Memories of Clandestine


In my last semester of college I find myself taking a class on symbology. Basically, we look at a history of symbols and how common they are across cultures.

What comes to mind every time I think on the subject is AFI’s release of Clandestine. For anyone who has seen it, it goes without saying that this video contains a plethora of symbols and an eerie message.

I remember not being able to sleep the first time I saw it just a few years after its release. Lurking around dated message boards, finding YouTube videos, I absorbed it all as I tried to derive my own meaning from it. Whats unfortunate is that I never had anyone to discuss it with. At least, I couldn’t engage with someone who was into it as much as I was.

So my questions are: What was your first impression of the video? How do you feel about it now? Has it affected you in any way?

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Didn’t have a clue that this video existed… :open_mouth: Now I need to watch it…and I guess try to understand what they hell they were thinking about :slight_smile: Will comment after that in the next couple of days as I don’t think I’m going to have time to watch it right now :frowning:

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Clandestine! I can’t remember the first time watching it but I remember being kinda a bit confused by it. Looking back on it now, it could have an entry point into experimental/weird film. It’s like a riddle that, almost 15 years later, we’re still trying to decode. For all we know, anything in that box so long as it fit. Probably a 1/2" tape or flash drive with the masters from the Sing the Sorrow sessions. Or tea. But like, really nice tea.
Also for the last decade or so I thought the director’s name was Norwood Creek. His last name is actually Cheek. Which sounds a lot less mysterious than what I’d initially thought.

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I would be impressed if it was actually tea lol only the finest peppermint tea for the finest musicians. But I do love the fact that after so many years no definitive answers have been given. And part of me hopes that it stays that way. The mysterious nature of the film, and everything associated with the 336 and STS era, really picks at the brain :thinking: Can’t help but feel inspired.

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It’s interesting to pay attention to the differences between the film scores and the things they emphasize or don’t emphasize. Like in Davey’s scene, with the girl (Marni), they kiss and she steals the box. Hunter’s chord progression sets the encounter as romantic and melancholy with a sense of betrayal at the end. But with Jade’s barebones electronic score, it’s as though she’s sucked out Davey’s soul. Hunter sets up Marni’s character as sympathetic, but the way Jade tells it, it’s as though he never trusted her up in the first place. True, tone interpretation is very subjective, but I have to wonder, what’s his deal?

Also, it sounds pretty cool when you play both soundtracks at the same time. Try it if you can.


ever since I first watched I’ve been trying to figure it out, then again the word itself Clandestine means “secret”

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It’s got such a dream like quality to me (the way scenes transition is so similar to the way scenes transition in my dreams that it’s a little bit weird), that I don’t know that it’s all supposed to fit together in some way that makes perfect sense.

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I was getting into David Lynch around the same time Clandestine appeared, so I dug the whole thing, even if it was pretty short.

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@StageGhost Thats a very good point. I never thought to pay attention to the musical cues! I’ll have to get back to you when I watch it again.

@sayasha The fact that it could be a nonlinear story is interesting :thinking: I wonder if watching it in any particular order makes any kind of difference. Then again, maybe there is no right or wrong way to watch it.