Back in 2002, I saw The Mothman Prophecies in theaters and I will fully admit that it deeply unnerved me. I’m not a big fan of Richard Gere but the film got under my skin in ways that many other films haven’t. There was a deeply ingrained current of horror running throughout the film but it was also matched with great acting, a harrowing soundtrack and sound design, and fantastic visuals. This was the work of director Mark Pellington, who just a few years prior had stunned and shook audiences with the drama/thriller Arlington Road.
Widely recognized for his work in music videos with bands such as Linkin Park, U2, Alice in Chains, Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, People in Planes, and more, Pellington’s work in film is unfortunately limited. Apart from the previously mentioned Arlington Road and The Mothman Prophecies, he directed Henry Poole is Here, I Melt With You, Going All the Way, and the upcoming The Last Word. It’s a shame because it’s clear that Pellington has a very unique way of approaching a film, taking the subject matter and presenting it in a way that matches the content. If a scene needs to feel jarring, he knows how to make that happen. If it needs to feel mystical or supernatural, there is a strange aura hovering above the scene.
Recently, additional proof of his abilities came in the form of Lone, a relatively short length film (52 minutes) that acted as a long-form music video for Sargent House artist Chelsea Wolfe, which featured music from her 2013 album Pain is Beauty. It’s a stunning and glamorous film, one that mixes the most basic of themes and desires into a cacophony of humanity, marrying childlike innocence with catastrophic destruction and gorgeous beauty with aversive pain.
Packed with a hefty dose of David Lynch and several dashes of Marilyn Manson, it’s an eerie yet stunning video that echoes the complexity and majesty of Wolfe’s own work. You can hear a lifetime of influence and experiences with each song she releases and Lone is the visual accompaniment to her path. At its core, it’s a celebration of music, inspiration, art, and life. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that you get to hear Wolfe’s incredible music throughout.
If you want to support Chelsea Wolfe and Mark Pellington, which I wholly recommend you do, you can pick up a physical copy of Lone through Chelsea Wolfe’s store.