A new video directed by Heath Ledger has been released by Modest Mouse. The animated clip is for the song “King Rat” and shows humans being hunted and killed at sea by whales, reflecting the late actor’s opposition to the commercial whale hunting which takes place off the coast of his native Australia.
Ledger approached Modest Mouse singer Isaac Brock with the idea for the video in January 2007. According to a press release issued by Modest Mouse, “The video was fully conceived down to the last detail but unfinished when Heath passed away in January 2008. In the interest of fully realizing Heath’s final work as a visual artist, THE MASSES (a film and music company which Heath was partner in) finished the video in his honor, with the support and advocacy of Isaac Brock.” The clip will be available for download on iTunes from August 7th.
In my opinion, the result is a weird, well crafted, and compelling piece of polemic reminiscent of the animated work of Ledger’s friend and two-time director Terry Gilliam. Do you agree? And do you think it is appropriate for the video to have been finished after Ledger’s tragic death?
Photo Credit: Ledger: Laura Cavanaugh/Landov; Brock: David Atlas/Retna Ltd