From director Michael Palmieri:
When I first heard the song, the lyrics immediately made me think about the opening sequence to the great Agnes Varda film, Cleo from 5 to 7, one of my favorites. I usually take time to mull over ideas before coming up something decent to share with an artist, but this one just came out immediately.
I sketched an idea and sent it off to Sharon and Zeke Hutchins, her manager, and didn’t hear back from them for over a week. I thought I’d blown it! But soon Zeke contacted me and asked if Sharon had sent me the album artwork. I said I hadn’t even heard anything else off the album yet, let alone seen anything from it. Sharon then texted me pretty much the same question, ‘Did Zeke send you the album before you wrote this?’ I didn’t understand what the big deal was . . .
Finally they sent me a photograph that is a big component of the album artwork. It is a beautifully aged picture of Agnes Varda standing in front of a bazillion reels of 16mm film. This image of one of my filmmaking heroes has been hanging on Sharon’s wall wherever she has lived for years and years to the point where it’s all tattered and weather-worn. I like to think that Ms. Varda is standing in front of a bunch of reels from Cleo from 5 to 7, but who knows. It’s just one of the strangest coincidences, and it made us all feel like the video had to be made. So now I can safely say the video is inspired by two incredible women: Sharon, for her musical inspiration, and Agnes Varda, whose inspiration on the both of us is quite apparent.
Sharon Van Etten’s album, ‘Are We There’ drops 5.27.14 via Jagjaguwar.