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New Massive Attack video stars Cate Blanchett’s face

British trip hop band Massive Attack continues its recent trend of placing intriguing actresses front and center in its music videos. For the six-minute spot accompanying the title track from its new EP The Spoils, filmmaker John Hillcoat (The Road, Lawless) spends the entire running time focused on the expressionless countenance of Cate Blanchett. He studies it from multiple angles, through various filters, and through a number of surreal tricks of CGI. Set against the astral, pulsing rhythms of Robert Del Naja and Grant Marshall—not to mention the lush vocals of Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval—the effect is quite hypnotic.

For the band’s previous video, “Come Near Me,” also from this EP, the duo teamed up with British vocalist Ghostpoet and director Ed Morris to make use of Kosovan actress Arta Dobroshi’s (Lorna’s Silence) intense facials expressions as she literally backs away from advances by British actor Jonathan Aris (Sherlock). And in the clip for “Voodoo In My Blood,” off of January’s Ritual Blood EP, Massive Attack, Scottish hip-hop group Young Fathers, and director Ringan Ledwidge utilize the magnetic screen presence of Gone Girls Rosamund Pike, as she reckons with some sort of terrifying floating orb (as if there’s any other kind).


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