André Allen Anjos, known as the genius behind RAC, has a history of taking songs and flipping them on their head. He also has a history of doing the same thing with his music videos. Case in point the video for "Tear You Down", one of the best songs off of his debut, Strangers. Anjos collaborated on the song Alex Ebert, front man for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. "Tear You Down" is pervasive dance-pop at its finest, the video however? The video goes beyond the bubbly pop sound and strikes for a more profound understanding of our culture. Emphasis on the "cult".
In the video, Anjos starts off in a familiar stylization of AA. After accepting and offer he can't refuse from a pretty girl, he joins a perceivably religious following. This portion of the film, is cleverly filmed, allowing Anjos to view his initiation process as a hallway of open doors. After he passes and is subsequently accepted as a member. Things take a dark twist...see for yourself below.
Pretty surprising, huh? One of the most striking subtleties of the video has to be the use of color. The contrast of black and white and what we the viewers know as traditional good/bad, conceal and warp those metaphors, creating the opportunity for a unique exchange. Through the contraposition of Anjos flashbacks at the end of the video, and him standing in a room, celebrating his victory with his co-workers we see how the two differentiating cultures can actually be one in the same. The AA group at the beginning? Well, there are extremes everywhere.
The video asks us to look at what we may consider "normal", functioning, social groups and in turn contrasts those stereotypes with the concept of traditional zealous, religious, Peoples Temple-esque cultism. In the end the enduring question remains: In our human pursuit to be found, what larger groups do we serve?
What thoughts did you take away from this video? Share them in the comments section.