As longtime fans of Chris Wilcha, the Emmy Award-winning director of Showtime's This American Life, it's interesting to see him doubling back into music videos, though it's a platform with ostensibly more viewers than any paid cable station. Despite the shorter form, though, what Wilcha ended up producing for "In Ruins" is as high-quality and beautifully tactile as anything he's done for the small screen. Enlisted by the Highland Park high-pop ensemble Fol Chen to travel to Eyjafjallajökull in the wake of its eruption, his camera follows two sweet-looking Icelandic kids as they trudge their way through the dust, swathed in protective mouth-and-eyewear. The landscape is barren and grey, and as backdrop for a song that's irrepressibly happy, it feels like a peaceful acceptance at the hierarchy of nature—calm with the knowledge that the earth is vast, and we are essentially its little (pesky) dwarf cells. Meanwhile, after the jump, watch a somewhat creepy video (also directed by Wilcha) wherein actor Brian Cox (the eccentric shrink from Running with Scissors, among other things) reads the lyrics to the song.
June 21, 2010