Some of you may know Jered Leto from his career as an actor. He was the object of Claire Danes' affections in My So Called Life, he was physically abused by Edward Norton in Fight Club and he sported corn rows in Panic Room. Some of you may not know that Leto, with his beautiful high cheek bones and blue eyes that you just want to fall into, is frontman for the band Thirty Seconds to Mars.
Thirty Seconds to Mars' video for The Kill, (Which can be found on their second album A Beautiful Lie, released in 2006) is an unabashed homage to Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film The Shining, which is itself a (loose) adaptation of the Stephen King 1977 novel. Like the film, the video brings the band to a hotel that is closed for the season. The band will stay in the empty hotel in order to get some R&R away from touring. The band goes in, grabs their room keys and the story begins.
The Kill video creatively uses Kubrick's title cards to break up the video in order to illustrate time passing. With only five minutes thirty eight seconds, the video does a great job of creating tension and the feeling of loneliness and insanity.
Using several Kubrickisms during the video, The Kill steals liberally from it's source material. Wide shots showcase the stark beauty of the hotel lobby giving the video an eerily empty anticipatory quality. Just as in The Shining, we're on pins and needles waiting for the other shoe to drop. Unfortunately we get no shots of blood spilling out of an elevator. Bummer.
The video makes several references to the film and the novel: the reenactment of the room 217 scene (The woman in the bathroom), Jack throwing a ball against the wall of the hotel, Jack at the typewriter, the tricycle scenes, even the homosexual wolf-in-costume scene -you'll know it when you see it). But the video expands upon the themes in both the film and novel, by using the concept of doubling.
As the band knocks around the empty hotel, trying to occupy themselves. They are repeatedly confronted with ghostly versions of themselves. After the ghostly encounters they succumb to the presence in the hotel and take their place as the hotel band. This concept of duality plays heavily in Kubrick's film, but even more heavily in the novel and the 1997 mini-series. In the video, the guests at the ball where the band performs, seem to be made up of nothing but twins. Is this a commentary on the life of a performer or just humanity in general?
Regardless, the video gets the style, design and even the feel of the Kubrick film right from the start. This is an entertaining and visually perfect video that serves as an excellent back drop to a well crafted song.
By the way, I don't know if the trailer for the film below is a fan made version or not, but I felt that it gives a good impression of the film for comparison. If you want to see the kick ass teaser click HERE. Also, everyone should check out the two alternate posters HERE and HERE for new screenings of the film. Both are amazing and if you're a poster hound like me, you'll want to take a look.