Seated in rows in what appears to be a cavernous high school gymnasium, identically dressed older people in dark, shaded glasses silently perform exercises in unison. One woman in the middle dares to remove her literal blinders and smiles, prompting another woman to remove her sunglasses and return her gaze.
They depart together from the confines of conformity, joining each in other in a romantic, Eden-like idyll within a brightly lit greenhouse.
This simple love story powers the music video for Richmond-based singer and songwriter Anousheh's newest single, "Bones." Directed by local filmmaker Hunter Brumfield, the video was chosen as an official selection of the 2018 LA Film Festival in Los Angeles.
Brumfield will be at the festival Sept. 23 when his work will be shown at the ArcLight Culver City theater alongside music videos for world-famous bands such as Radiohead, a Tribe Called Quest and Tune-Yards. "Bones" is one of 21 music videos that were selected from more than 4,000 submissions.
"I am, like, over the moon that I was included in that," says Brumfield, a Virginia commonwealth University film-school graduate who grew up in Henrico and Hanover counties and graduated from Patrick Henry High School. "I'm so humbled that [the music video directors] that I used as inspiration for my piece, I'm screening next to them now. It's a very amazing and humbling feeling. And I feel like I don't deserve it, but it's happening so I'm going to go with it."
Brumfield is best known for the quirky, spare and emotionally powerful 2016 music video he directed for the song "I Don't Wanna Be Funny Anymore" by acclaimed indie rocker and Richmond native Lucy Dacus. It's been viewed more than 300,000 times on YouTube.
"From the very beginning I was really completely in tune with his vision and I was so impressed with him and I've loved the take that he had for the song," says Anousheh, who collaborated with Washington electronic music duo Deep Dish on the 2005 song "Say Hello," which was nominated for a 2006 Grammy for best dance recording. She also provided vocals for the Deep Dish song "Flashdance," which reached No. 3 on the U.K. Singles Chart.
Brumfield "was a visionary and I'm super-impressed and excited with the final product," says Anousheh, who also performs in the "Bones" video.
- Hunter Brumfield
A Scott's Addition resident who edits and directs television commercials, Brumfield credits his father, local writer Dale Brumfield, a longtime contributor to Style Weekly, with instilling in him a love for films.
"I specifically remember watching the original 'King Kong' from the '30s," Hunter Brumfield says. "I remember watching that and I remember thinking this was so cool that people make a living by creating their own universe and their own reality and then they get to share it with people, and that just seems like the most freeing thing you could possibly do.
"My whole life I've wanted to be a film director and that's the only thing I've ever wanted to do. There has never been a moment where I have not wanted to be one. So every step that I've taken in my life has been to move towards that goal." S