MARK PELLINGTON’S LONE — A REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT

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Lone is an arresting display of images, sounds, ideas, and thoughts, all coming to resemble ravishing visual poetry in all the best ways that short films are able to demonstrate. Directed by Mark Pellington, this endlessly stylish and ultimately haunting 55 minute experimental piece feels like a series of interconnected music videos telling a surrealistic and sometimes hallucinatory story of life, death, love, sex, identity, and how people come to recognize each other during moments of great personal turmoil or tragedy. Resembling something you might see playing at a modern art exposition or exhibit, there’s a random and baroque quality to the startling imagery that will stretch the creative sides of your brain if you take the time to experience this spellbinding piece of visual communication. I was reminded of Malick (especially the final act of The Tree of Life) and Buñuel and Kubrick at various points while watching this obviously personal project that must have come from a brave part of Pellington’s soul as an artist; he’ll forever be a unique and idiosyncratic filmmaker that’s impossible to pin down. An ace director of music videos since the mid 80’s, having worked with the likes of Public Enemy, U2, Pearl Jam, Anthrax, INXS, Alice in Chains, NIN, Bon Jovi, and many others, it’s abundantly clear from frame one of this staggeringly composed effort that Pellington has a dynamic and confident grasp on visual storytelling, and how to convey story and emotion with color and camerawork, as well as an incredible sense for music and well timed editing. Lone was a collaboration between Pellington and musical artist Chelsea Wolfe (previously unknown to me), which takes the themes and music from her album “Pain is Beauty” and sets the songs to increasingly gorgeous visual compositions which will be hard to shake if you have the time and interest in checking something out that’s wildly abstract, lovingly avant-garde, and wholly unique. It also has the power to invade your psyche, providing you with sights that have the power to enlighten. Lone is available to stream in HD via Amazon and ITunes.

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