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Rooftop Screamers

average rating is 3 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Sep 24, 2023

Film Reviews
Rooftop Screamers
Directed by:
Michael Collins
Written by:
Michael Collins

‘Rooftop Screamers’ is the brainchild of Portland based drummer and award winning songwriter Michael Collins. It’s a platform in which he combines his passion for ‘original songwriting and eclectic collaboration. Though Collins has yet to garner widespread acclaim for his work, the music video for his song ‘Another Life’, featuring Tim Smith, suggests that the potential for future stardom is there, even if there is still much work to do to reach that level.


As a song, ‘Another Life’ is solid - though self-made comparisons to true music icons such as David Bowie should certainly be avoided - with a catchy chorus which is certain to stick in your mind. Whilst it doesn’t break free from the indie music zeitgeist, which has become more mainstream in recent years through the likes of ‘The 1975’, and features autotune and a beat that feels repetitive after the second chorus, it is nonetheless a solid entry into the genre. It may not stand out from the crowd in any meaningful way, but it is nonetheless a very listenable song, particularly for fans of the genre.


Rooftop Screamers’ music video for ‘Another Life’ is, in all honesty, rather underwhelming, lacking plot and feeling more like a visualiser than an actual music video. Beginning with a dreamlike reminiscent feel of a past world left behind, conveyed through the use of film, or perhaps more likely a faux film filter. The happy images are hauntingly kafkaesque, a sad reminiscent of what could have been in the other life sung about by Collins. As a rocket takes off in the background we are grounded almost in a 60s, or perhaps 70s or 80s setting, at the height of the Cold War and the Space Race.


This kind of imagery is perhaps the films greatest asset - with these images, though they eventually fade away - reminiscent of a time in which youth and innocence, against the backdrop of an increasingly unstable political and international setting and increasingly volatile social environment, found a way to prevail. These images, even for those who didn’t live through such times, remind us of another life, a simpler time perhaps, in which there were fewer pressures on life. This is a nostalgic ideal best conveyed through films and tv - with iconic 80s films such as ‘The Goonies’ and ‘Stand By Me’ particularly pertinent, whilst younger generations will naturally think of ‘Stranger Things’.


Though the images begin strongly and meaningfully, they increasingly feel more and more plastic. They become repetitive and basic, with far too much imagery of plants and nature, with transitions which are of a far lesser quality than those earlier images. Additionally, the music video has a frenetic pace to it, transitioning between images at far too rapid a pace - one which doesn’t account for the stillness that is natural in an idyllic other life.


Therefore, whilst ‘Rooftop Screamers’ shows promise through ‘Another Life’, it is neither the complete package in terms of music - feeling too safe - or video - lacking much invention.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Music Video
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