Giant Steps – “Tolerate”


Stark black and white, a crowded city backdrop, old fashioned cameras, and people doing yoga are just some of the visual elements in the music video for Tolerate by Giant Steps. Directed and edited by Dorna Aslanzadeh.

Aslanzadeh told us about her video:

The video is very inspired by the song. When I was researching it prior to meeting with the band I realized the song references the New York street photographer, Weegee (Arthur Fellig). I wasn’t overly familiar with Weegee’s work so I had to do some research. I learned that Weegee started out shooting crime scenes and the ‘darker’ side of urban life then moved into experimental film and distorted imagery, so of course that became the foundation for the video.

Aslanzadeh explained that she was trying to juxtapose Weegee’s aesthetic over Giant Step’s “retro” sound. The result harkens to 1950’s graphic design, compositional elements of photography, and perhaps even the aesthetic of film noir. The triangles then are a representation of, “…Weegee’s development from the straight to the complex and one of his ways of image distortion through geometrical shapes. Triangles and diamonds have a strong linearity and definition; I wanted clear juxtaposition of the images.”

Who exactly is everyone gazing at in the film?

I’d like to keep it somewhat mysterious and quite open for interpretation. It does of course touch upon representation and observation. In the end I’m trying to portray a sense of loss or emptiness. This seems to coincide with the film’s focus on the human body. There is something about choreography, performance and limbs that is very appealing to me.

You can check out Tolerate right here!

Nick Martin is a writer from Urbana, Illinois. His primary interests are pop-culture criticism,  graphic novels and comicbooks, contemporary fiction, and 20th century history/philosophy. When he’s not writing, Nick likes to trim his mustache and tell jokes.