Tuesday, 1 July 2008

No Movie Night

There was no movie night last week, as Heckler was off to Glastonbury. But does that mean there was no Heckler and Kochk? As it happens, yes. But that doesn't have to be the case.

I'm going to start a no-movie-night tradition[1] of reviewing something that's completely unrelated to this blog's stated purpose. In this case, the video to the song Warwick Avenue by Duffy. Youtube link here.

So the first thing I notice is that from 0:18 to 3:35 is one continuous shot of Aimee Duffy singing and crying in the back of a taxi. That's a pretty long take for a music video. It also gives me my first comparison: a close up of a face for a long time and crying suggests to me Sinéad O'Connor's Nothing Compares 2 U (this video dates back to 1990 when O'Connor was 24, the same age as Duffy is now). Was this an influence?

Next thing to notice: from 2:10 to 2:24 she stops singing in the video, although the playback keeps going. I don't know if this is deliberate, but the way it appears, that she can't go on singing her prepared song, is almost heart breaking. (Michael Stipe stops singing and walks away from the microphone in a couple of REM videos, but it has a different effect. I can't seem to find the video I'm thinking of; still, you might get the idea from the video to What's the Frequency Kenneth).

Thirdly, the song is mostly about what Duffy is going to say when she meets her ex-lover at Warwick Avenue (lyrics here), but the video begins with her taxi pulling away from Warwick Avenue tube station. So she's going over what she meant to say, but, I think it's clear, it didn't go as well as the plan laid out in the lyrics. And what's going on in the lyrics is not a happy scene.

Which leads me to my final point: that despite what popular media might suggest, grief is not pretty. It's not about beautiful young women weeping photogenic tears in front of the camera. If everyone grieving looked like Sinéad in Paris or Duffy in a Taxi in west London, we'd all be there to offer sympathy. In real life grief is ugly and unpleasant, and that's why people avoid it.

Playlist here as Warwick Avenue doesn't embed.

Anyway enough of this. Next time some actual Sci-Fi; Dieselpunk vs Steampunk!

[1] Which may last as long as one no-movie-night

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