PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNA STYPKO.
Haven’t we all, at one point or another, fantasized or heard rumors about an office romance? Sandwiched between stacks of papers, staring helplessly at the computer screen, taking habitual sips of lukewarm coffee, it comes as no surprise that salacious thoughts sometimes sneak into our heads to deliver us, momentarily, from corporate boredom. In the new music video for “Lost City,” a song from New York-based indie band Relations’ 2016 album Cloud Dreaming (Midriff), director Victoria Stevens takes this fantasy to another level. Surrealist and playfully grim, her short film—which features a philandering boss and revenge-seeking employee—may just teach all those office Casanovas a little lesson.
Michael Sanders, one-third of Relations (alongside Terence Murren and Timothy Monaghan), says that “Lost City” was “inspired by the feeling of displacement NYC can give you as it changes, and wryly remembering one’s glory days with the clarity of hindsight.”A Brooklyn-based artist and frequent Interview contributor, Stevens translated the song’s lyrics about change and the pain of not belonging into an uncanny tale of heartbreak with a cheeky twist. She cites old music videos with narrative clarity as inspiration, as opposed to attention-grabbing visuals lacking real content. “I’m tired of seeing fashion videos where models sway in slow motion to erratic editing with no real plot,” she says. Her leading lady is by no means a typical model—in fact, she’s made of felt—although she sways, surprisingly, with equal ease. Stevens’ directorial skills shine through the performance of this unlikely actress. She may be petite and soft around the edges, but no boss will be puppet master to this doll.