A music video for the single was directed by Mark Romanek and released on January 18, 1997. It portrays a despairing father played by Reznor who mourns a dead child in his gothic estate, losing himself in the consumption of absinthe. The theme was inspired by the art of Edward Gorey. It also references The Gashlycrumb Tinies. Other references include Gustav Klimt’s painting The Kiss (1907–1908) and a “Scanning Machine” designed by Frenchman François Willème in 1860.
Charlie Clouser, Danny Lohner, and Chris Vrenna appear in the video, most notably playing string instruments at the beginning of the video.
Joanne Gair’s work with Nine Inch Nails on “The Perfect Drug” won her the makeup portion of the best hair/makeup in a music video at the Music Video Production Awards. –Wikipedia
One of the most prolific and visionary music video directors of the 1990s and early 21st century, Mark Romanek was a writer and filmmaker whose unique and often disturbing visual style helped to pave the way for his subsequent work in feature films. After serving briefly under Brian De Palma, he broke into the burgeoning music video field in the late 1980s, quickly establishing himself through videos for artists ranging from Beck and Fiona Apple to Johnny Cash and Michael Jackson. Romanek’s videos were lushly filmed, filled with intimate and often provocative images, and on occasion, controversial, as the perverse visions in his clip for Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” proved. The acclaim over his video work led to numerous commercial spots as well as one feature-length film, the chilly psycho-thriller One Hour Photo (2002). The film’s moderate success lent to many other announced projects, none of which came to fruition; however, his status as one of the most talented filmmakers… read more