“Male fantasies, male fantasies, is everything run by male fantasies? Up on a pedestal or down on your knees, it's all a male fantasy: that you're strong enough to take what they dish out, or else too weak to do anything about it. Even pretending you aren't catering to male fantasies is a male fantasy: pretending you're unseen, pretending you have a life of your own, that you can wash your feet and comb your hair unconscious of the ever-present watcher peering through the keyhole, peering through the keyhole in your own head, if nowhere else. You are a woman with a man inside watching a woman. You are your own voyeur.” – Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
The idea for the video Carl Sagan vs. Zeus sprang from the interaction between the artist NOIA’s character and a stranger who follows her to her performance in an empty dim sum restaurant and later/simultaneously witnesses her private moments in a hotel room. Who this stranger is, we leave that a bit open: maybe it’s NOIA’s inner voyeur, maybe it’s her consciousness, maybe it’s her lover, maybe death itself.
The director Erin Vassilopolous (whose short film SUPERIOR you can watch on our site) explains:
We wanted to create a cinematic, mysterious narrative. Daido Moriyama, the colors red and purple, a stormy night sky, David Lynch, and our dim sum location were some of our visual inspirations. Polly Nor’s drawings of women and devils were also an influence when we were brainstorming about the voyeur character in the video.
Erin met the artist NOIA while working on the sound design for Superior. NOIA (otherwise known as Gisela Fulla-Silvestre) then later reached out to Erin for collaboration on her music video.
Her aesthetic and narrative imaginarium were so powerful that we decided we didn’t need to stay so close to the lyric meaning of the song and make the video more free, make it like a little "thriller" film. In terms of the styling, we reached out to Homic, who made all the outfits. His style is so gender freed and also non-baroque, it fit completely with the essence of the video, said NOIA. Erin adds:
We worked loosely with a choreographer, but Gisela was great at feeling out her movements onstage. In post we decided to combine her performance with clouds to make the different spaces of the film – the restaurant, the night sky, the hotel, the voyeur, and NOIA’s consciousness - collide.