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30 January 2019

Play God

by Alice May

Sam Fender: “Play God” - 4 mins 31s

Sam Fender may be only 22, but he has an old head on his young shoulders. His track 'Play God' - inspired by Orwell's 1984 - taps into the anxiety that today's surveilled society is more about manipulation and exploitation than safety; and it does this compellingly.

Equally compelling is Vince Haycock's promo. The grainy monochrome clip presents a world packed with all our dystopian paranoias, haunting and unsettling.

Although stylised, there isn't the sense that Haycock is simply playing with tropes. Instead, he leaves us feeling like voyeurs watching random lives play out unwittingly as if on CCTV; throwing in small observations as intensifiers - a rose, a spider - which suggest we have had to look away from the main action momentarily.

And to underline the confusion between reality and fakery so prevalent just now, he eventually breaks the fourth wall. Suddenly, we're aware that the cameras have stopped rolling and the people trapped in this claustrophobic environment are peeling off their prosthetics. Someone goes past with boxes of pizza.

But who's to say this is the end? How do we know there's not a further layer of reality beyond this?

How can we ever know?

Film Production: Park Pictures Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Vincent Haycock Ⓟ Ⓦ
Producer: Mike Begovich
Executive Producer: Alex Fisch
Cinematographer: Kate Arizmendi
Steadicam Operator: Brian Freesh
Production Designer: Renee Navarratte
Wardrobe: Sara Sensoy

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