I must admit that at times I do pick out music videos or films to write about simply because I know that they will get hits. Despite that, I do tend to gravitate to things that at least other people aren’t talking about, but watch en masse. Today isn’t one of those days. This happens to be one of my favorite songs, that once again, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s soundtrack introduced me to.
The first and most obvious thing is the lead singer is a little person. At a time when they were either Ewoks, Leprechauns, Trolls, and/or Sorcerers on the big screen, we had Tony Lewis belting out songs like Your Love on MTV being broadcast into people’s homes. That’s something a lot of people who are anti-music video forget. These short films brought so much culture to people that they would have been ignorant of were it not for their existence.
Now, to be fair, we also had Phil Fondacaro in Troll (1986) delivering a surprisingly good performance when he was not in costume. But we aren’t here to talk Harry Potter today.
Aside from the size of the lead singer, and them playing that up, I like that this video has four layers of capturing reality built into it. The first is the plan vanilla flavored “have the band stand on a stage and play”. It’s been done to death, and would be repeated in one form or another again and again for decades without any foreseeable end.
The second is when we step behind the scenes of that video and see the camera, crane, and crew shooting that plain vanilla flavored video. We saw that in something like I Ran (So Far Away) by A Flock Of Seagulls as well. It’s the self-reflexive version of what we are looking at.
The third is that throughout this video there is a painting motif to the whole thing. This appears in the backgrounds. Sometimes paint literally is put across the frame. Then there is the girl who is presumedly painting a portrait of Tony as he sings. This is when the video has now stepped from the fantasy of the performance to the reality of the shooting of the video to the fantasy of representing something as a painting.
Then the video goes for one more when it returns the video back to reality once again by pulling the camera out to the street threw the previous layers to show the girl leaving the studio with the painting. It’s a very drab and boring shot to end on with some blue paint that runs down the frame till it cuts to black.
I love that none of these four different places are cleanly segmented from each other. An example is when we see the guitarist leave the stage to go over and look in on the girl doing the painting.
Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I doubt it. One, it is an 1980s video when they really seemed to get creative. Also, this is one of those videos where we know more than just the director. According to IMVDb, Glenn Lazzaro edited the video. He’s worked on his fair share of music videos and other films. Karen Bellone produced the video and seems to have done that for several music videos. Likely both Lazzaro and Bellone have directed or worked on more music videos that are just not properly documented.
I haven’t really strongly mentioned it before, but IMDb really does want submissions of music videos. These are highly undocumented short films that could keep me going till the day I died, and I still would barely get out of the 1980s. Even with Internet Music Video Database and mvdbase, this stuff is still full of holes, and belongs in the central repository that is IMDb.
That said, Mvdbase turns up a bunch more videos for all three of the people I mentioned. I had completely forgotten about that database and will be going back to clean up some of my previous entries. So, submit!