Years & Years 'Palo Santo' by Fred Rowson

Years & Years 'Palo Santo' by Fred Rowson
  • By David Knight
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Over the first two videos of the new album campaign Fred Rowson has explored the alternate universe that powers Years & Years' new album Palo Santo - released today (July 6th). And now, following Sanctify and If You're Over Me comes the accompanying short film - also named Palo Santo - that brings it all together.

In fact, this beautifully made short sci-fi drama, shot in Thailand, really is what the campaign is all about. It adds a new dimension to the story more broadly touched upon in the videos, of human enslavement by android masters, to provide round-the-clock entertainment. 

At the heart of it is Olly Alexander's role as entertainer-in-chief in this android world Palo Santo, and the prize property of an android apparachnik and ringmaster - a subtle and sympathetic characterisation by the Thai actor Vithaya Pansringarm.

The previous videos are abbreviated in the film to give more room to the narrative, while there are some surprising cameos - the ominiscient voice that directs life in Palo Santo is provided by none other than Dame Judy Dench; there's also an appearance by Ben Whishaw. It looks stunning, courtesy of photography by DoP Jaime Feliu Torres, and superbly edited by Sacha Szwarc at Speade. 

Written by Alexander and Rowson - who have a long association of working together - the pace of Palo Santo never drops, as it flips seamlessly between character interplay and performance set-pieces, taking in moments of humour and pathos. It becomes a genuinely emotional ride. Ultimately it shows what an accomplished director that Fred Rowson has become.   

Credits

Director
Fred Rowson
Producer
Corin Taylor
Production Company
BlinkBlink website
Executive Producer
Paul Weston
Executive Producer
Martha Kinn
Production Manager
Jack Bingham
Director of Photography
Jaime Feliu Torres
1st AD
Inthira Sawantrat
Art Director
Siranat Ratchusanti
Wardrobe
Nick Royal
Make-up
Emma Croft
Make-up Assistant
Maxine Crew
Choreographer
Aaron Sillis
Production Services
Indochina Productions
Executive Producer
Simon Nicholas
Production Supervisor
Mutita Na Songkla
Line Producer
Atchariya Pinitsanpirom
Post production company
Electric Theatre Collective
Post Producer
Oliver Whitworth
Editor
Sacha Szwarc
Editing company
SpeadeSpeade website
Colourist
Lewis Crossfield
Sound design
Alex Bingham
Commissioner
Semera Khan
Label
Polydor

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