Following on from the video for ‘Hollow’ put together using fans’ images inspired by the song’s lyrics, Alice in Chains have released an official video. Directed by Roboshobo, the video portrays an isolated scientist slowly falling apart from the stresses and strains of spending over a year conducting plant experiments in orbit above the Earth. Infected by something and beginning to hallucinate, he cuts an ever more forlorn, paranoid and embattled figure. I’m sure it won’t spoil your viewing to say that it doesn’t have a cheery ending.
The narrative for this slick video has some interesting ideas: the scientist conducting the experiments is effectively himself a psychological experiment; the Earth he stares down and, implicitly, his wife, become symbolically hollowed out through his isolation and emotional estrangement.
Probably sacrilege, but the fan-photo video is for me the stronger one, resonating more effectively with the music: bleak and oblique, full of open spaces for viewers to fill in themselves. The narrative in the official video is a tad over-egged and, whilst engaging, doesn’t allow sufficient space for the song itself to breathe.
It probably doesn’t help that I saw the excellent Moon recently; a five-minute rock video can’t exactly compete with this intelligent, multi-layered piece of sci-fi. And the actor playing the scientist here is no Sam Rockwell. Hmpf. Anyhoo, here’s a bit of classic Staley-era AiC: