In a collaboration that mirrors everything we could possibly ask for, Father John Misty has teamed up with Adam Green and his art collective Four Gods and a Baby to create the music video for “Total Entertainment Forever”, off his latest LP Pure Comedy that’s out now via Sub Pop.
What ensued is chaos in the form of a virtual reality game played by George Washington, Macaulay Culkin as Kurt Cobain, and a masked Bill Clinton playing a saxophone solo with a cigar in between his toes. Yeah. There’s a lot going on within 2 minutes and 53 seconds.
Green managed to bring his colorful papier-mâché vision of Aladdin, one of our favorite films of the past year, over to the music video screen. It almost feels like a sequel (or even prequel) to the cult film that garnered a significant amount of attention at first release. With lines like “can you believe how far we’ve come in the New Age?” and “when the historians find us we’ll be in our homes plugged into our hubs”, it’s clear that Father John Misty is trying to make a statement about how much space technology takes up in our lives – so it makes sense why Green is the perfect person for the job. Aladdin was a peak into the not-so-distant future where technology reigns above all.
“Total Entertainment Forever” is a nice taste of what the world looks like through Green’s eyes, with an added layer of Father John Misty crooning through scenes of Culkin-as-Cobain being crucified. Har Mar Superstar, Tei Shi and Green’s adorable daughter Zeba make guest appearances as well.
In an interview with Green for Pitchfork, he described the circumstances in which the “Total Entertainment Forever” music video came about: “Basically Josh came to me and he wanted a video, but I think he most wanted almost like Father John Misty’s Aladdin. When I first told him the treatment for this video, I was just expecting that the answer would be “no.” But the answer was instantly like, “Sure. Yeah, let’s go make it. Great.” I was surprised. I think it was two weeks later and the whole video was shot and made.”
“For me, it’s sort of like my own artwork exists in this pixelated realm that’s covered with flesh,” he continued. “If anything, I like to see these things almost through a medieval lens. Let’s say we’re 1,000 years in the future and we’re uncovering these images of Kurt Cobain or Garfield or George Washington. They’re all unrecognizable as relics of a lost civilization. Maybe we uncover an image from a dusty closet or underneath a rock in a desert and we wonder what it is. My goal is to have something kind of modern feel like it’s from Medieval times.”
If you’re lucky, snag tickets here to see Father John Misty and Adam Green play Brooklyn Steel on May 11.
Vanessa is a music writer who will openly admit this FJM x Adam Green x Macaulay Culkin collaboration is somewhat of a wet dream. Follow her on twitter for more embarrassing tweets. Send pitches to: [email protected]