Despite the down-home vibe Justin Timberlake has described for his forthcoming album “Man of the Woods,” the songs and videos he’s released thus far are futurist, from the electronic throb of the first track “Filthy” to the latest, “Supplies,” which he dropped this morning. The song is a Pharrell-helmed, trap-ist groove that has a much stronger melody than “Filthy,” and the video is a surreal, special-effects-heavy vision of a dystopian future that.
Reading descriptions of the many different futurist scenes in the Dave Meyers-helmed clip would take more time than it would to simply watch it (which you can below), but it opens with a scene highly reminiscent of David Bowie in “The Man Who Fell to Earth” — the 1975 Nicolas Roeg film where the singer plays an alien overwhelmed by the media and our planet’s pleasures of the flesh — wherein Timberlake is sitting in a room with multiple televisions screaming out the headlines of today: #MeToo, anti-racism demonstrations, Harvey Weinstein, Black Lives Matter and, inevitably, President Trump. From there, Timberlake and his on-screen companion — Mexican actress Eiza Gonzalez Reyna — race through a series of surreal future city scenes in a vaguely police state. They even find time for a love scene during the song’s middle section.
It’s all very dream-like, and the end of the clip implies that it was — or was it? Its closing, post-apocalyptic scene brings together Timberlake and a group of dirt-covered children with an immaculately dressed Reyna in a bleak landscape, and one of the kids speaks to the camera telling the viewer to wake up. Timberlake and Meyers take the viewer on a long walk between the opening scene and that closing message, but at least the point is made.