There certainly is a lot going on in the video for The Weeknd's "The Knowing," no? The Guardian called it "brilliantly ludicrous," not a bad phrase for the 7:45 minute wants-to-be-called-epic you can watch below. The setting: Planet Ethio; the year: 16311; the theme: symbolic image after symbolic image, including some unsubtle hearts, strung together with lasers and explosion flashes.
We're going to need to watch this thing 10 more times to be able to say anything more meaningful than that. This is purely a surface reading. But the gist: if you were ever in need of a space opera condensed into 8 minutes with tenuous connections to Ethiopian history and--because this is a video by The Weeknd--with women in silhouette; see also, the balloons--your needs are met forever. And because this a video by The Weeknd, again, the title screen has freaking Helvetica on a stone wall. It's either going to all make sense after rewatching or going to remain a bunch of arty disconnected sequences. (Most early reactions are understandably along the lines of "Whoa! Cool! That planet totally looks like Pac-Man with his mouth on fire! That part was so cool! The part with the beating heart was cool too! This is art at its finest! Uh, now can someone please explain what it means?" At least you can't accuse Team Weeknd of lack of effort. Now someone please explain what it means.