Category — Video Breakdown
A much-deserved return for our semi-regular feature Video Breakdown here, as seen previously with M.I.A. and Lady Gaga. Last week saw the premiere of The New Pornographers’ latest music video, for their new single ‘Moves’. It features a ton of cameos from musical figures (Ted Leo, Jon Wurster), writers (Julie Klausner) and actors. It’s the last of these that we thought we’d hunt down and catch for you in this edition of Video Breakdown! Check the video itself here.
1. Paul Rudd and Bill Hader
The Moves video is played out like the trailer for an Oscar-nominated biopic of Carl Newman’s life. Before director Tom Scharpling lets us watch his epic trailer, though, we’re given a glimpse of comedy ‘Expectant Dads’, starring Paul Rudd (Role Models, Knocked Up) and Bill Hader (Superbad, Paul). Apparently they play two extreme coin collectors who get pregnant by smoking weed. Bill Hader’s character is married to Melissa Joan Hart. How do I know this? Because Expectant Dads has its own website.
2. Donald Glover
Found amongst the crowd at a New Pornos press conference is a young journalist played by actor and rapper Donald Glover. If you aren’t aware of Glover’s work, do check him out – his music as Childish Gambino is as impressive as it is witty. He’s also one of the best things about the NBC comedy series Community, where he and Danny Pudi’s Abed regularly steal the show with their bromance.
3. Wyatt Cenac
Present amongst the bandmembers as synths man Blaine Thurier is actor and comedian Wyatt Cenac. Though one of the two leads in Medicine for Melancholy, sort of a race-relations Before Sunrise, Cenac is best known as a correspondent on The Daily Show – one of three to make their appearances here.
4. John Hodgman
The second in our trio of Daily Show correspondents to find their way into the Pornos’ video, John Hodgman looks a little like the adult equivalent of a Cabbage Patch Kid. Actually, John Hodgman gets everywhere. While Mitchell and Webb were entertaining us Brits with the PC vs. Mac adverts, it was Hodgman who played the straight man to Justin Long’s Apple product in the American series. Hodgman is also an author, which means he knows more words than you, and appears regularly in the brilliant HBO show Bored To Death.
5. John Oliver
WWL’s favourite cameo on this list, John Oliver gets the dubious honour for three reasons: first of all, he’s the second cameo in the video to feature regularly in Community (as corrupt professor Ian Duncan); second, he’s the third Daily Show correspondent (and we really like The Daily Show) and finally because, like all the most seasoned tea-drinkers in the world, John Oliver is English, and looks exactly like all Americans think we English look. Here he plays an anti-Canadian protester. Of course.
6. Horatio Sanz
Stealing the title of Best Name Amongst The Cameos In This Particular Video from Wyatt Cenac, Sanz is best known as a Saturday Night Live comedian who has appeared in everything from 30 Rock to my favourite kid’s cartoon show about detective students in a microcosm highschool, Fillmore. More impressively, he has the dubious honour of being probably the only person in the world to have appeared on national television playing Saddam Hussein, Ron Jeremy, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Joel and Rosie O’Donnell. Amazing.
7. Kevin Corrigan
Corrigan, who plays Dan Bejar, spends most of the video lurking darkly in the background, bar one scene in which he plays his guitar. With a gun. Corrigan is an actor who tends to lurk around darkly, holding guns. So no change here. You can also catch him brooding with weaponry in True Romance, The Departed, Pineapple Express and a film called Some Guy Who Kills People, which sounds worryingly close to WWL’s own screenplay Eli Roth Kills Some People. A damned shame.
Check back soon, or when the next half-decent music video is released, for some more Video Breakdown action!
February 8, 2011 1 Comment
M.I.A. never wants to feature on MTV again. At least, that’s the only conclusion I can logically come to. Her new video, released on her site and on Youtube last night features, amongst other things, sex, violence and the deadliest game of all: man. Below are the top reasons why ‘Born Free’ will struggle to find airtime during the single’s release. Spoilers are abundant, so I advise you watch the video first here.
1. It’s nine minutes long.
There seems to be a bit of a trend at the moment for explicit and lengthy music videos – Lady Gaga’s recent ‘Telephone’ promo being the most obvious example. While these longer videos allow for more of a story to be explored, they also take up music channel’s time – ‘Born Free’s promo is the length of almost three shorter pop videos. This takes time and money away from the companies involved.
