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Filmmaker Jonas Åkerlund Makes a Music Video Without the Music

Starting at the end of August, and continuing through November 13, the IFC Center has been hosting a number of Swedish shorts, collectively called The Swedish Experience. The shorts are screening mostly before the regular features, as part of IFC’s Short Attention Span Cinema series, but this past Tuesday, the Center actually held a group screening as well. Among the films featured is The Hidden, a breathtaking little riff from international music-video wunderkind Jonas Åkerlund, whose name might be familiar from such iconic videos as Madonna’s “Music,” Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful,” and U2’s “Beautiful Day,” as well as the zonked-out 2002 addiction feature Spun. Part dance, part editing exercise, and part surrealist fantasy, The Hidden features no music — but it’s easy to see from it what makes Åkerlund such a great music-video director. His natural sense of rhythm and his ability to take one gesture and weave an entire experience out of it make this a disarmingly compelling, though decidedly offbeat, film.