Ah, the suburbs. They never were what you remember them to be.

Particularly that part about martial law.

Spike Jonze has imagined a growing North American suburban sprawl under siege from the country's own military, explored through the eyes of early teens naive to what it exactly that means -- put to the tune of Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs."

A group of friends take to the street on their bikes and smile as they sip on waters and shoot bee-bee guns at the locals. At first, they only barely notice the Humvees and real-life guns, staring at a burning fire from a hill and then going back to puppy love and Good Times. As the day gets dark, officers start infringing on their own neighborhoods, two boys getting arrested for who-knows-what, the long-haired boy clearly blaming his short-haired friend for their fate.

Fast forward to a lame house party, folks are wasted and the once-long-haired boy walks away from his girlfriend and his former friend, glaring. The former shows up at the latter's late-night after-school gig at the fast food shop and things turn ugly.

Basically, as frontman Win Butler deconstructs his own memories and fantasies about his formative years outside of the city, Jonze takes the bucolic teenage dreams and warps and dashes them against chain link fences and fists.

It's just as cheerful as the rest of the Arcade Fire album.

So this is what Jonze and the Canadian band got up to all the way back in April, when there was a local call in Austin for late-teens actors set to be cast for a plot that's about "friends growing apart."

What do you think of the video/mini-film?

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