Music Video of the Day: The Perfect Kiss by New Order (1985, dir. Jonathan Demme)

Rest in peace, Jonathan Demme.

New Order is a band that was formed by the remaining members of Joy Division after the death of lead singer Ian Curtis. To most people, they are probably best-known for their song Blue Monday. That’s how I know of them. I think this is the first time I have heard another song by them.

Obviously the video is notable for the fact that it runs just short of 11 minutes with credits. Visually, there is a disconnection between the members of the band, and themselves with their instruments. There isn’t even a shot of the whole band together till halfway through the video. There’s a solemn mood about the whole thing–from the walls, to the looks on their faces. It was apparently shot in the band’s practice room. You can see a Joy Division poster in the background, which adds even more sadness to the whole thing.

From what I have read, this was a live video. That would explain why their isn’t a lot of glamour here. Maybe if this were on a stage, and in front of an audience, then it would. But this is just in their practice room. There is a nice article over on Billboard magazine’s website that goes into more detail than I can, but it boils down to the same thing. It is a noteworthy live video that captures New Order–warts and all–performing an exhausting composition live, alone, and far from any kind of glamour or artiness of a Blue Monday ’88 or Regret. If I had to guess, the disconnection was intentional in order to visually convey the separation of the different artists’ parts in the song, the concentration that purges the individual to a well-oiled machine, and the fact that some of the song was performed on the fly, while other parts were pre-programmed.


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