With his newest film "The Severing" premiering at Slamdance, I thought now was the best time to dig into the work of director Mark Pellington. The son of a one-time gridiron great, Pellington struck out on his own in more ways than one. He became a music video and TV director and right away you could see he was doing things differently. His videos for Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam were wildly ambitious and came to define the bands visually for many people (Pearl Jam almost never makes new music videos—how could they top "Jeremy"?).
Pellington started making hybrid music films right around the time he turned to films about lost souls, including "Arlington Road," "The Mothman Prophecies," and "Henry Poole is Here." The subject of this month's Unloved is Pellington's coruscating "I Melt With You," a death knell for American masculinity. Proud boys and anti-vaxxers are born in the reflection of his death-driven former titans.
There's no road left on which these men can travel, I just wish they all knew it in reality the way Pellington's heroes do. Loathed at the time, the film's visuals will live forever. Pellington's always do.
To watch the rest of Scout Tafoya's Unloved video essays, click here.