I enjoy setting up the question of the day on this blog because I like doing the polls myself and I learn from them. This week, I noticed an interesting result. As probably most of you know we have been asking about video preferences. While we had asked this question before, we haven’t done so since the most recent videos from Paper Gods came out. Generally, I feel like I have a sense of which videos Duranies prefer. For example, I expect New Moon on Monday to be popular based on previous surveys, word of mouth, etc. Earlier this week, I asked which video people preferred between Sunrise and Electric Barbarella, Interestingly enough, Electric Barbarella won by a LOT. In fact, more people voted in that poll than the rest of the week’s combined. What’s up with that and which video do I prefer and why?
Do Duranies really prefer the video for Electric Barbarella over the video for Sunrise? I’m not really sure despite the result of the poll. Obviously, the verdict was decided by the people who voted and not all Duranies vote on this site. If I asked again, I wonder if I would get the same result. What if I asked in a different way or with different fans? What if I went to Facebook groups and asked or busted out the question on message boards? Anyway, I have to wonder why we had so many more votes that day and why for Electric Barbarella.
Let’s take a moment to watch that video before I add my thoughts about this video:
All right, I’m just going to say it. I don’t like this video. I might even go so far as to say that I really dislike it. It is definitely one of my least favorite Duran Duran videos. (Don’t send hate mail. I can be a fan and not like one video.) I won’t lie. It isn’t even a favorite song of mine. While I appreciated the connection to Barbarella and to the band’s history, it isn’t enough for me. Some of you might say that my dislike for both the song and video probably has something to do with the lack of John Taylor. I’m sure that you might be somewhat right. That said, I like Out of my Mind (the song mostly) and that doesn’t have John.
While the song doesn’t cut it for me, the video is WAY worse. If this was the only video that I saw from Duran, I would not be a fan. First of all, the video is too predictable. It feels to me that it is follows the song too precisely. The viewer isn’t forced to think or ponder anything as it is all spelled out. I’m also not a fan of the premise. Here’s a “woman” that can be bought and then directed to do whatever via a remote control. Of course, I realize that it is a “robot”. Still, the message is too close to objectification of women and that makes me uncomfortable. Some of you might be pointing out that Duran often uses women in their videos. That’s true. I don’t find most of those women to be seen as objects. The woman of Rio, for example, holds the power over the guys. Even the women of the Chauffeur aren’t objects. One might even argue that they don’t need men at all. Some might say that the models of Girls on Film show how awful models in real life can be treated. I think the use of women and how they are shown can be explained, for the most part, in their videos except for Electric Barbarella.
Sunrise is very different. Let’s watch that video to compare:
As you might imagine, I really like this one. I don’t know that I would say that it is one of my ultimate favorites but I enjoy the heck out of it. I love that the focus is the band. It tells the story of each member traveling to come back together. The storyline is not obvious but fits not only the song but what was happening with the band at the time. Yes, I also appreciate that it featured the Fab Five, too. It wasn’t just Simon, Nick and Warren like Electric Barbarella. It also captures a part of the band’s history with the reunion.
I have a few questions remaining. First, am I the only one who likes the Sunrise video over Electric Barbarella? Am I the only one who finds the video for Electric Barbarella a little distasteful? Then, if I am not the only one who prefers Sunrise, what do you make of the vote showing a vast majority favoring the other? I guess one thing is true. The Duran Duran fan community never ceases to amaze me or make me think.