2. It features fat people having sex.
The video starts with what appears to be a police raid on a relatively typical American apartment building (that is to say that it bears almost no resemblance to the one lived in by Monica and co. during Friends). What goes on in seedy apartment buildings? Seedy apartment things. Like sex. During one early scene, the armed police burst into one room to find an overweight gentleman (I’m putting this politely as possible) enjoying sexual intercourse with a haggard looking woman. At this point in the video, one policeman has already struck an innocent woman, and we have seen a elderly man smoking an unnamed substance. And yet it’s the beige underwear of the woman in the sex scene that disturbs most. Why? Because no underwear should ever be beige. Also, we see the haggard ladies breasts, and they are really rather unpleasent. In other words – The Daily Mail will be revolted and, for a completely different reason, so will you.
3. Ginger people are persecuted.
The police, it becomes apparent, are after a young man who – at first – we believe to be a criminal of some sort. When they get him to the military transport bus, however, we realise that all the other gentlemen (and children) onboard have one thing in common. They are redheads. Yes, apparently this video is set in an alternate dystopia where ginger-kind is persecuted. And boy, how they’re persecuted. Driven to the middle of nowhere, the gingers are forced to run away from their captors over a mine-field. And this is where the obvious controversy will kick in. ‘Why gingers?’ the papers will ask. Is it because M.I.A. hates ginger people? No, probably not. Is it her way of dissecting contemporary culture – the modern tendency for redheaded people to be mocked by society? Her way of showing us what we have become? I hope not. I like gingers. Some of my favourite people are ginger. Most of my favourite sex symbols! No, I fear that whilst this is the excuse M.I.A. will use should she be asked about the video, the true reason is little more than this: it’s controversial. Oh, and talking of controversial…
4. The violence is extreme.
Certainly by MTV standards, at least. The most violence you’ll normally see in a pop video is a womanising boyfriend slapped by his empowered female partner, usually the singer. In ‘Born Free’ things run a little differently. As mentioned earlier, the video starts with an innocent woman being beaten to the ground. And the mine-field scene? You didn’t think they’d leave it to your imagination, did you? No. In fact, the chase starts with one of the Anti-Ginge Police shooting a child. In the head. From there we cut to explosions, ginger victims being shot, ankles breaking and – most memorably (though only the second most disturbing image after the child-murder) – one person explodes. Literally. They run over a mine, and a split-second later, caught in the blast, explode. Not entirely, though. There’s enough left of them for a shot of their disembodied arm flying through the air. The whole thing in slow motion, too.
April 26, 2010 1 Comment
It’s been five days now since the premiere of Lady Gaga’s latest video – an epic Tarantino-esque crime spree that has already been compared in scope to the (frankly superior) Thriller video. Amongst all the praise for the jump-cut friendly and slightly insane video, much has been made of the product placement present in the promo. I thought I’d gather the placements together. I can’t see what all the fuss is about. There’s barely anything…
1. LG and Virgin Mobile.
On hearing she has a phonecall, Gaga reveals her LG phone, very obviously on the Virgin Mobile network. Why she has a phone in prison, I don’t know. But then, this is the ‘Prison for Bitches’, and when someone wears sunglasses made out of lit cigarettes logic starts to take to the backseat.
2. Chanel and Diet Coke.
When you’re in prison, you do what you can to look good. Or, at the very least, you try to stand out. Here’s a Blue Peter make for you. Take six empty Diet Coke cans, and roll a strip of sticky back plastic around each. Curl your hair around them. Instant glam! And the perfect accompaniment to the Chanel sunglasses that have once again inexplicably found their way into your correctional facility.
…surfing the world’s largest online dating website. The account then activated is MissOfficer. Anyone who stumbles across this woman on the site can take note – she appears in the Telephone video, had impressive cleavage, and breasts that are not dissimilar to an elephant’s testicles. You have been warned.
7. Chevrolet and Kill Bill Vol. 1
As if the video for ‘Telephone’ didn’t have enough Tarantino already present, the great man himself lent the Chevrolet Silverado SS that Uma Thurman drove in Kill Bill Vol. 1 to Gaga for the shoot. You’ll know this better as the Pussy Wagon, though anyone brave enough to call Lady Gaga a pussy will not have the mental capacity to know this for long.
10. Kraft Miracle Whip.
For fellow English music fans, Kraft’s Miracle Whip is a sort of substitute to mayonnaise, produced entirely for Americans who looked at a tub of mayonnaise and thought ‘I wonder if we could make this even less healthy?’
March 16, 2010 1 Comment