Music Video of the Day: The Name Of The Game by ABBA (1977, dir. Lasse Hallström)


The first question I had was probably the first one that came to your mind. The answer is that the game they are playing is called “Fia-spel”. It’s a Scandinavian version of the German board game “Mensch ärgere dich nicht”, which is a variation of Parcheesi/Ludo.

The thing that always fascinates me with music videos is how they choose to use lip-syncing. This time around the song is entirely Frida and Agnetha singing, but they also have Benny and Björn lip-sync some of the lines, so it appears that Frida and Agnetha’s voices are coming out of them.

You’ll notice that at times the lyrics become things they are saying to each other over a game of Fia-spel rather than coming across as being sung. They also do it in such a way that to the viewer it’s as if the person who lip-syncs lyrics is being given an answer in normal speech. It also dips in and out of those parts.

There seems to be two levels to this game between the members of ABBA. The first is just playing the game. The other is the higher level that intersects the first level at certain parts where lip-syncing happens. I’m sure there’s a connection to the game itself. However, I have never played any of the board games mentioned at the beginning of this post.

I’m not really sure what the purpose of the silent film look and obstructions in front of the camera are in the video. The silent film thing doesn’t even bookend the video. The obstructions add some style that doesn’t really work for me. I do like the spinning part. It fits with where the song is at that point. I think the rare cutaways to the guitar and piano are nice too. I can’t put it into words, but I think it was the right call to not show who’s playing. In any other ABBA music video, you’d see Benny and Björn during those parts.

Finally, the little pig-nose thing Agnetha does is nice. It’s moments like that which make me wonder how much of the music videos Hallström did with ABBA were scripted, and how much were improvised. I can’t imagine Hallström telling Agnetha to do that.

Enjoy!

ABBA retrospective:

  1. Bald Headed Woman by The Hep Stars (1966, dir. ???)
  2. En Stilla Flirt by Agnetha & ??? (1969, dir. ???) + 8 Hootenanny Singers Videos From 1966
  3. Tangokavaljeren by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  4. Vårkänslor (ja, de’ ä våren) by Agnetha & Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  5. Titta in i men lilla kajuta by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  6. Nu Ska Vi Vara Snälla by Björn & Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  7. Finns Det Flickor by Björn & Sten Nilsson (1969, dir. ???)
  8. Nu Ska Vi Opp, Opp, Opp by Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  9. Det Kommer En Vår by Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  10. Beate-Christine by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  11. En Stilla Flirt by Agnetha & ??? (1969, dir. ???) + 8 Hootenanny Singers Videos From 1966
  12. Att Älska I Vårens Tid by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  13. Min Soldat by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  14. Söderhavets Sång by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  15. Ring, Ring by ABBA (1973, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  16. Ring, Ring by ABBA (1973, dir. ???)
  17. Love Isn’t Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough) by ABBA (1973, dir. ???)
  18. Waterloo by ABBA (1974, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  19. Hasta Mañana by ABBA (1974, dir. ???)
  20. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  21. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by ABBA (1975, dir. ???)
  22. Bang-A-Boomerang by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  23. SOS by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  24. Mamma Mia by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  25. Knowing Me, Knowing You by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  26. Tropical Loveland by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  27. When I Kissed The Teacher by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  28. Tiger by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  29. Money, Money, Money by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  30. Money, Money, Money by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  31. Fernando by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström) + Spanish Version
  32. Dancing Queen by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  33. That’s Me by ABBA (1977, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  34. Knowing Me, Knowing You by ABBA (1977, dir. Lasse Hallström)
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11 responses to “Music Video of the Day: The Name Of The Game by ABBA (1977, dir. Lasse Hallström)

  1. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: Thank You For The Music/Gracias Por La Música by ABBA (1977/1978, dir. Lasse Hallström) | Through the Shattered Lens

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  11. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie! (A Man After Midnight) by ABBA (1979, dir. Lasse Hallström) | Through the Shattered Lens

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