As the resident goth expert I am required to morbidly obsess about death for a certain number of hours a year in order to maintain my license. Luckily, Austin's Deep Time has come through with a new video directed by Cassandra Hamilton that explores the afterlife in such a wonderful, darkly humorous way that it fulfills all my credits for the year and is fun as hell to boot.
We start in a brightly lit graveyard where two shades, hilariously represented by a man in a woman in cheap sheets, decide to get up and have themselves a weekend. It's not really organist Jennifer Moore and drummer Adam Jones under the sheets, but don't let that distract you.
The duo of the dead skip lightly through the graveyard, making their way down to the beach where they fly kites, play volleyball, and just in general have a good time. Though you'd think the whole thing, folks in sheets, might be a bit hokey-looking, there's actually something very sincerely hopeful and honest about the whole thing. The very ridiculousness of it gives it weight.
"You know that scene in Dead Alive when the dude is trying to hide the fact that he has all these zombies in his basement and when he serves them all dinner he insists that they be polite and use the proper dining etiquette?" says Hamilton via email.
"I loved that. I wanted to come up with a concept for Deep Time that could be morbidly funny, something simple and light but weird and dark. So when I was toying around with different ideas, the image of ghosts freeing themselves from a graveyard to have a beach day just seemed like the perfect amalgamation."
I'm tempted to look deeper into the video searching for a hidden darker meaning because, you know, spooky kid. For instance, it's very telling that the video ends not with the shades returning to their rightful rest in the boneyard, but by cavorting out into the waves.
While the setting sun shines into the eyes of the audience our fun loving couple, who for all we know were escaping an eternity of painful perdition, seek the roiling chaos of the sea...
Of course, then you'd have to come up with some sort of John Milton-y meaningful metaphor for what the hell ghostly skateboarding represents. Excessive radicalness? A punishment for drawing worship away from the Lord with displays of bodacious shredding?
Nah, the answer is much more likely that the dead just want to hit the skate park, and how they managed to do it without the actors ending up dead themselves I have no idea.
"It wasn't really hard at all," says Hamilton. "In fact we all had a total blast! Whenever I make videos, it's really important to me that the experience of making a video is just as fun as the video itself so when I rounded up a few friends to be the ghosts, it just felt like we were all hanging out at the beach, only I was making them do sillier things then I normally would.
"The only hard part was figuring out how to keep the sheets on when they were skateboarding but in true DIY fashion we ended up duct taping it to their bodies."
I want to leave two presents for the archeologists of the future. One is my own corpse in a spring-loaded casket full of confetti, and the other is this video. Wouldn't it be nice to have our descendants believe that we worshipped this version of the world of the dead?
No fires where infidels are supposed to be cast, no accusations that touching someone else's fun bits that were the same as your fun bits made God super mega fire forever angry? Not even the just punishment of the evil.
When we die, bad ass indie rock is what we hear, and the rest of infinity is doing whatever the hell you want, no exceptions. Isn't "Gold Rush" better than anything the rest of us are expecting after we take the old dirt nap?
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"I hope so," says Hamilton. "If not, eternity will be super-boring." Check out the video below.