Ilya Naishuller directs a — quite literally — bloody brilliant promo for Biting Elbows.

After years in the music industry, it’s natural for bands to evolve their sound. For one girl group, however, the shift from aggressive heavy metal to marketable pop comes at a brutal cost.

The graphic music video for Naishuller’s own indie rock band Biting Elbows follows the ultimately deadly evolution of Boy Is Dead — as one member deals with the idea of selling out.

The narrative starts at a school talent show, where a super young version of the group stun the audience with a thunderous heavy metal rendition. Jumping to the future, the band have sold out to the commercial machine, as so many promising rebels eventually do.

"After being forced into a box that is a far cry from her original aspirations, the drummer hallucinates a mysterious devil creature and goes on a bloody rampage with a kitchen knife, taking out her fellow members, manager and a sleazy record label exec in the process.

Shot over two days and starring a mix of Russian movie stars and TikTok personalities — as well as a cameo by the young star of Ilya Naishuller’s recent spot for Brusnika — Boy is Dead is Biting Elbow’s latest foray into cinematic, story-driven music. The promo is also part of a collection of 15−25 minute short films, entitled A Musician’s Nightmare.

"I think sooner or later, everyone that plays in a band faces a moment of uncertainty towards the other members," says Naishuller. "If a band is a living organism, what happens when its legs start walking in different directions?"

A must-watch, which encompasses the frenetic hell of Naishuller’s feature Hardcore Henry with the lingering obsession of celebrity and social trends."


Cinematography  ANDREY KRAUZOV
Shot on film  KODAK
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