Arcade Fire Premieres 'Scenes From the Suburbs' at SXSW

Kevin Westenberg
Arcade Fire

Grammy-winning indie rock band Arcade Fire transferred the moody ambience of its music to the big screen with "Scenes From the Suburbs," a 30-minute film that had its U.S. debut at Austin's SXSW festival.

The film, co-written by brothers/bandmates Win and Will Butler along with director Spike Jonze, chronicles the lives of several suburban teens whose innocence is interrupted by the ongoing threat of a war going on in the rest of the country.

The short film includes snippets of several songs from the band's award-winning album "The Suburbs" -- including "Modern Man," "Half Light," "Suburban War," "Month of May" and the title track -- and features cameos from band members posing as policemen, fry cooks and other figures in the town imprisoned by martial law.

Video: "Scenes From the Suburbs" Trailer

SXSW 2011 Main Page

Will Butler, who was on-hand at Austin's Alamo Ritz theater for a Q&A following the film's final SXSW screening, said the intention of the film -- which features a Win Butler voice-over a la "Stand By Me" and boasts more flashbacks (or flash-forwards?) than a typical episode of "Lost" -- was not to create a straight-forward narrative based on the music. "We didn't set out to make a movie with a story," he said. "It was more like, 'Oh, we can make a movie with Spike Jonze? Let's put some of our music in that.'"

Scenes from the film were used to create the music video for the track "The Suburbs," which was released in November 2010. "Scenes from the Suburbs" is scheduled for a DVD release this spring.