alt-J has a history of creating ornate, uncompromising, sometimes brutal videos. They put a lot of time and effort into each one, but none of their visual work has matched the simple devastation of “Pusher.” The song itself is one of their gentler cuts, little more than acoustic guitar and voice. The video, however, is harsh and jagged.
The camera circles a gathering of downtrodden businessmen. Their eyes are on the speaker in the center, a self-proclaimed prophet rapidly losing his already meager audience.
Director Thomas Rhazi said “the original idea was (alt-J frontman) Joe Newman’s. It was about a guy breaking his neck in a very poetic way. We spoke about the British Speaker’s Corners – all those men and women in the late 70’s preaching for their own reasons and beliefs. I wanted this film to be very humanist and as deep and simple as it could be.”
“The hero does the most excessive act because he can’t do anything else – shaking up people’s minds in those dark and sad times.”