Directed by Nate Boyce, the video features Oneohtrix Point Never (Daniel Lopatin) and the Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) roaming through a dreamy CGI universe as avatars. Tesfaye has a video camera for an eye and he repeats “No more nightmares” over Lopatin’s synths.
“Dan initially sent me an excerpt of ‘Fear of the Inexplicable’ by Rilke as a prompt to start working on our idea of a debased animation,” Boyce said in a statement. “Abel and Dan traverse psychoanalytically charged scenarios and spaces that evoke a lurid mix of art and architectural references. Eventually, I started to associate the implications of the Rilke poem to the biblical story of the Binding of Isaac, an anxiety-inducing story I hated as a kid that became a subtext for the latter half of the piece. Despite the fact that Abraham is thwarted by divine intervention, I was terrified by his incomprehensible zealotry and willingness to sacrifice his own child, who I identified with.”
“This story ensured my eventual atheism, but also my ongoing fascination with how these archaic stories, symbols, and motifs have continued relevance even now, and in many ways still structure our experience,” he continued. “So, as it happens in the animation, this process of individuation through archetypal projection starts with heroic ideations that devolve into anxiety and fear, culminating in a carnivalesque mockery of the faith required to confront these fears.”
Lopatin released Magic Oneohtrix Point Never in October. The “No Nightmares” video is part of a trilogy of clips influenced by postmodern art and cult film, following the previously released “Lost But Never Alone” video (directed by the Safdie Brothers) and “Long Road Home” (by Charlie Fox and Emily Schubert).