new song spoke straight to that universal struggle between inner and outer self- inner self calling out for attention whilst the outer self shoves it away.
I started writing the treatment and as I listened more and more, I was reminded of the older men in my life. The generation who embody that stoic, outer ‘performative’ self – with the inner, softer, more vulnerable self hidden away somewhere. Growing up on the north side of Dublin through the ’80s and ’90s, I certainly felt – even as a child – the social expectation upon men to act as financial provider/’head of the family’ and remain stoic, no matter the circumstances.
Any open disclosure of mental health struggles, restrictive gender roles or repressed childhood injury would’ve been alien, maybe even taboo, to the vast majority of men and women– certainly in the 80s. I imagine that suffering in silence with depression or addiction must have felt (and still feels to this day) like an isolated emotional wasteland.
And so as Mick sang, the story of an everyday man running from his pain through a Tarkovskian landscape played out in my mind. I saw it set in ’80s recessionary Ireland; shot in black and white to represent the timeless theme and polarity in conscious versus unconscious. Key film references for the piece included ‘Shame’ by Steve McQueen and ‘Song of Granite’ by Pat Collins among others.