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6 December 2018

It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)

by Alice May

The 1975: “It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)” - 7 mins 23s

While The 1975's 'It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)' has that classic boy band sound, the promo gives it a welcome something extra that keeps us watching to the last.

Warren Fu's direction turns Matty Healy's onstage jog into a trip and a half as the singer begins to hallucinate mid-performance; unsure whether he's having a mind-bending experience or everyone else is enjoying a joke at his expense... including his own doppelganger.

Healy's acting is perfectly understated throughout as he negotiates his way through a strange time loop with nods to Groundhog Day. This makes Fu's efforts all worthwhile: the invention which has gone into this would have been for nothing if Healy couldn't carry the weight. But he does, and it's strangely impressive.

Fu also throws in an apparent reference to 'Reservoir Dogs' when Healy stumbles briefly from the darkness of the concert hall to the brightness of the outside world, before withdrawing back to the shadowy interior.

The difference between this scenario and the horror which unfolds in 'Reservoir Dogs', however, is that there is no psychological contrast for Healy - the surreal freakiness follows him outdoors like a dream within a dream.

Commissioner: Semera Khan
Film Production: Partizan Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Warren Fu Ⓟ Ⓦ
Producer: Audrey Davenport
Executive Producer: Claire Stubbs
Cinematographer: Pat Mellor

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