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One Video: Supernova by Ansel Elgort

One Video: Supernova by Ansel Elgort


Only watch as much as you think you can handle

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Every week, a slew of new music videos hits the web. Watching them at your desk is not time theft because you deserve it; think of it as a nice reward for surviving another work week. But what if you don’t have time to watch every video — maybe you have a deadline, a hungry pet, or other grown-up concerns. In consideration of your schedule, Lizzie and Kaitlyn bring you a series called One Video. Each week we’ll tell you “one video” you need to watch, why, and for how long.

This week’s video: “Supernova” by Ansel Elgort

Kaitlyn: There were a lot of solid candidates for “the one music video you need to watch this week” this week, including Taylor Swift’s interpretation of a rap video (boats! high ponytails! yet another glitter hoodie! how many did she buy?), a Rock ‘em Sock ‘em robots-themed dance-off from Dua Lipa, and something by The Killers that allegedly “moved” some people. Also, Diplo bought Doc Martens. And Troye Sivan saw Footloose. A Boogie turned into a cartoon and Lizzie said “What does ‘you got a big body, but a little face’ mean?” Who cares! All of this was rendered totally irrelevant by the release of a new Ansel Elgort video.

ansel elgort

It was directed by Colin Tilley, who also directed Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” and Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.” It stars Ansel Elgort as a sweaty person.

Lizzie: This Ansel Elgort video is for his song “Supernova,” which is also the title of his upcoming EP. “Supernova” sounds like Ansel woke up from a long nap during which he had a very believable dream that he was a rapper. It’s hard to say if this will hold up thematically with the rest of the EP, though apparently there’s a song on it called “Ansel Back in Time,” and I can’t wait till that one comes out.

Who is Ansel Elgort?

Kaitlyn: Ansel is hard to describe, but here are a few ways that we’ve described him before:

I would add that he strikes me as the type of guy who emailed this High School Musical-inspired country-rap song to his local radio station with the note “So... I did a thing :)” I would also add that I love him.

Lizzie: If you’re a longtime listener, first-time caller of One Video, you know that Ansel Elgort is actually a One Video veteran. His video for “Thief” was the one that inspired it all; the one video that needed One Video more than any other video had previously.

Ansel is also a graduate of New York City’s LaGuardia High School, and I think it’s a little suspicious that this song came out the same week we all discovered that Ansel’s high school nemesis, Call Me By Your Name’s Timothée Chalamet, began his own rap career years ago. I’ll admit, the songs are pretty different. Ansel’s is dark and sad, stuffing his emotions into his gut and begging us to like him, while Timothée’s is about statistics.

What’s special about “Supernova” by Ansel Elgort:

Kaitlyn: The tiny flight of standalone stairs in the alley behind Ansel Elgort’s apartment! Where did they come from? How much did they cost? Would they look good in the alley behind my apartment, and would I benefit from jogging it out on some elegant baby stairs whenever I am upset about such standard trials as “Look overhead at the stars, and the ocean / Foggy emotions, moments, erosion?”

Lizzie: Well, the song’s already been stuck in my head for an hour, so that’s not nothing. As for the video, I like that it’s so dark that you can barely tell what’s going on, and the only beacons of light are reflected in the droplets of sweat perched on Ansel’s upper lip.

How long everyone should watch “Supernova” by Ansel Elgort:

Kaitlyn: As much as you can handle. Then watch this similar clip from the frankly disturbing film High School Musical 2, in which Zac Efron plays a Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing-inspired character who is forced to choose between using his body for love and using it for money. How did this air on the Disney Channel? Just wondering!

Lizzie: Once you start watching this video, you might find it difficult to stop, and I mean that sincerely. The lack of any real lighting, paired with random events like Ansel doing hopscotch and a parade of umbrella men, will make you feel like you’re waiting for a big reveal, whether there’s one coming or not. I’m not going to say there is, and I’m not going to say there isn’t.