As part of Music Video Week here on PPH, we’ve asked our contributors to nominate their Top 3 music vids of all time along with a few words to explain their choices. Here are Sophia Satchell-Baeza‘s choices. She can be followed on Twitter @SophiaSB1.
3. ‘Forever Dolphin Love’ – Connan Mockasin (Daniel Brereton, 2011)
It starts with a Japanese, Jackson Pollock-inspired tableaux of people covered in paint, dressed as animals, with coloured chalk caked onto ratty hair. Japanese painted fans are moved slowly, fingers click; it’s all a little bit weird. Directed by Daniel Brereton, ‘Forever Dolphin Love’ (also the name of this New Zealand band’s 2011 album) is ten minutes and eight seconds of mad psychedelic beauty. Angeleen060357 on Youtube seems to agree, commenting: “this is a motherfocking [sic] lsd shit”. Part dolphin love story, part art installation, it tells the story of a man who falls in love with a dolphin in a pink nightgown, and then follows her around a rather grey and miserable looking Elephant and Castle and into a forest. As you do. He appears to be getting nearer to her until he taps her on the shoulder and their eyes meet. She walks away, the camera panning backwards as she disappears into the forest. I DON’T CARE IF SOME YOUTUBE PEOPLE THINK THIS IS PRETENTIOUS BULLSHIT! I think it’s lovely, and every time I watch it, at roughly around 4 minutes, I feel a little sad, stop for a bit, then keep on watching.
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2. ‘Violet’ – Hole (Mark Seliger, Fred Woodward, 1995)
This is like an Angela Carter novel crossed with a slightly psychotic looking Courtney Love, a bunch of rats and some cosmic-apocalyptic drug imagery (“And the sky was made of amethyst”). There are naked ladies, ballerinas, a creepy old man, ‘Leda and the Swan’ mythical undertones, awesome lingerie (clearly a necessary ingredient to my favourite music videos: Duran Duran’s ‘The Chauffeur‘ was also in with a shout), old pianos, and brothel madams. It’s one of the many reasons why Hole are inexplicably underrated.
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1. ‘Why Don’t You Love Me?’ – Beyonce (Melina Matsoukas, Bee-Z, 2010)
While teetering around in impossible heels and vintage lingerie, Beyonce (a.k.a. B. B. Homemaker), utters the immortal words: “I got beauty, I got class, I got brains and I got ass”. Something of a mantra to make up for the cultural/ socio-political abomination that was ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)‘, Bee has clearly got the right idea here with her portrayal of B. B. Homemaker, a cultural mash-up and black reappropriation of three dated emblems of white womanhood : Betty Page, Rosie the Riveter, and the gin-sozzled housewife (part black Betty Draper, and very Charlie (Julianne Moore) in Tom Ford’s A Single Man). The styling combines Super 8 footage and a palette of 50’s colours and furnishings with some high-end pin up glamour – all martinis and fags and endless baking. The video and (fairly uninspiring) song seems to belong to the tradition of tragic songstresses of love like Dusty Springfield, Patsy Cline, Petula Clark and key girl groups like The Ronettes, who sang of love at whatever the cost (like bouffant-haired Dusty singing “No matter what you do, I only want to be with you”). Beyonce may play the pin-up dimwit, but her message is pretty damn clear in this beautifully realised video: if you don’t love me, you a FOOL!
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