Will Butler has been gradually but certainly carving a separate name for himself outside of Arcade Fire ever since creating the score for everyone’s favorite modern movie, Her, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. His first solo album, Policy, released in March of this year, received moderate attention, which is perhaps why Butler has decided to attract a bit more notice to it with the video for “Anna.”
And who better to help attract said notice than everyone’s favorite girl-next-door, Emma Stone? Set on the blast from the past setting of a luxury cruise liner, Stone takes on the role of a quirky, affluent dame (in short, who she is in life) as she dances her way through the boat amid sailors and members of the crew joining in on the choreography. Directed by Brantley Gutierrez, who is still so cool he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page yet (just a Tumblr that serves as his portfolio), the scenes in “Anna” are lush and slick, honing in on an era of glamor that’s almost impossible to identify with anymore.
As Stone/Anna ambles confidently through the hallways of the ship, she quickly seems to become more driven by a combination of cabin fever and financial lust as she begins to fiendishly grab money from her fellow passengers as the lyrics, “Hey, little Anna, look my way/What’s gonna be the price we pay/For the money?” provide the soundtrack to her grabbing bills from everyone on the boat and becoming so consumed with joy and fervor that she begins to eat them (the bills, that is, not the passengers). Perhaps Butler intends for this to mean that money is equal parts pain and pleasure.