Super 8 is synonymous with nostalgia. Its beautifully saturated color tones and grainy texture seem like memories come to life, and it’s so evocative that it’s almost clichéd at this point; finding new ways to use it is difficult. Hats off, then, to Seattle duo Acid Tongue, whose video for “Get Free” deploys the Super 8 camera to record long shots of the band performing and romping around Brooklyn, and intercuts it with a bunch of rhythmic found footage from public domain archives.
The various segments are juxtaposed to great effect: dancing schoolgirls follow dancing tribesmen, an orchestra conductor cuts to ominous footage of a B-52, and so on. Curiously, it’s often the contemporary footage that looks the oldest. This creates an effect that seems to question our assumptions about film’s nature are often determined by how it looks.
Singer/guitarist Guy Keltner says of the video, “We wanted to have fun shooting on film and try to maintain the lighthearted energy that defines [the band]. The video is a mixture of found footage — mostly public domain film from the National Archives — and Super 8 footage shot around Brooklyn this past spring. My good friend Greg Kaplan picked up a classic Nikon Super 8 camera and we ventured around Greenpoint, Crown Heights and Prospect Park for 24 hours, [shooting]. We were trying to create something playful.”
Lyrically, the song takes on less playful subject matter. As Keltner explains, “[The song] is a response to an age-old disease: bullying. Our parents, classmates, bosses or elected officials—almost every person on the planet has had to experience bullying at some point in their life. Now we have a bully sitting in the Oval Office. Watching the political climate nosedive into chaos the past 18 months reinforced the feeling inside of me that we all truly want to be free. Americans are fed up with being incarcerated, denied health coverage, and the numerous attacks on our civil liberties that take place daily. This song is dedicated to everyone willing to fight for a better life.”