Yesterday, we were pleasantly surprised to find out about the next video for TV Mania for the song, Beautiful Clothes. While we knew that the video was coming as it was discussed during the TV Mania Katy Kafe, we didn’t know that it would be released on April 30th. The video was premiered on yahoo and can be found here.
One thing that the news release mentions that is significant is that this video is directed by Nick Rhodes, his debut as a director. Also, according to the release, the video should remind viewers of Duran videos like Girls on Film, The Chauffeur, Girl Panic and Electric Barbarella.
I was really intrigued by the idea of a video for this song, partially because I loved the video for Euphoria, and I really like the idea of continuing the story of the family through this medium. I had no idea that Nick was going to be directing it, and when I read that this morning, I sat down right away to watch. (as opposed to doing what I should have been – which was getting my daughter ready for school! What are five little minutes amongst friends?) As I sat down to watch, I wondered what Nick would have in store. My mind immediately went to some of the photographs and visuals already supplied to us online as well as within the packaging for the album. I thought about the song itself, and whether the video would have a full storyline, or if it would be a grouping of visuals…or if it would be its own entity.
Overall, the video fit within the framework that Nick and Warren built for the album. I will go out on a limb and guess that the subject of the video is indeed meant to be Sassy (I am waiting expectantly by my inbox to be told otherwise!), showing her addiction to fashion. (and the camera, in my opinion.) The videography was truly like a group of “moving pictures” straight out of Nick’s Bei Incubai. I loved some of the effects and what they did for the imagery – such as the strobe-like lighting, the “TV” screen appearance of some of the frames, and even the way “Sassy” was superimposed over other scenes, like the lips. (very 60s-esque.) One scene that I found particularly amusing – given my current situation with my youngest, were the scenes where Sassy was standing next to what I think was Cinderella’s castle. I have a budding princess here at home too. She’s thoroughly convinced, and is currently training the rest of us to her line of thinking. (HELP!)
I’m sure many who have watched the video can see the similarities between this video and many of Duran Duran’s. The female model(s), the clothes…it has the mark of Duran Duran, but in a completely different way. This video focuses purely on the aesthetic, not so much on the depth. It felt more like a photography shoot, or…in going with the story of the entire album…it very much reminded me of a young girl playing around in front of a mirror or with a video camera mounted on a tripod. I have a teenage daughter, and it happens! In this case, we know that Sassy is infatuated with herself, and desperately wants that fame and will do anything to get it. The outfits, the eyelashes (love those pink lashes), the way she unnaturally sneers at the camera or blows bubbles…look at nearly any teenage girls Facebook page and you’ll likely see some of the same images. One other thing that came to mind at the end of the video was when you see the girl chewing gum obnoxiously. Reminds me just the teensiest bit of a certain synthesizer player in the video for Serious. Hmm…interesting!
Absolutely, the video fits the entire project and Nick did not disappoint in his debut as a director. I can’t say that I was surprised by the scenes or the way Nick directed the video, but I can say that I enjoyed watching. Is it the same as Duran Duran? No, and if it had been, I would be writing a scathing review – this is TV Mania, and I love what they’ve created. It isn’t mainstream, and it forces the listener/viewer to think. Brilliant.
I was looking forward to this video as this song is one of my favorites off of TV Mania and I adore the visuals that have accompanied every aspect of this side project. Then, when I found out that Nick directed it, I was even more excited to watch it! How will it compare with the rest of the project? How will it compare with other things Nick has done, including his photography?
The video felt very fitting to me. It had the same feeling as everything else released as a part of TV Mania and even had the feeling of much of Nick’s photographs from his current work back to his Interference project of the mid-1980s. As the news article points out, this song focuses on the daughter and her obsession with clothes as well as her desire for fame. Because of this focus, the video features women posing in various rooms or settings. In many ways, most of the scenes felt like models in the midst of photography shoots. These fictional photo shoots felt very realistic in terms of modern fashion with extreme hair or makeup, at times, revealing clothing and a focus on accessories from shoes to handbags to lipstick. In this sense, this video does have elements similar to other Duran videos like the ones mentioned above. Yet, even Girls on Film, which, as a song, discusses the life and exploitation of models, does not have the same flavor. Girls on Film seems to show a lot of male fantasies, which may or may not be a part of various modeling jobs. This video only had women and showed them in such a way that they were one-dimensional. They were models only. There was no behind-the-scenes like there was in GOF to give the aspect of complexity. Now, I’m not saying that this is a negative, necessarily. I’m pointing that while this video has some similarities to some Duran video, it doesn’t have the same feel. TV Mania is not Duran. Was Nick right in directing the scenes to only give this modeling characteristic? I think so. I think that is the point of TV Mania–to question how we take in media and fame. Do we as a people forget that models (or rock stars, for that matter) are complex human beings with many sides to them? Do we just see the surface, what is seen in the photograph?
Of course, there is more to the video than just the shots of what I perceive as models. I was intrigued by the giant lips with the woman dancing in front of them. This image really reminded me of something. Perhaps, it reminded of TV in the past. I almost waited for a 70s vibe. Then, I wondered why the bubbles were used by the one model. Was this to get me to question why models are asked to do what they are asked to do? Was this just something that Nick thought looked visually interesting? Am I missing the whole point? Probably. I think that is the best part of a video like this. I have no choice but to think, to ponder. I might watch the video 50 times or 500 times and noticed something new. It may be a situation that something finally clicks with me at the 503 time. I like that a lot. Of course, there were parts that I got, or so I think. I understand why beautiful clothes in neon seems to come across or through the woman’s mouth at the end of the video. Is that because it is all that the daughter seemed to talk about? So much to think about!
While I think this video fits the project, is visually interesting, and shows off Nick’s artistic talent and vision, I can’t say that it is the most fun video to watch. I won’t put the video on to just sit down and enjoy the entertainment. I would put it on when I’m feeling like thinking, analyzing and experiencing a little art.