Xavier Dolan directs first ever music video to be shot on IMAX
This week saw the premiere of the video for Adele’s “Hello,” the first track from her forthcoming album “25,” and one of the most anxiously awaited songs and videos of the year. Directed by Cannes-winning Canadian director Xavier Dolan, with production company Believe Media, “Hello” is a short film whose lush visual style and powerful performances – with Tristan Wilds of “The Wire” playing Adele’s lover – match the song’s cinematic emotional scope.
Adele and Dolan met in London this summer, where Dolan was one of the first people to hear “Hello”. Without any preconceptions, he immediately saw the imagery that he wanted to shoot, and the resulting video adheres almost identically to that initial vision. In September, Adele came to Quebec, where Dolan called upon his feature film family to shoot the 6:07 video as he would one of his films. Part of the film was shot on IMAX, the first music video ever to use that format.
“It was a privilege to direct the music video for Adele's beautiful, heartbreaking song ‘Hello’. When I first heard it, all the images appeared clearly in my head – and her trust and generosity allowed me to work with abandon artistically and emotionally, like she always does. It made me extremely proud.” said Xavier Dolan
Dolan’s films are known for their female leads’ powerful performances; he has said “in my childhood, I was surrounded by women, and they are the figures who I have seen fighting for who they were and are. So, naturally I do write a lot for women and mothers.”
The “Hello” video alternates past and present; Adele in the present reflecting on a relationship, and the viewer seeing those remembered scenes from her perspective. As if in a century-old photograph, Adele is seen in the romantic haze of reflection, contrasted with the dynamic, quivering energy of life with him as it was actually lived.
Xavier Dolan’s visionary decision to shoot aspects of his video with IMAX cameras marks the first music video ever to be filmed in the format. Capturing images at 18K resolution, IMAX cameras are the highest resolution film cameras in the world and have only been used by a select group of today’s most prominent Hollywood directors, such as Christopher Nolan and JJ Abrams, and in such films as Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Of the album, Adele said in a Facebook post this week: “I feel like I’ve spent my whole life so far wishing it away…Wishing I hadn’t ruined so many good things because I was scared or bored…If I had to label this one I would call it a make-up record. I’m making up with myself.” The video for “Hello” brings these sentiments to life.