An attractive couple descends the stairs of Pérez Art Museum Miami before catching a glimpse of a UFO in the sky. Later the members of Coral Morphologic help the couple solve a mystery involving a crystalline USB drive, a stolen boat named Lay 'N Pipe, and a large number of cigarettes. This might be just another day in weird Miami, but it's also the plot for Arcade Fire’s latest music video, “Signs of Life,” directed by the Magic City's very own film collective, Borscht Corp.
Starring local actor Shariff Earp and artist Carly Mark, the video is the latest tease from the band’s forthcoming album, Everything Now. Although Arcade Fire’s history with Miami is relatively sparse — having performed in the city only twice in promotion of its previous record, Reflektor — the group has always had a fondness for the city’s culture. This was demonstrated by the band's intimate 2013 performance at the Little Haiti Cultural Center. In partnering with Borscht, which recently teamed with Animal Collective to host Coral Orgy, the band has shown itself to be hip to everything Miami.
Founded in 2004 by a group of New World School of Arts students, Borscht Corp brings together artists, filmmakers, musicians, creators, and eccentrics to make outrageous artworks with a Miami connection. Their yearly film festival celebrated its tenth edition this past spring. Cofounder Lucas Levya, who was also one of the video's directors, was elated when Arcade Fire asked to collaborate.
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"Really honored Arcade Fire reached out to us about making a video for ‘Signs of Life,’” Levya says. “Really happy they let us make an absurdist Miami New Wave X-Files shot in 16mm inspired by their funky song. It came together really quickly, like two weeks between coming up with idea to delivery, but like always, the incredible Miami film community came together to make it happen. Now that it's over, I wish we could make a real series following the two paranormal investigators in love."
Until such a series is produced, Miami fans will just have to settle for rewatches of “Signs of Life” and anticipate the band’s performance at the Watsco Center September 23.
Come back Monday, July 3, when New Times will have a more extensive interview with Leyva and the Borscht Corp collective about the Arcade Fire video and other projects in the works.
Additional reporting by Juan Barquin.