New Arcade Fire Video “We Exist” Stars Andrew Garfield in Drag

by Amy Carlberg

As the Amazing Spiderman, Andrew Garfield is no stranger to skintight costumes. But the outfits he wears in Arcade Fire’s new video, “We Exist,” are revealing in a whole different way.

We kicked off the week with another new video featuring a blonde wig, so this seems like the perfect bookend. Both music videos highlight the performance of gender; how femininity is nothing inherent, but rather a set of learned behaviors. “Please” by Hers and “We Exist” by Arcade Fire, which follows a story of a young person’s struggle with gender identity, both try not to shy away from the pain it takes to carry out this performance, or unlearn those behaviors. 

However, as a straight white dude, is Andrew Garfield really the best person to utilize in interrogating these issues? I mean, like I said, he’s Spiderman right now, so does turning up the spotlight on him really prove that “We Exist”? I guess if you’re a white guy you do, after giving the cast of the video some consideration. Garfield doesn’t have to live the experience he has in the video 24/7, so maybe he’s not the most effective conduit for the pain that can come with it. Arcade Fire once performed on The Colbert Report wearing giant paper mâché heads, though, so when it comes to their artistic sensibilities, I tend to sit back and enjoy the weirdness. 

First, Andrew Garfield shaves his head, and it’s pretty. Then it gets dark. Then it gets crazy. Like, Full Monty crazy. And it only gets better from there.

Arcade Fire are no strangers to the conceptual, as seen in previous videos like “The Wilderness Downtown”. Tell us what you think of “We Exist” below. Has the Montreal indie band taken it too far, or do we commend them for their “good intentions”?


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