Join Thom Yorke on a Trippy Elevator Ride in Radiohead’s “Lift” Music Video
Director Oscar Hudson brings his surrealist aesthetic to yet another Radiohead video.
Published on September 12, 2017

Film director Oscar Hudson is having a hell of a week. Last Friday, Carnage and Young Thug debuted his disorienting, gruesome video for their collaborative track “Homie,” and it was one of the most intriguing videos we’ve seen all year. Today Hudson’s onto even bigger things, as his video for recently released Radiohead rarity “Lift” was shared by the band a few hours ago.

This isn’t the first time that Thom Yorke and Co. have worked with Hudson, as the director was one of several that the band tapped for 30-second visual interpretations of clips from their 2016 album, A Moon Shaped Pool. In his take on the tinkling final seconds of “The Numbers,” a man sweeps up a bit of dust in a room that’s simultaneously being flooded with a much larger amount of sand. Similar surrealism is also on display in his video for “Lift,” a longtime fan favorite that was included on Radiohead’s 20th anniversary reissue of their classic album OK Computer, entitled OKNOTOK


Taking a literal approach to the title and Yorke’s lyrics, Hudson packs the singer into a lift (or, in American parlance, an elevator) that’s going down to the ground floor of what appears to be the world’s most bizarre apartment building. At first, the only abnormal thing is that new passengers seem to embark on every floor, and only ride down one floor (a major elevator etiquette faux pas). After a few stops though, the doors open to reveal plants strewn on the floor, a restroom, a dining room, and even some gravity-defying floors-- Hudson seems to be fond of skewed, unearthly perspectives, as that was also a big aspect of the “Homie” video. Yorke is confronted with increasingly disconcerting scenes as we hurtle to floor #1, and what he finds there is the weirdest of all.

Listen to all of OKNOTOK on Spotify, watch the video for another previously-unreleased track from the compilation here, and check out more of Hudson’s work on his website

Patrick Lyons
Patrick Lyons is a music writer based in Portland who is equally enthralled by black metal and Southern rap-- catch him making maddeningly eclectic choices on the aux cord.
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