The trouble with video – at least the trouble that I seem to have – is that they all seem to be about the same these days. There isn’t the rush to create something new or unusual. I think that at least in part that must be due to the relative lack of importance or priority that video is given these days. As a child of the 80s, I have to admit, the thought is heartbreaking. I loved video. I loved Duran Duran. The two go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. The thought that video has gone from being this obscure medium that only the very coolest bands really did back in the very late 70s and 80s, to mainstream MTV in the mid to late 80’s…to now, where MTV has actually forgotten what their name stands for…or stood for…well, you get my point. Sure, there’s YouTube. It just isn’t the same, and I think that many bands out there really don’t know how to use YouTube properly in order to get the desired effect. I’m just not sure. Regardless of my rambling, I wasn’t sure what to expect with Euphoria at all.
Here is the thing, the visuals are striking, so much so that even I, the cynical one, took notice. I adore the Marilyn-esque way that Miss Mosh takes up the main character. There’s nothing blasé about the colors: vivid red, black, white..even some yellow and blue in parts. It is visually stunning. There are even some very, very familiar things that no one but the most aware fans would notice. I saw imagery reminiscent of Too Much Information and Come Undone, for example. I did chuckle at the slightly crazed, demonic grin Nick gives from behind his slumber-mask, and of course I recognized Warren both with his guitar and in a hooded sweatshirt throughout the video. No fans should be disappointed, rest assured.
The storyline is also worthy of mention here, as it is carried out in this video. Miss Mosh plays the part of who I think MUST be Sassy (and if there is some question – there is a scene early on in the video where she is pictured just as on the cover design of the album.), and she is quite liberal with her usage of whatever drug she needs in order to feel that euphoria. Aren’t we all. (My drug just happens to be in the form of a band with five guys…yours?) So the video and all of the visual contained within is about what that euphoria must be like.
There is so much in this project to be looked at and examined. I have read many, many comments from fellow fans who are less-than-enthused by the music…and to be fair I would have EASILY thought I would be amongst them, but what can I say? Nick and Warren have me sold. Not only did I enjoy the video, I find myself wondering what they would do with videos for “What about God” or my current favorite on the album, “Paramount”…or even perhaps the more obvious (but is it really?) “Beautiful Clothes”. I find myself curious about the story of this family – and admittedly, I recognize at least part of my OWN family’s story in what they are trying to convey. Like I said – I think we’ve all got a drug to keep us going. Mine is just a little more exciting than Prozac these days. (And I’m not at all bored!)
Well played Nick and Warren, well played.
I’m not sure where to start with this one. We have been doing videos for the question of the day lately and I always wonder what makes people decide one video or the other. Is that a particular band member looks better in one than the other? Is that they can’t separate which song they like better? Is it that one is more enjoyable than the other? Maybe, it is that one is more creative or clever than the other? Whatever it is, I knew that I couldn’t think about this video in the same way. As I watched it, I was sad that Rhonda and I weren’t together to see it or even to discuss it as it felt way more like a piece in a contemporary art museum than an ordinary video. You see it is very common for Rhonda and I to spend time in contemporary art museums whenever we are together or on tour. Yes, it is also common for us to discuss the pieces and what they might mean. I think the same could be said for this video. The dialogue surrounding it could be endless.
As soon as I start watching the video, I am bombarded with influences or other things that the video reminds me of. Of course, I could mention the ones that Rhonda did and she isn’t wrong with Too Much Information and Come Undone. The focus on the female and clothing like her stockings certainly reminded me of The Chauffeur. Yet, I also saw similarities to the Unstaged production that David Lynch directed, particularly with the smoke and the image of the tiny plane pointing downwards in the beginning of the clip. It also reminded me of Dirty Great Monster performed live on Broadway. I know that I will never forget that. For that song, screens were lowered with the band in between. On the screens, various colors were projected in an amazing, visually stunning way. The colors were constantly changing and yet, the band continued to be shrouded somewhat by them. It was a fantastic way to showcase that song and one that I’m forever bummed that I never had the chance to see it live more than once. I remember my friend, who went with me and isn’t a Duranie, muttering, “wow” over and over after it was done. Clearly, we were both in awe. Obviously, the projections over Miss Mosh reminded me of that as did the changing colors of the smoke. Did those projections over her expose her or hide her or both at the same time? The other thing I thought about while watching the video was of Cindy Sherman’s art work. Her work is so hyper realistic of people in modern surroundings with vivid colors that I couldn’t help but to think of her work when Miss Mosh is standing by the pool, still, wearing bright red. I love that the video make me think of all of these other artistic pieces!
Beyond the connections to other elements, I was fascinated by the main character and what she represents in modern day life. Obviously, she is taking a lot of drugs to get that sense of “euphoria”. Is that what we all need? Is that we think we all need? What about the fact that she is in tight clothing? (Yes, I know that she is a fetish model outside of this video.) What does her clothing represent? Does it represent that we are all restricted in some way but don’t know it or don’t care? Then, of course, there are the words that flash across the screen, at times. Here are the ones I caught: “I am Euphoria”, “so much to see”, “watch it”, and “you 444 eee aah”. I understood the first three but what about the last one? No clue. Yet, I like the idea that I might have to try and figure it out. Obviously, the “so much to see” and “watch it” combined with even the logo of TV Mania with the bar code could show how much advertising is part of our lives and how we have to buy things to experience that “euphoria”. Heck, even drugs are advertised on TV.
As you can tell, I definitely enjoy analyzing a video like this. There is “so much to see” that I think more and more could be picked out each and every time that you watch it. Is this a video like Hungry Like the Wolf with an obvious, don’t-need-to-think-much storyline? Nope. It isn’t. I can appreciate both for different reasons. I can appreciate this one for its artistic merits and that one for the fun aspect of it. Both can and do have a place. The one thing that I question about this video is adding Nick and Warren to it. While they aren’t on screen much, I wish that they had left it just a purely artistic piece. The fact that they are there takes a little bit of that away. Every shot of either one of them I am reminded that it is a music video. I wanted more pure art, I guess. Overall, though, the video is fascinating. I would love to see what they would do with other songs on the album. I bet they would be equally, if not more, interesting and artistic.