The Internet is still ablaze with chatter about 30 Seconds to Mars’ complicated, controversial and utterly fascinating new short film “Hurricane,” which made its debut on Monday night (November 29). Since its release, band frontman and director (under the name Bartholomew Cubbins) Jared Leto has rallied against the censorship of the clip, which contains multiple scenes of violence but was mostly hacked up for its graphic sexual content.
But in all the conversations about alternate versions and censorship double-standards, few people seem to really be talking about what the clip actually means. And while the interpretation is up to the viewer, there are a number of references in the film that could clarify some of the subtext.
“Eyes Wide Shut”
Of all the references you could pick out of “Hurricane,” it seems like Stanley Kubrick’s final film had a profound influence on the final product. Leto is an unabashed Kubrick fan (he borrowed images from “The Shining” for the video for “The Kill”), and bits of “Eyes Wide Shut” seem to have permeated “Hurricane” on a bunch of different levels. They both have a similar general narrative arc (both feature characters wandering around a New York that sometimes seems empty, encountering dream logic and dangerous women), obsessions with masks and lots of bondage. “Eyes Wide Shut” is as complicated as the rest of Kubrick’s work (in some ways even more inexplicable, considering it may or may not have actually been finished by the time Kubrick passed away), but it’s pretty clearly a meditation on the complications of marriage.
The famous fashion photographer makes an appearance toward the end of “Hurricane” (he’s the mustached guy taking pictures). Is he playing himself, or is he meant to be a character? It’s unclear.
“The Matrix Revolutions”
This isn’t really an overt reference, but that scene of Tomo Milicevic wandering through the empty subway station really reminds us of the beginning sequence of the final film in “The Matrix” trilogy, where Neo is trapped in a subway station and must figure out how to free himself (he is quickly saved by Trinity after a confrontation with the Merovingian, at which point everybody falls asleep). Also, Tomo’s fighting style is very Neo-esque.
David Lynch’s underrated 1997 masterpiece begins with a prolonged sequence of scenes wherein Bill Pullman and Patricia Arquette are haunted by a series video tapes left anonymously at their doorstep. The contents of those tapes? Images of them sleeping. Leto is greeted by the same thing at the beginning of the video after he is woken up in his room (though he is greeted by photographs, not video).
“Buried,” “Kill Bill Vol. 2” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”
The image of somebody being trapped in a coffin is strangely ubiquitous, so it’s unsure exactly what Leto is referencing when he finds himself confined after taking a blow to the head with a sledgehammer (or whether he’s referencing anything at all). But he could have been inspired by any one of the titles above.
Could the topless girls posing in front of the door be the creepy twins from the Overlook Hotel all grown up?
What references do you see in “Hurricane” that we missed? Let us know in the comments!