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That's 'Life'
 
A burning question about R.E.M.'s new video -- Learn about the video wizardry that made ''Imitation of Life'' possible

FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE For R.E.M's new video for ''Imitation of Life,'' Stipe and Co. shimmy for 20 seconds at a bizarro backyard barbeque
 
FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE For R.E.M's new video for ''Imitation of Life,'' Stipe and Co. shimmy for 20 seconds at a bizarro backyard barbeque

Q Is R.E.M.'s time-tripping new video for ''Imitation of Life'' really based on a single wide-angle shot?
A Yep. The colorful four-minute clip -- which finds Michael Stipe (that's him in the corner) and the band at a crowded poolside bash -- cleverly manipulates a mere 20 seconds of footage. The action-packed scene (a barbecue chef catches fire, a woman has a drink thrown in her face, Stipe dances) was selectively sped up and rewound as editors zoomed in on tiny portions of the frame. Director Garth Jennings rehearsed for a day and a half with the cast -- several had to lip-synch backward so their singing would seem normal when reversed. How does Jennings describe his process? ''I call it the 'What the hell were we thinking?' technique.''

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EW Grade: B
 
LEAD PERFORMANCE
 R.E.M.
 
RELEASE DATE
2001
 
GENRE
Pop/Rock
Alternative
Rock
 
PRODUCTION
 Warner Bros.

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