Rob Ulitski - 17th May 2021

Dan Cadan and Jonathan 'Scully' Mowatt's latest video for Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds brings the French nouvelle vague to modern London, and as with previous work for Noel, features a big name cast: Matt Smith and Gala Gordon play the lovers in a story inspired directly by Godard's Breathless.

The video for We're On Our Way Now provides a snapshot of the lives of the couple, where an ambivalence and darkness lurks under the surface of a true romance. The directors also leave enough to the viewer's imagination to try to piece together a bigger story.

As with the Jean-Paul Belmondo character in Breathless, Matt Smith is mixed up with some shady goings-on - either working for, or possibly against Noel Gallagher, who features in a cameo as a gangland figure. Smith bring depth to the part and is ideally cast. Both he and Gordon - her second video for Gallagher - are both captured wonderfully in a timeless-looking London by Danish DoP Niels Reedtz Johansen.

DAN CADAN:

Gala and Matt subtly channel their finest Seberg and Belmondo, but ensure the characters are their own.

"Scully and I have made six videos for NGHFB’s over the past two years. [Noel] knows exactly what he wants from the video that’s going to complement his music but he allows us the freedom to create it.

"We love the process and the variety of creativity he allows - we’ve recreated a working men’s club from the 70’s, delved into archive world, shoplifted with Santa, danced in a seedy night club and now we’re bringing ’Nouvelle Vague’ to modern London.

"We’ve shot with Stephen Graham, Jack O'Connell, Gala Gordon and now Matt Smith. Actors don’t generally have music video on their bucket list, especially actors of that calibre. But all of the above jumped at working with Noel, testament to the man and his music.

"Scully inspired everyone by cutting together a test video for We’re On Our Way Now using footage from Godard’s A Bout De Souffle. It worked perfectly for the track and was loved by all, so based upon his idea, we've tried to create something that pays homage to French New Wave - hence the black and white and 4:3 ratio.

"Aesthetic aside, a comparison can be drawn between Noel and French New Wave. Godard was one of the rarest of breeds - a film critic who became a film-maker, and as we are well aware, a very fucking good filmmaker. Unlike most critics, who momentarily stick their heads above the parapet, point their fingers and spout their shite, before ducking back down to re-up their venom for their next ‘victim’, Godard actually did something about the one star shit he didn’t like. He stepped up, put his francs where his mouth is and changed cinema forever. Noel embodies that same iconoclast spirit - fuck convention and fuck tradition.

"Gala and Matt subtly channel their finest Seberg and Belmondo, but absolutely ensure that the characters are their own. There’s no attempt at impersonation, just fine acting.

"Niels Reedtz Johansen has been our DOP on 5 of the 6 videos. His ability to adapt and help us to realise our vision is on another level. And he flies in from Copenhagen to shoot them.

"For this two day shoot, he had to isolate for five days when he arrived in the UK, get tested every couple of days and isolate for 10 days when he got back to Denmark." 

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorDan Cadan
DirectorJonathan Mowatt
ProducerAyo Davis
Production CompanyThe Graft
Executive ProducerBeth Montague
1st ADBilly Payne
Director of PhotographyNiels Reedtz Johansen
GafferDavid Tyler
Art DirectorJakob Gierse
WardrobeMark Anthony
Make-upMel Szabo
EditorGraham Hector
ColouristDan Moran
Lead actorMatt Smith
Lead actorGala Gordon
Director's RepresentationCarrie Sutton
CommissionerSarah Mansfield
LabelIgnition

Rob Ulitski - 17th May 2021

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