Sometimes it’s hard to keep it real, and there’s probably no place where that’s more true than in Sum 41’s surreal new video.
Their clip for “Pieces,” to be shot by director Brett Simon this weekend, plays with notions of perception and perfection, while also poking fun at the idea of the music video as a commercial.
The treatment suggests that Sum 41 have found the “clever” idea they said they were having trouble coming up with. According to the treatment, frontman Deryck Whibley sits in a La-Z-Boy chair in a drably colored apartment while the world outside appears to be bursting with color and activity. But although everything outside appears to be hyper-real, more real than Whibley’s environment, it’s also too real, as if made of plastic. Pedestrians strolling along the sidewalk, girls tanning on the beach, turkey being carved on the dining-room table, prom dates starting to dance, cyclists speeding down the street – all of them are strangely light, as if they’re not really moving.
What they are is unclear until Whibley leaves his apartment, walking past Technicolor posters advertising “The Perfect Meal,” “The Perfect Night,” “The Perfect Body,” etc. Whibley remains oblivious to all of this, even as one of those exact scenes comes to life right before him, courtesy of a Plexiglas container that rolls by on a truck that’s stopped nearby. The Plexiglas seems like a human aquarium, with Whibley and two bikini-clad sunbathers chilling on a mound of sand, toasting each other with piÃ±a coladas, while a couple of fake palm trees frame the scene. The accompanying sign reads, “The Perfect Vacation, Available Through JC Inc.”
As other Plexiglas containers appear, it’s revealed that Whibley’s bandmates are also taking part: bassist Cone McCaslin is serving plate after plate of turkey and telling jokes to his dinner guests, while guitarist Dave Baksh is slow-dancing with a girl in a prom dress as a disco ball hangs from the ceiling. Though “The Perfect Meal” catches the eye of a homeless man, who looks hungrily at the scene, none of these advertisements seems to register with Whibley, who goes home, falls back into his chair, pops open a soda bottle and tilts the drink back to his mouth. When the camera pulls back, the walls behind him are revealed to be glass, and the “room” is actually just another Plexiglas container, moving along the street on another truck. As Whibley swigs from the soda, the sign below him reads, “The Perfect Drink, Available Through JC Inc.”