Brooding, cinematic orchestrations and twisted tales of madness and desperation made the Danger Mouse-Daniele Luppi album Rome one of 2011's most surprising and arresting releases. Now the producer extraordinaire and Italian composer are back with an equally dark and tortured video for the standout cut from that album, the song "Two Against One."
Directed by Chris Milk and Anthony Francisco Schepperd, with vocals by Jack White, the video also features Schepperd's stunning animations. The stark, mostly black-and-white images twist and morph into sometimes hideous, blood-stained figures, reminiscent of the avant-garde work of illustrator Gerald Scarfe, whose animations appeared most prominently in Pink Floyd's 1979 film The Wall.
According to director Chris Milk, the "Two Against One" video is only a small piece of a much larger project to come.
"Myself, Brian (aka Danger Mouse), and the producers Anthony Bregman (Eternal Sunshine) and Megan Ellison (True Grit), are currently developing the Rome project into a theatrical feature film. While the video for "Two Against One" is hand-drawn cell animation, the film would be live action. The music video is essentially the fever dream of the antagonist of the story. It's mostly his backstory, his life before the tale we see in the movie. If you have a fast computer with Chrome installed you can also see the interactive lucid dream of the protagonist at www.Ro.me. These pieces are sort of narrative breadcrumbs that lead you to the eventual larger story. More to come soon."
Rome the album was more than five years in the making. Danger Mouse and composer Luppi conceived of the project after meeting in 2004 and discovering their shared love for the classic soundtracks of 1960s-era Italian Westerns. They ended up recording Rome with some of the veteran musicians who originally performed and recorded the scores of Ennio Morricone and other Spaghetti Western composers. Danger Mouse says while Rome doesn't have a singular story line, the songs are tied together by the spirit of those classic films and are naturally cinematic.
"Rome as a whole is a piece of music with such a specific identity and history that it was crucial for all the accompanying visuals to reflect that. We had to have someone who understood what went into creating it and what it would take to bring that experience to life in a visual medium. I can't imagine anyone could do that better than Chris Milk."