By Zach Collier
Today, The Killers released Notes From A Quiet Town, a thirty minute film from Three Zero Pictures and Sorø Films. The piece features live performances of “Cody,” “Terrible Thing,” and “Quiet Town,” interspersed with additional interviews from Nephi residents not included on The Killers’ latest record, Pressure Machine.
Director Robert Machoian and cinematographer Oscar Ignacia Jiménez have created something profoundly moving here. Shot on Super 8 film, the whole thing feels beautifully anachronistic. The small-town nature of Nephi means that a lot of the homes and structures have been around for decades. It feels like watching The Killers perform in the 50’s – until the winner of the Bathing Beauty competition mentions signing up to compete on Instagram, or a man takes to the sky with a GoPro on his helmet before parachuting into the local rodeo.
Musicians Brandon Flowers, Ronnie Vannucci Jr, Robbie Connolly, Snake Blanton, Erica Canales, and Amanda Brown are at the top of their game. From a homemade stage in someone’s backyard, they deliver authentic performances to the neighbors that in no way feel half baked or condescending. Humanity is on full display, and the film reminds you that famous musicians are still humans with families and relatives from small towns like Nephi.
The most haunting aspect of the film comes in the form of the unstoppable Union Pacific train: a source of life and industry as well as laborious monotony and tragic death. Flowers and Blanton’s rendition of “Terrible Thing” from an empty school gymnasium is chill inducing. The isolation in that gym, juxtaposed with the images of community and the noise of the Union Pacific train, set the stage perfectly for the subject matter of “Terrible Thing” – an ode to those who commit suicide in tight-knit communities because they’ve been rejected for who they are.
Notes From A Quiet Town was released ahead of the deluxe version of Pressure Machine. It’s is a must watch not just for Killers fans, but also for Utahns of all walks of life. There’s something magical about seeing your home represented in such a profound, authentic, and beautiful way.
The deluxe version of Pressure Machine drops tomorrow, March 25, 2022.