IFC recently aired a short film set to the song ‘Beyond Here Lies Nothing’ from Bob Dylan’s latest album Together Through Life and it’s caused quite a stir.
The song — the album’s first single — already has an official video consisting of black and white stills of young people in the 50s. This new clip is something else altogether.
Directed by Australian Nash Edgerton, the video is a real-time Tarantino-esque showdown between a man and the woman he is apparently keeping hostage in his apartment. Go ahead and watch it after the jump before I continue.
The controversy, of course, has revolved around the final five seconds of the film, in which the woman decides not to flee the scene and instead returns to the man and tenderly kisses him. The argument is that, no matter what the intent of the video, depicting an abused woman forgiving and rewarding her attacker is irresponsible and sick.
I can certainly see that point. But I have to admit I’m not all that bothered by it. I believe the video, like the album, is about obsessive love — love that hurts as much as it heals. In that sense, this whole film is a metaphor for two people who love each other and beat the shit out of each other (emotionally) with equal passion.
The video reminds me a bit of Kill Bill, in that the woman gives as good as she gets and winds up bloodily victorious. And in that film The Bride has a certain amount of affection for Bill despite the horrible things he does to her (may poor autoerotically asphyxiated David Carradine rest in peace, by the way).
I wouldn’t call this high art by any means, but I think to dismiss it as exploitative garbage is a mistake. Save that criticism for the Pussycat Dolls.