Well, to be honest, I love trains in Europe. One of my fondest memories of Italy was riding the train to Venice. And, when Jeff and I were in the UK last year, I discovered that I absolutely loved the London underground. Everyone told me that I wouldn’t but I did. Of course, I also usually took a Dramamine or two before boarding so I was often kind of out of it.
Outside of the DART train in Dallas, I’ve never really spent any time on any trains in the United States. To be honest, I’m always a little bit shocked to discover that Amtrak is actually a thing. A few years ago, I read an article where someone was complaining that people in the South and the Midwest don’t ever use Amtrak and, as a result, we don’t ever elect politicians who understand the importance of funding the trains. To be honest, down here, we really don’t care about Amtrak. We all own cars and we know where the highways are so we don’t need the trains.
As for this video, Michel Gondry put it together from footage that he shot while riding ten different trains across France. Gondry carefully edited the footage so that, while appearing like a seamless journey, the landscape changes in time to the music. It creates a wonderfully dream-lie and surreal atmosphere, one that reminds me of Gondry’s later work on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
That said, the video starts out so exuberantly but then it takes a bit off a strange turn about halfway through, which really shouldn’t be a shock considering that we’re talking about Gondry and The Chemical Brothers here. While I wouldn’t go as far as to call it body horror (because no one appears to be particularly horrified), it still definitely feels as if our dancers taken a trip into the world of David Cronenberg. Fortunately, things work out in the end. They always do.
The revolution, as they used to say, will be televised.
Of course, those who used to say that were being rather short-sighted. Today, we know that the revolution will be streamed, live tweeted, and it will probably trend until Beyonce knocks it off the list. Revolution, itself, is a term that gets tossed around a lot. Everyone tends to claim that their revolution is the one “true” revolution. It takes a little bit of concentration to keep track of which revolution we’re supposed to support and which one we’re supposed to find horrifying.
With all that in mind, revolution has always been good for sales. The commercialization of rebellion has been around forever. The music video above was released in 1999 but it feels like it could have been released yesterday. When Pepsi thought it would be a good idea to have Kendall Jenner change the world with a can of soda, did they realize they were essentially copying this music video?
Of course, that’s Rosario Dawson, playing the spokesrebel. Rumor has it that Rosario Dawson is currently dating Sen. Cory Booker, who might be our next President. Senator Booker got some attention for himself last year when he announced that he was having an “I am Spartacus” moment, a reminder that even sitting U.S. senators like to fancy themselves as being revolutionaries. Being a rebel pays.
Are we in the past, the present, or the future? It’s an interesting question and one that’s more relevant than you might think. I may be writing this in my present but you’ll be reading it in the future, which of course means that I’m currently speaking to you from the past.
What does that have to do with today’s music video of the day? Perhaps nothing, though I do like the way that this video seems to be a perfect illustration of how people in the past once spent their present visualizing the future. There are oppressive government agents, all wearing suits. There are people fleeing after committing some sort of vague, possibly criminal act. There’s the appropriately decadent club where people dance while the world outside descends into stormy chaos. Today, this video and this song would be considered to be rather retro but, back in 1997, it was all undoubtedly viewed as being quite futuristic.
Needles to say, I like this video. With all the rain and its neon noir atmosphere, it’s a video that seems almost as if it’s been excerpted out of a larger movie. One could easily imagine a 90-minute version of this video, one that would undoubtedly feature a lot more time spent in the storm. It’s a video that does a very good job at suggesting life under a dystopia and while dystopian societies are terrible when it comes to day-to-day living, they have inspired some memorable music videos.
This video is one of the many Chemical Brothers videos to have been directed by Nick Goffey and Dominic Hawley (better known as Dom & Nic). According to the imdb, the cinematographer was Simon Chaudoir, who is credited with not only several other music videos but also with working on two episodes of the British spy series, Spooks. Here in the States, Spooks was known as MI-5. I watched a few episodes when it aired over here. It was a stylish show but I quickly learned not to get too attached to any of the characters.
How do I know that 2019 is going to be a good year?
Because The Chemical Brothers have got a new album coming out! No Geography, their 9th studio album, is set to be released this spring. Today, they released a video for a new song called MAH. What does MAH stand for? Mad as Hell, of course! As for the video, it was shot at a recent show at London’s Alexandra Palace.
Today’s music video of the day is the video for the 2nd track off of The Chemical Brothers’s Further. Things pick up exactly where Snow ended, with the woman swimming under water. (The woman is played by Jenny Godding when she’s swimming and by Romola Garai when she’s not.) When the woman emerges from the water, she is treated to a light show that should be familiar to anyone who has been lucky enough to see The Chemical Brothers perform live.
I know, I know. This is the type of music that drives some people crazy. I happen to love it. It’s all about the way it makes you feel and it makes me feel like dancing.