The worn, golden gears of the piano scratch and pick with each note. Alone in a vacant home, Alicia Keys stretches out in a wooden chair, wearing an off-the-shoulder sweater and pants. She gets up from the chair.
In the next room, she is wearing a gold strapless dress and pauses every couple of seconds or so to play a note on the keyboard. She taps her foot and raises her arm up in the air to the music. After clutching the microphone, she turns fully to the keyboard and plays in earnest.
Overheard, the golden gear turns in the piano and switches to next part of it. Rain is gushing from the sky as she plays her piano.
The gears turn in a forward motion. The wheel accelerates.
Lit in an azure blue, she stands against a wall at a club and then begins to dance in place. A television shows the previous scene of her in the rain.
Outside, little kids jump in the puddles. People put their hands up and dance. Some people walk with umbrellas. Away from the piano and her hair wringing wet, she joins the crowd.
She is seen in each room again.
The overhead view shows each room as part of a wheel in the piano.
Each part of the wheel represents a part of a creative person’s life. The first room reinforces the solitary of it, with only the person’s thoughts to accompany them as they work on a project. The second is focused on the marketing and selling of it while the third hints at the hedonism and destruction that doesn’t ever stay quiet. Finally, the fourth is the people who the song has reached and helped them through a tough time.
For Alicia Keys, though, the piano is an extension of her. It’s a part of her identity and one she can’t leave without people thinking something is wrong. The piano itself is given a new perspective. The mechanics behind each gear’s spin and lurch is similar to a machine. It’s capable of creating the sound of one of the world’s greatest songs or end up on the bottom of a pile. However, the heart of it is within the person, thinking and putting themselves into each word.
Director: Justin Francis Year: 2007
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