The Italian city of Venice is built on dozens of tiny islands in the Adriatic sea. There are no cars and no roads built to sustain motorized vehicles; instead, residents and visitors depend on boats and/or do a lot of walking through its centuries-old stone pathways. It's among the world's most romantic cities. But in the video for Jazz Cartier's "Opera," a nighttime crawl through a gilded opera hall and various dark alleyways turns that picturesque romance into a palpable paranoia. As Cartier roams through Venice, every-day objects—statues, paintings, and simple graffiti—take on menacing characteristics, guided by director Kyle Sanderson's lens. The video's trippy vibe is well-suited to the song, which comes off his recent Hotel Paranoia project and on which Cartier likens himself to one of the shadowiest characters in contemporary culture: the phantom of the opera.
"The concept of the video carries the theme of paranoia—a nightmare I couldn't really piece together, that haunted me for days. We shot this video in Venice because, well, why not. I wanted the video to be more scenery than about me," Cartier told The FADER over email. "The aesthetic of Venice fit the mood and overall direction. We finessed our way into the La Fenice Opera House on the last day, which I still can't believe."