Marcus Söderlund: Wide Open Worlds

In the video for “Like a Fading Rainbow,” singer Jenny Wilson creeps through a forest, wades barefoot through a grassy lake and ends up in a meadow with a band of mystical ragamuffins dancing a ritualistic circle around her. The fog tendrils around her face as she sings intensely to the camera, and it’s hard to tell if she’s traversing nature, or nature’s traversing her. That blurry locus is a trademark of Swedish director Marcus Söderlund. Through narrative videos for artists like Air France, The Tough Alliance and Jens Lekman, he creates parallel earths where the landscapes (usually the sea, the suburbs and the forest) are as important as the musicians (or often more so). “I look for the same stillness that I find in Andrew Wyeth’s paintings,” says Söderlund. “It might sound silly, but his paintings make me calm.” But unlike Wyeth’s naturalism, Söderlund’s physical world forays come with a touch of the fantastical. Of the dancers in Wilson’s video, he says, “They’re like the Lost Boys in Peter Pan. They woke up one morning and went out to the woods in their pajamas and just stayed there.”

Marcus Söderlund: Wide Open Worlds