In stark black-and-white, barely moving, poet John Giorno stares just off the camera. He seems lost in the song playing, R.E.M.’s “We All Go Back To Where We Belong.” It’s unnerving — and addicting. This is the “John Version,” and possibly one of the final two music videos for R.E.M. after the band broke up last month.
The other video — the “Kirsten Version” — stars actress Kirsten Dunst. Unlike the poet, the actress can’t keep still, breaking into a smile, biting her lip, fidgeting with her hair.
It’s as if lead singer Michael Stipe put a camera on them, asked them to listen to his band’s swan song for the first time and captured their reaction. The song, a sweet, up-tempo meditation on memories and love fits seamlessly with the scene in the two films. It’s one of the final three songs the band recorded and will appear on a Greatest Hits album to be released in November.
Stipe said in a statement on the band’s Web site that the stark, stripped- down music video had a “gravity and beauty.” He also said working with Giorno and Dunst had been in his mind since first recording the song.
Giorno is no stranger to being the subject of an intimate film. Andy Warhol released the film “Sleep,” consisting of five hours and 20 minutes of Giorno sleeping.
He is also well known for his “Dial-a-Poem” installation that allowed anyone in New York to call a phone number and hear the recording of a poet reading a piece of their work.