18 July, 2008

Mondo Video Friday: Lulz Edition

In an effort to get myself to blog more, I'll be blogging every Friday about various video clips from around the internet that I find especially amusing, pertinent or thought-provoking. This week, the theme is "Videos that make me laugh because of their ineptitude." [Pro tip: If you get the lovely "This video is no longer available" error message, try reloading the page, or going straight to YouTube to watch the video. You can always use the back button on your browser to come back here for my acidic commentary.]

First, let's start off with Scarlett Johansson's video for "Falling Down," from her recently released and incredibly ill-advised collection of Tom Waits covers:

OH, SCARJO. She is such a talented actress--why she felt that she needed to get into the music industry is totally beyond me. Assuming that you already have a successful career, actual talent, lovely and youthful good looks, and millions of dollars, here are the ingredients that one needs to make something like ScarJo has done here:

1. Find a chronically underappreciated, unique musical talent who has been in the industry for decades, and claim his or her work as an "inspiration." If this person is famous for their lack of vocal talent, even better!

2. Make an entire album of covers of this person's songs. Be sure to drown all of the great songs that you select with crazy overproduction, as well as your own inability to carry a tune (don't worry too much about the latter; hopefully, with its evil twin, overproduction, no one will notice! Also, don't skimp when it comes to the pretension of the cover art!

3. To make the video, film some random shit, use your song as background music, and add liberal sprinklings of every young, trust fundy art school student film cliche ever, including: Lars von Trier-esque handheld camera work; shots of yourself looking variously pensive, bored, and vaguely anxious; cool-toned lighting; close-up shots of a process that no one finds particularly new or interesting; something to do with automobiles; overused time-lapse photography.

Stir. Serve chilled. Watch the money (or criticism) roll in! If you're lucky, iTunes might even invite you to contribute a live set to their series of "exclusive downloads"!

Next up, we have Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' video for "Stagger Lee," off of one of my desert island discs, Murder Ballads.

NOT SAFE FOR WORK, or for children, due to lots of swearing and just a bit of homoeroticism. It will come as a surprise to no one that I once wrote a term paper for a music class on the song, the video and the homoerotic dynamics of both (as usual, I read waaaaaay too much into both song and video and used Michel Foucault's seminal The History of Sexuality to support my argument). It's pretty clear as to why I chose to write about it:

Love the song, kind of love the video simply because it is so hilariously bad. Let me count the ways: Nick Cave's dancing, his silver pants, and his Take That! shirt; the fact that there are no women in this video, and yet everyone involved seems somewhat oblivious to the homoerotic subtext of both song and video; the video's complete irrelevance to the actual subject of the song.

I was also going to post that damn Katy Perry video that everyone seems to love, because I hate it, but it won't embed! Blast.

No comments: