Entertainment behind the scenes
Bob Dylan is entering the torture-porn comedy arena with a new video from his chart-topping album.
The on-screen action in “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” follows a bloody battle between an attractive young woman and her older male captor in a seedy motel room. After stabbing him she escapes, runs him over with a car, and then smacks him — with a passionate kiss.
Dylan doesn’t actually appear in the video, having perhaps learned from “Tight Connection to My Heart” and a handful of features that acting is not his strong suit.
His Columbia Records label does not know if he has even seen it. The company has carte blanche with his videos, and its main job is “to push the envelope, to try not to be predictable,” said Greg Linn, Columbia’s vice president of marketing.
The video premiered Tuesday on the cable channel IFC and its Web site. The company “jumped at the chance” to get an exclusive two-day window, said Craig Parks, IFC’s vice-president of digital media. IFC said the video was the right fit for its audience, which skews towards young male hipsters. But it garnered a hostile reception from fans, judging by comments posted on the Dylan fan Web site Expecting Rain.
The low-budget video was filmed in one day last month at the Astro Motel in downtown Los Angeles, with Australian filmmaker Nash Edgerton directing actors Amanda Aardsma and Joel Stoffer.
The actors did most of their own stunts, said Aardsma, who likened her feisty role to the one played by Rose McGowan, in Robert Rodriguez’ zombie thriller “Planet Terror. ” “The next day, I was pretty bruised and battered,” she said.
The video explores the thin line between love and hate. “It leaves you wondering whether they’re in a relationship or she’s suffering from Stockholm Syndrome,” Aardsma added.
Linn said “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” was chosen over other cuts from “Together Through Life,” because it’s a thought-provoking tune that “sums up the whole record.” Romantic musings are prevalent on the album, but there’s also a dark side, and label executives started “vamping” from there in sketching out the video’s concept, he said.
The song could be seen as slightly creepy. “Oh well I love you pretty baby, You’re the only love I’ve ever known,” Dylan sings. “Just as long as you stay with me, The whole world is my throne.” Or it could just be a simple love song.
The album, meanwhile, fell four places to No. 5 on the U.S. pop album chart on Wednesday. In the U.K., it has just begun a second week at the top.