When I first watched this video, it took me a while to figure what it was reminding me of. I finally realized that the film was making me think of an 80s zombie film called The Dead Pit, in which an amnesia victim finds herself locked up in a mental hospital that is so overrun by zombies.
Visually, the video really does have a retro feel to it. With the grainy cinematography and the relatively small group of patients, it’s easy to imagine that this video could be an old Italian or French horror film from the early 80s. One could easily imagine bits and pieces of the video appearing in one of Lucio Fulci’s post-Zombi, pre-Manhattan Baby films or perhaps one of the films that Jean Rollin did around the time that he directed The Night of the Hunted. For a while there, psych wards were a very popular film setting. I imagine that had something to do with the success of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
Well, maybe not everything. This video, for instance, suggests that some things have changed but that it might not have been as easy a change as the lyrics suggest. The thing I like about this video is that, even though the subject matter is change, it still has this weird retro feel. So, it’s like, “Everything’s changed …. back!”
I do have to say, though, things have certainly changed for me over the past few years. I was just thinking about it earlier today. Way back in 2010, when I first started writing for this site, I was a neurotic and self-destructive and maybe just a little bit insecure. I was one of those people who would specifically start arguments and fights with people just so I could revel in the drama. It was my way of acting out at the world, largely because I was just in a really angry place at the time.
But the years have passed and the times have changed and I’m in a much better place today. A lot of it, I know, had to do with just growing up and discovering that being an immature brat wasn’t as fulfilling (or as cute) as I had been led to believe. A lot of it had to do with writing for this site and discovering that I didn’t have to act out to get attention. I could just state my opinions and make my arguments and people would actually respond. That was a big lesson for me and it played a big role in me gaining the confidence necessary to become a …. well, I wouldn’t say a grown-up. I still don’t consider myself to be a grown-up. I’ve still got a lot of maturing to do. But I’m definitely a much happier person today than I was in 2009.
So remember! Be supportive of the writers and film reviewers in your life because, in a way, you’re helping them become better people.
Today’s music video of the day is for Robert Palmer’s cover of I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On, a song that was originally recorded by Cherelle in 1984. Palmer, whose songs epitomized the 80s, would have been 71 years old today.
If this video looks familiar, that may be because it shares the same concept behind Palmer’s videos for Addicted To Loveand Simply Irresistible, both of which were also directed by photographer Terence Donavon. Once again, Palmer, looking like he should be trading commodities on Wall Street, performed while a group of statuesque models “played” his band behind him. The video, however, added another group of models, dressed in white, who danced to the music and who had better rhythm than the models who made up Palmer’s band.
“The object was to close down the streets. If there’s one thing people in LA hate, it’s streets closing down, and we’ve always felt bands should shake things up. We achieved it because the police stopped us filming. Were we worried about being arrested? Not at the time…”
— Adam Clayton on the video for Where The Streets Have No Name
How close did the members of U2 come to getting arrested for performing on the rooftop of a liquor store in the middle of downtown Los Angeles? It depends on who you ask.
The video’s director, Meiert Avis, claimed that everything in the video is a hundred percent authentic and that the events show in the video happen in “almost real time.” When the police showed up, U2 was in the process of giving a live concert in downtown Los Angeles. Before being shut down by the police, the band performed an 8-song set. (Of course, four of those songs were performances of Where The Streets Have No Name.) The video’s producer, Michael Hamlyn, came close to being arrested while he was arguing with the police after they ordered the band to descend from the roof.
However, U2’s then-manager, Paul McGuinness, said in 2007 interview that the video deliberately exaggerated the extent of the band’s conflict with the police. According to McGuinness, the band was actually hoping that the police would give them some free publicity by forcefully shutting down the performance. Instead, the police apparently kept giving the band extensions so that they could finish up the video. In this telling, Bono claiming that the police were shutting them down was less about what was actually happening and more just Bono being Bono.
71 years ago today, Andy Kaufman was born in New York City.
The self-described “song and dance man” often expressed his displeasure at being called a “comic,” but it can not be denied that he changed the face of American comedy. As Kaufman once put it, “I am not a comic, I have never told a joke. … The comedian’s promise is that he will go out there and make you laugh with him… My only promise is that I will try to entertain you as best I can.” Kaufman’s brand of performance art was featured on both Saturday Night Live and Taxi. When Kaufman died of lung cancer at the young age of 35, many refused to believe that he had died and instead said that, like Kaufman’s wrestling career and his Tony Clifford persona, it was just another elaborate hoax. To this day, there are Kaufman truthers out there who are waiting for Andy to come out of hiding.
R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe was one of those who spent his teenage years watching Andy Kaufman on Saturday Night Live. Man on the Moon was Stipe’s tribute to Andy Kaufman and the song is full of references to Kaufman’s life. Kaufman was famed for Elvis impersonations and Stipe even attempts to imitate the King himself when sings, “Hey, baby, are we losing touch?” Stipe has also said that the song was meant to be a tribute to Kurt Cobain and that the refrain of “yeah yeah yeah” was Stipe’s way of paying homage to Cobain’s frequent use of the word in his lyrics.
The video was directed over three days in Antelope Valley in California. The video opens with Stipe in the desert, catching a ride from Bill Berry and eventually reaching a truck stop where he and the other customers watch Andy Kaufman perform on TV.
Let us all come together now to wish a happy 72nd birthday to John Carpenter!
John Carpenter is not only one of the greatest horror and sci-fi directors of all time, he’s also an acclaimed composer. We all know, of course, that he was responsible for the iconic theme song of Halloween. However, he’s also released two albums of his own original, non-soundtrack music, Lost Themes and Lost Themes II.Utopian Facade, today’s music video of the day, is the last track on Lost Themes II.
This video features a running android. As you might be able to guess, utopia isn’t quite as utopian as it has perhaps been advertised to have been. The android is played by Erika Angel while Stuart Morales is credited as playing “Avatar.”
It’s a very atmospheric piece of music and proof that John Carpenter is as brilliant a musician as he is a filmmaker.
Tuesday was a very, very long day and you’ll have to excuse me if my brain is a little bit flat right now.
Instead of my usual explanation about why I like the apocalyptic tone of this video, I’m just going to share it and wish a happy birthday to the one and only Skrillex. Sonny John Moore, the music genius who is also known as Skrillex and whose music has been a consistent soundtrack to every worthwhile event of the past 16 years, is 32 years old today!
I’m also going to point out that this song features the amazing Alvin Risk. Love you, Alvin!
I’m also going to wish all of you a good and happy Wednesday! I’m about to pass out here but hopefully, I will wake up in a few hours and I’ll be prepared to basically conquer Wednesday and use it as a base camp for the rest of the week. Sorry if my metaphors are lacking in coherence. I haven’t had much sleep.
And, finally, I’m going to invite all of you to …. enjoy!