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Massive Attack: ‘The Spoils’ with Cate Blanchett

The Famed Bristolian rockers are playing London’s O2 arena next February, heralding the dates with a startlingly beautiful video of ‘The Spoils’, directed by John Hillcoat and featuring the iconic face of Cate Blanchett. All’s fair in love and war, as the saying goes. What do we walk away with when love ends?

The Famed Bristolian rockers are playing London’s O2 arena next February, heralding the dates with a startlingly beautiful video of ‘The Spoils’, directed by John Hillcoat and featuring the iconic face of Cate Blanchett. All’s fair in love and war, as the saying goes. What do we walk away with when love ends?

As the haunting track plays, Blanchett’s face is revealed to us in all its mystery and beauty; without make-up; in blue and red; with a wig and a mask – almost skeletal; in weathered stone; in a coral-like substance; worn away to smoothness. At some moments, she looks like the heroine in Fritz Lang’s Metroplis. This is an oddly affecting and poignant set of transformations. The camera pans round and round, transfixing the viewer. Blanchett’s face belongs at once to us and the ages, confirming the actor’s iconic status. John Hillcoat, collaborator with Nick Cave and director of ‘The Road’ and ‘Lawless’ among others, has directed videos for musicians as diverse as Suede, Depeche Mode, Muse and Grinderman. He has chosen such a devastatingly simple image and concept for ‘The Spoils’.

There’s always been something very fifties about Cate Blanchett. She’s a little bit unreachable, making her metamorphoses here seem all the more resonant. The music is simultaneously sorrowful and entreating; the notion of ‘spoils’ going back millennia, as does the actor’s face in the video. SEEN can’t wait to see Massive Attack’s performances on the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th of February 2017. They’ve always been a cut above, in terms of keeping it real and maintaining a real connection with their fans.

Massive Attack – ‘The Spoils’ from Stink on Vimeo.