Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Girl Panic" by Duran Duran
Directed by Jonas Akerlund, 2011

There are several things that I'd like to say about this music video:

1. The fact that it is a Jonas Akerlund video sets a precedent. He's known as a music video auteur and for his rather unique styling. Most often his music videos are more like short films. They tell a story. The story here: supermodels (specifically of the 90's origin) pose as members of the band, Duran Duran, and proceed to tell the tale that is Duran Duran. They're done up in supermodel glitz. They don plenty of black. Akerlund shoots the film in documentary style. The models tell the story, as they see it, and Akerlund shows off his film style with plenty of seduction and style.

2. This might be a perfect time to introduce the term narcissistic personality disorder, which is to say--thank you Wikipedia--"individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige, and vanity." Need I say more? The film is an expose on self- centeredness. The term "first" is thrown around, "We're the first supermodels"; "We're the first band to put supermodels in our videos"; and why not "We're the first band"; and on top of that Akerlund is emphasizing that he's the first, the number one, the go to guy for music videos. The film was a nice tribute, but at times I was lost as to whether this was a Duran Duran video or not.

3. I'd also like to address the issue of excess in this video. Occupy what? Does anyone else see a problem with this kind of excess? I mean seriously, the amount of money they must have spent on resuscitating Duran Duran's music/video career. I don't even want to know. You'll notice plenty of product placement, products that you and I and the majority of the world (the 99%) would never purchase, aside from the newsstand issue of Harper's Bazaar (Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabanna, the clothes those women were wearing, the free- flow of champagne, the Savoy hotel, and lets not forget-- these women have a day rate that's well above the minimum- wage).

4. How old are these women? They're like wax figures at this point. Naomi Campbell looks the same as she did when I was 12. Cindy has always been the real one.

5. Where was the music? It was a backdrop to the all of the rest of this stuff. Duran Duran is great. I've been in love with them forever and I love that their sound stays the middle ground. However, it was almost as if the sound had been turned down on the actual song and the narrative was pushed to the forefront. When the video shows snippets of their older videos I longed for the day.

1 comment:

haley schattner said...

I agree with everything you say, especially the wax figure statement. The whole time I was thing, "How do these women still look like this? Aren't they hungry or tired yet?" and believe me, I know that is really catty to say. On another note, I think it is interesting that Duran Duran uses models--probably because they know people will look more at the video--than themselves. If they are trying to revive their careers, shouldn't they be front row center?I do not think this video, though very well done, does their song justice. It was a background tune. Honestly, it just seemed like Duran Duran had a soundtrack monopoly for this short film.