In June 2010, a teaser trailer for the title track from 30 Seconds to Mars’ second single from their album This is War was released onto Youtube showing the band decked out in military gear and carrying weapons, as inspired by the song’s central theme of war and peace. For almost a year, the very fate of that video was unknown and fans anxiously waited for any news about it. The wait, however, is now over.
On April 1st, the band, and through their social media sites, asked all their fans to refrain from watching any leaked videos and that they would be posting the official clip very soon. That came true on April 6th, when the full-fledged video was uploaded to their Vevo channel, and has already managed to garner an impressive number of views.
After watching it extensively over the past few days, here’s what I like and do not like about the video. [SPOILER ALERTS]
- Where are Shannon and Tomo exactly? Although they’re in the video, it’s at rare instances that you see their faces, and even then, they’re wearing sunglasses/goggle. I would’ve loved to see more of them because the dynamic that this trio have-in terms of their music-is beyond incredible.
- Where do all the flying objects come from? I know I know, this all serves an eventual purpose, but it just seems so random!
They’re in a very deserted area and out of nowhere, tanks d are flying. This would’ve been so much more believable if we see whose launching these things at them. I know most, if not all, of the Echelon would’ve loved to play a small part in the video.
- The typeface. I can tell its a Bartholomew Cubbins “movie” just by the lettering he uses in the historical scene. He doesn’t have to include the opening or end credits for us to know that it’s his work of art. For those of you who don’t know, Bartholomew Cubbins is nothing but a pseudonym for Jared Leto. On a side note, this isn’t a Cubbins film, but rather was directed by Edouard Salier- something that Leto isn’t keen on repeating in the future.
- Why is there a censored and uncensored version? Unlike Hurricane, where an uncensored version for the more sensitive/conservative viewers was needed,there’s nothing in This is War that needs censoring, not even blood.
- The theme. Definitely spot-on. For a song with such powerful lyrics and obvious discontent at the state of the world, there would’ve been no better theme to use than fighting in Afghanistan. Although, I do have a hard time believing that pretty-boy Jared would ever be engaged in such kind of combat.
The historical shots. Because the issue is so contemporary, it would completely make sense to use images and clips from the huge historical archive available. What I like the most about this is that it’s very blunt, like putting the image of George W. Bush with the words “moment to lie” set on it. There’s no doubt about what the group thinks about the state of current affairs.
- Incorporating little elements: If you look very closely, you’ll see that each of the helmets has a little inscription it. Jared’s has This is War, the name of the album and the very song, Tomo has the very inventive Mars logo, while Shannon has L490, the one track on the album he wrote, and also says that in the short break from the song scene. No real idea what it signifies, but if you do, do tell!
- The cinematography. Wow! This is a common thread in all of Mars’ videos- they’re just a spectacle. Whether it’s the chilling Hurricane, the inspiring Kings+Queens, or the for-the-fans Closer to the Edge, there’s always something that draws you into their videos. Here, they take something so bare as a battleground and turn into more than just an area of discourse and disruption: it’s more of a beautiful chaos. In the end, the coming together of the triad and the guys observing it, it’s only a thing you can fully comprehend if you watch the entire video.
These are my thoughts on this video. I am very much enjoying the whole 30 Seconds to Mars fandom, especially when they’re making such great videos (excluding the very strange but beautifully shot Hurricane). I only wonder what they’re going to do next.