Shia LaBeouf appeared nude in a new music video for Icelandic indie band Sigur Rós and their song "Fjögur Píanó." Although LaBeouf's involvement in the project has gained the band some instant publicity, it may not be the kind of positive press they were hoping for.
Shia LaBeouf's nude shot in the 8-and-a-half minute music video was the idea of filmmaker Alma Har'el. Together, the director and LaBeouf came up with the idea to feature him naked, disposing of what Sigur Rós was to initially shoot.
"Originally she was going to film us on Super-8 [cameras] in Iceland all playing the piano lines from the song, but then she rang and said she'd met Shia LaBeouf and they'd changed the idea," band bassist Georg Holm told Rolling Stone.
The new concept was much racier, and turned the dour song into an artsy exploration of love and addiction. In the short film, Shia LaBeouf and actress Denna Thomsen make love, get violent, and at one point, even cut each other. Har'el told the Wall Street Journal that the $10,000 video was supposed to show "addiction to drugs, or sex, or anything- and how you get stuck in a cycle."
What critics found, however, was much different: full-frontal nudity from the guy in "Transformers," designed to stimulate interest in Sigur Rós.
"Is putting naked and famous people in music videos the only way veteran indie bands can get attention anymore?" wrote Entertainment Weekly.
The Los Angeles Times wrote a particularly scathing review of the video, noting that "Fjögur Píanó" proves only that "not everything is improved by violence and eroticism." Other adjectives like "pointless," "laughable," "aimless," and "art-school pretension" peppered the critique as well.
While some pointed out that LaBeouf's nudity would inevitably captivate some hardcore fans, many were unimpressed.
"Yawn. This stunt was done in 1972 by Cosmopolitan when they ran a spread of a nude Burt Reynolds. I guess every generation reinvents sex and retro sensation for themselves," wrote Jerry Ballew on the LA Times blog.
"Cheapens his image," agreed another user.