Cate Blanchett's face gradually wears away in John Hillcoat's music video for Massive Attack
Music: the face of Australian actor Cate Blanchett decays to a mummy-like state in the music video for Massive Attack's The Spoils track (+ movie).
Acclaimed Australian film director John Hillcoat, whose previous works include crime drama Lawless and post-apocalyptic film The Road, was behind the music video.
Inspired by a museum visit where he saw ancient relics and artefacts, the director created visuals that made Blanchett's face look as though it was mummified.
"I was inspired first and foremost by the music, and then by a visit I had to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City," Hillcoat told Dezeen.
"The spectacle of all these figures from the ancient past, remnants that are fading away and are becoming a complete mystery – it was humbling," he continued. "No matter what the scale, time carries on."
Hillcoat got Blanchett on board after hearing that she loved Massive Attack.
"She is adventurous and artistic so was perfect to step in, allowing herself to gradually disappear, and to be broken down and worn away," he said.
The song's lyrics discuss loss and the feeling of longing. Hillcoat was keen to reflect this in the video, creating intentionally "raw" visual effects.
Striking shots of Blanchett's face are combined with jumpy digital images and three-dimensional facial cross sections.
"The images explore that slow de-evolution across time," he said. "The technology now can help recreate from a skull or a faded sculpture what the original subject looked like."
"My idea was to take those kinds of images and reverse the process, so it feels like we are moving through time."
The Spoils is out now on Virgin Records and is available to purchase through iTunes.