Savages Honor 'Slaughterhouse-Five' With Animated 'Marshal Dear' Video

Guitarist Gemma Thompson pays tribute to one of Kurt Vonnegut's finest works

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Kyle McGovern WRITTEN BY
Kyle McGovern

Savages have followed their recent gut-punching music videos for "Husbands" and "I Am Here" with a third doomy visual, this one for Silence Yourself closer "Marshal Dear." As Matablog points out, the clip was inspired by Kurt Vonnegut's classic science-fiction novel Slaughterhouse-Five, and features design and animation from U.K. artist Gergely Wootsch. Conceived and storyboarded by Savages guitarist Gemma Thompson, the just-released clip focuses on a specific scene from the 1969 book, which follows American Billy Pilgrim through his tenure as a soldier in World War II and his experiences traveling through time.

Matablog writes: "The scene from the novel occurs whilst main protagonist Billy believes he has become 'unstuck in time.' He turns on the TV and focuses on a scene in a movie about bombers in the Second World War. The aircraft take-off backwards from an airfield, flying backwards over cities in flame. The exploded bombs and shrapnel begin to piece themselves together and rise back into the bellies of the aircraft and the bullets are sucked out of the bodies of the fallen men. The bombs are eventually brought back to the factory in which they were constructed, dismantled and the elements placed back into the Earth."

In an official statement, Thompson says, "This scene would replay in my head and I could imagine it as an animation of lines flowing into each other, much like early hand-drawn animation created to accentuate a musical score. I also thought it was beautiful how Billy tries to right the process of destruction and how this echoed the true story of the character in the song 'Marshal Dear' — Field Marshal Rommel's attempted assassination of Hitler to end the Second World War, which resulted in him being forced to take his own life to spare those of his family. We worked on bringing the character of the factory worker into the fore so that the animation now focused on the role of the woman working in the factory and the bomb itself as she realises her hand in the destruction."

Watch Slaughterhouse-Five come to life via the grim, shadowy video above. Savages' extra bit of promotion for Silence Yourself comes just a day before the winner of the 2013 Mercury Prize is announced on October 30. The London post-punks are up for the honor (and the accompanying £20,000 prize), facing off against albums by David Bowie, Arctic Monekys, Disclosure, Rudimental, James Blake, and more.

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