Black Marble: "Backwards" Lynchian Nipplefest (NSFW)

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Black Marble is a New York coldwave band with an excellent, minimalist sound that reminds us of the Glove, or possibly the starker moments of Houston's own Bang Bangz. They've teamed with director Timothy Fiore on a music video fro their song "Backwards," a work that is already penciled in for the No. 1 slot in our yearly round-up of the best music videos for 2012.

Fiore is definitely an artist to keep an eye on. His work is very Lynchian. We'd seen his predilection for dark woods, surrealism and enigmatic feminine subjects when he directed "Tell the World" for Vivian Girls. To that bag of tricks he's added an oppressive atmosphere of violence as strange as it is brutal.

"Backwards" opens on a lonely farmhouse out in the middle of God knows where. The band's only appearance is Chris Stewart inconspicuously playing the piano with his back to the camera in the extreme right of shots of the house's front exterior. Otherwise the video focuses exclusively on a trio of strange girls doing a legion of stranger things.

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Shot in beautifully lit black and white, our heroines explore the area of the house and the surrounding woods, each armed with a gun, knife, or ax. Dogs and rats meander around the set, or join the girls in what seems to be the most sinister cake party since GLaDOS took up baking to compliment her science murder hobby.

Throughout the video, each girl sheds her clothes, basking topless in the moonlight and under the sway of naked bulbs. The result is not in any way sexy, as their respect for order and reality seem to pool on the floor next to their outfits. Brutal, primal destruction seems to be the recurring theme, appropriate for the recidivist message of the song.

A scene that is particularly genius is one where one of the girls rips into a feather-covered waterbed. She brutally hacks and rips, dipping her hands and face in the water that shines like black blood in Fiore's brilliant cinematography.

The scene feels like a frenzy, like the Maenads descending on Orpheus and rending him to shreds. It may be just a bed, but the symbolism screams cannibalistic murder.

It would take years of careful study to piece together the meaning in the myriad of bizarre actions that take place in "Backwards." There's cake, and bondage, and balloons, and eating from the ground with the dogs, and why exactly is she pointing her gun at us from her upstairs window?

Rich, lush, backed by a fantastic song and starring three bare-breasted deadlies, you can be assured that we're happy to undertake those years. Check it out below, but you should really full-screen it if you want the full effect.

We got a chance to talk to Black Marble's Chris Stewart and "Backwards" director Timothy Fiore about the video. Click onto page 2 for the interview.


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