Music artist Sia has released a new video for her single "Elastic Heart." It stars Shia LaBeouf and child dancer Maddie Ziegler.
And once again, LaBeouf strips down to (almost) nothing.
Let me walk you through it.
The video takes place entirely in a warehouse space where the enormous metal cage from Planet of the Apes is in storage. No one besides LaBeouf and Ziegler appears in the video, nor does the action ever leave this monotone, empty room. In the space of five minutes the two of them — him in a form-hugging pair of boxer briefs, her in a dancer's leotard — fling themselves about inside the cage with a never-ending tension; Ziegler is mostly playful and rowdy, while LaBeouf projects fear and need.
At one point, Ziegler squeezes through the bars, but LaBeouf's (surprisingly ripped) frame is too big to join her. It ends with the two of them in a desperate struggle against their separated fates, unwilling to be apart but unable to be together. It's a heady, emotional experience that's intentionally left open to interpretation.
Sia's fans believe that Ziegler and LaBeouf's interpretive dance is about the singer's troubled relationship with her own father. Ziegler is obviously Sia's stand-in, sporting a platinum blonde wig that matches Sia's own, while LaBeouf is meant to represent her father. It makes sense. The two of them act out a deeply complex parent/child struggle, channeling the kind of love U2 opined about in "With or Without You."
Take a look.
It may or may not be high art, but even if it is, it's still hard to get past the fact that a 28-year-old man with a history of strange behavior is dancing in flesh-tone underwear with a 12-year-old girl.
Aside from his movie career and his recent highly publicized meltdown, LaBeouf starred in a music video for Sigur Rós in 2012, in which at one point he performed while completely naked. He has also directed a number of music videos for various artists.