Music Video of the Day: Girlschool by Britny Fox (1988, dir. ???)

Of course there’s a video by a band named Britny Fox called Girlschool that came out in 1988. It wouldn’t be the weird world it is if that didn’t happen the same year as the band Girlschool did a cover of Fox On The Run.

I thought this was going to be a short post, but there’s a fair amount of info here.

First, yes, yes they were really there. According to an interview with bassist Billy Childs, they must have used some sort of cloth because he remembers being able to see the girls in the room while they were playing their part. He doesn’t know how it worked. Although at least as recently as 2015, he still wants to know exactly how they pulled that off. I’m assuming it operated the same way as a two-way mirror. That’s as far as I can go, short of digging into physics. It’s something that you see when you’re in a brightly-lit room, and don’t see if you are in a darkly-lit room.

While I can’t explain exactly how it works, I can show you some of the seams.

The clock is flat.

During the transition you can still see the bulletin board and clock.

The band is hiding behind Bach.

This part is kind of amazing to me. The band manager at the time had the foresight to film behind the scenes during the shooting. Here is the general behind-the-scenes stuff.

Now comes two people you might recognize in this video.

The first is the lady with the headphones. That is Kim Anderson who apparently did work on numerous videos, and is still remembered to this day along with other famous women from heavy metal videos. The band manager also edited together footage that included her.

You can see a super-short interview with her below.

The second is the teacher. That is Marianne Muellerleile. You may know her from one of her current 224 acting credits. The one that comes to mind is probably the wrong Sarah Connor from The Terminator (1984). However, she’s one of those actors who if a show had some success, then she was probably in at least one episode of it. My thanks go out to Billy Childs for bringing up where she was from in that aforementioned interview. It wasn’t coming to me.

The last is a quote from I Want My MTV. It’s from Kari Wuhrer talking about a time they shot the show Remote Control in Florida:

Kari Wuhrer: We shot in Florida during the third season, and Britny Fox were on the show as contestants. It was the height of hair metal. I hit on their singer. The next thing I knew, I was getting tattooed and I was on tour with them. He was so dumb, my father called him “the house plant.” As soon as the tour ended, I never heard from him again.

There you go. It’s one of the dumbest metal videos I’ve ever seen. At least Cherry Pie by Warrant was meant to be a parody. Yet, this does have some nice effects work. I just don’t know why it’s in this.


Shattered Politics #77: Thank You For Smoking (dir by Jason Reitman)

Thank_you_for_smoking_PosterI have always hated those commercials. is an organization that claims to be dedicated to eradicating smoking.  Their smug commercials are essentially the height of hipster douchebaggery, a bunch of self-consciously cool people wandering around and harassing random people about whether or not they smoke.  And then, of course, there was the commercial where they all gathered outside a tobacco company and pretended to be dead.  Of course, the truth about is that they are essentially the same people who, in high school, would get offended whenever anyone wore a short skirt.  I really can not stand people like that.  (And don’t even get me started on those assholes who appear in the Above The Influence commercials.)  Myself, I don’t smoke because I have asthma.  But, seriously, whenever I see a commercial, I’m tempted to run down to 711 and start.

And so maybe that’s why I like the 2005 comedy Thank You For Smoking.

The hero of Thank You For Smoking is Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), a lobbyist for the tobacco industry, who is first seen appearing on a talk show and winning over a hostile audience by announcing that the tobacco industry is going to be investing millions in researching way to keep young people from smoking and shaking the hand of a teenage honor student who is dying from lung cancer.  Over the course of the film, Nick shows us how he does business, everything from defending tobacco companies on talk shows to convincing a former Marlboro Man-turned-cancer-patient to drop his law suit.  When Nick isn’t working, he’s hanging out with his best friends (who are lobbyists for both the liquor and the gun industries), trying to bond with his son (Cameron Bright), or having sex with a reporter (Katie Holmes).

Now, in most movies, Nick Naylor would be the villain.  However, in Thank You For Smoking, Nick becomes a hero by default, if just because everyone who disagrees with him is even worse than he is.  Add to that, Nick has the benefit of being played by Aaron Eckhart while all of his opponents are played by balding actors with ugly beards.

Another reason that I liked Thank You For Smoking was because the main villain was a senator from Vermont and it’s about time somebody stood up to the tyranny of Vermont.  Ortolan Finistirre (William H. Macy) has built a career out of campaigning against the tobacco industries and why shouldn’t he?  Who, other than Nick Naylor, is willing to defend them?  Finistirre’s latest plan is to change the law so that every pack of cigarettes has to be branded with a skull and crossbones warning.

When Nick and Finistirre finally face off, it’s a battle between those who believe in allowing people the freedom to make their own choices and those who hide their totalitarian impulse behind claims that they’re working for the greater good.

Thank You For Smoking was Jason Reitman’s first film.  And while it may be a bit too episodic and it frequently struggles to maintain a consistent tone, it’s still a lot better than both Labor Day and Men, Women, & Children.