A few months back, I was having a nightcap in a classy local dive by the name of Edgefield Sports Bar and Grill when a few of my local-filmmaker pals strolled in. They told me they were gathering for an unofficial wrap party, as they'd just completed production on a Harmony Korine-directed Black Keys video. They proceeded to explain the concept to me — "concept" in the Harmony Korine sense of the word, of course, meaning a very loose set of ideas and visuals presented in a free-form and absurdist fashion — which consisted of The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney strapped via faux Baby Bjorns to giant doppelgangers of themselves. The doppelgangers were portrayed by a couple of Belmont basketball players, and the video also featured a pair of outlandish, girlfriend-sharing, skateboarding identical twins who call themselves the ATL Twins. Word is The ATL Twins will also appear in Korine's forthcoming feature, Spring Breakers, alongside James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine.
So it was with bated breath that I awaited the Keys video, which was to be for their single "Gold on the Ceiling." And then, in February, the Keys dropped an official video for "Gold on the Ceiling" (see it after the jump) that featured loads of great live footage, but no Baby Bjorns, and certainly no ATL Twins. So what happened to the Korine video? Well, the Keys did an interview with MTV that illuminated things a bit:
[The Black Keys] actually shot a second video for the song, one directed by oddball auteur Harmony Korine. And, as they told MTV News immediately following the "Gold on the Ceiling" premiere, that never-before-seen clip is most certainly a Harmony Korine production.
"We did a video with Harmony, but it's not really for 'Gold on the Ceiling,'" frontman Dan Auerbach said.
"Well, it is, sort of," drummer Patrick Carney added.
"It's for whatever music we want to put to it. Pretty much we just let Harmony get self-indulgent, do his thing," Auerbach continued. "Pat and I are dressed up like babies, in onesies, and we're in Baby Björns being carried by giants who have our faces. And he also had the ATL Twins in it. They're these twins who are all Fubu'ed out, but they only have sex with the same girl. They're really strange. They sleep in the same bed together."
So when can fans expect to see the fruits of that Harmony Korine collaboration? Even the 'Keys don't seem to be sure ... Instead, they'd rather talk about their co-stars.
"The ATL Twins, they're 'mirror twins,' they're identical, and one's right-handed and one's left-handed," Carney explained. "And therefore they can only date the same woman and sleep in the same bed."
Interesting. And though the video does sound plenty weird, the 'Keys assured us it is very real ... at least most of it, anyway.
"OK, to be honest, the baby thing is fake," Auerbach laughed."But the ATL Twins part is actually real."
Local goss indicates that perhaps the video, as incredible as it may have been, didn't exactly feel right for the song. Or that perhaps the label didn't like it. Gossip can indicate any number of things, but the fact is, it just doesn't appear as though a completed Korine-Keys project is something we plebeians will be able to see any time soon.
But it turns out I'm not the only person who wanted to catch a glimpse of the in-the-can-but-canned Keys-Korine effort. On a thread in the fan-forum section of Korine's website, I stumbled across a link to locally based camera operator Aaron King's clip reel. The reel, on Vimeo here and embedded below, features a roughly 10-second shot of Auerbach and Carney — in costume and accompanied by their doppelgangers — sitting, baby bottles in hand, at the edge of a bed in a very Korine-esque, rundown locale. Have a look; the shot is at the 2:10 mark:
God. Just enough to whet my appetite. Now, I know that Korine's nonlinear, aggressively unconventional filmmaking style — even though I happen to be a fan — isn't for everyone. But I also know that "Gold on the Ceiling" is only a four-minute song, and four minutes of Harmony Korine is something that even the squarest of squares might find digestible. Hell, Umshini Wam was only 16 minutes long, and I know a couple of squares who sat through that with minimal complaining. But anyway. I must ask Korine, or Dan and Pat, or whomever holds the strings to which this undoubtedly compelling four minutes of cinematic "Gold": Can we see this thing one day, maybe? Please?
The Black Keys' official video for "Gold on the Ceiling":