In their video for the Reflektor single, “We Exist,” Arcade Fire decided to use their six-plus minutes of screen time to tell a haunting story about a young man’s struggle to come out in a small town.
The video stars Spiderman‘s Andrew Garfield as a cross-dresser grappling with his sexual identity. While Garfield is currently playing a superhero in every movie theater in the country, he gives Jared Leto a run for his Dallas Buyer’s Club money in the role, fully committing to playing the part of a tormented teen.
The camera follows him as he gets dressed, dons a blonde wig and heels and heads to a local waterhole, where he’s harassed by the bar’s patrons. But what starts out as a hate crime ends with joy as Garfield’s character rapturously dances on stage with the band at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It’s a tense, riveting video that adds even greater depth to the already meaningful song.