Arcade Fire collaborated with Spike Jonze to create this weird, moving portrait of suburban life slowly going to hell as the military rounds people up. I've never seen anyone successfully create a wistful apocalyptic tone the way Jonze does here.
Arcade Fire's indie rock soundscape perfectly compliments Jonze's images of bored, innocently destructive teens in the suburbs riding bikes and play-fighting. But the tone begins to darken as we see smoke in the distance, and armed guards everywhere. Then we start to get flashes of people being rounded up at night by people with guns, while our teen protagonists try to lead normal lives - still playing with bikes, still working at a fast food joint.
It's an intense, emotional snippet, and I wish I could see a feature film that captured this same mix of teen aimlessness and social apocalypse. The best part? You never know if there really is some massive social breakdown going on, or if these trucks full of military guys and cops are just an ordinary part of the suburban landscape.
Contact Annalee Newitz, the author of this post, at firstname.lastname@example.org