Hoppiness
February 8, 2010 10:01 PM   Subscribe

Compare and Contrast: Dougal Wilson's video for Goldfrapp's "Happiness" vs. Norman McLaren's "Neighbours." (previously)

Despite the several previous posts that reference McLaren, I think the connections (and divergences) between what may be the greatest work of pixilation of all time* and Wilson's video for "Happiness" (which is, in effect, a live action version of what McLaren's actors in "Neighbours" did to achieve the illusion of flight) merit a post.

*of all time!
posted by ocherdraco (27 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also, when I imagine The Whelk, I like to think that he's basically the hoppy guy in "Happiness."
posted by ocherdraco at 10:02 PM on February 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Compare and Contrast: Goldfrapp's Happiness vs. Peter Wolf's Come As You Are.
posted by eschatfische at 10:10 PM on February 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yay! More hopping!
posted by ocherdraco at 10:11 PM on February 8, 2010


Must have been a fan of ">this video.
posted by makabampow at 10:13 PM on February 8, 2010


oops. what eschatfisch said.
posted by makabampow at 10:14 PM on February 8, 2010


Yay! More^d^d^d^dExactly the same hopping!

Yowza.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:15 PM on February 8, 2010


Both an homage (or rip off, if you're cynical) of this.
posted by missmary6 at 10:19 PM on February 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


for more hopping, see Chris Habib's video for Sonic Youth's Peace Attack
posted by stachemaster at 10:22 PM on February 8, 2010


Also, in the spirit of the post -- the two original ideas were made within a year of one another! Compare, indeed!
posted by missmary6 at 10:24 PM on February 8, 2010


Anyone know of any other music video homages in the same vein? (Or the name of the director of the Peter Wolf video, since I'm a completist like that?)
posted by ocherdraco at 10:29 PM on February 8, 2010


Neighbors (1952) and missmary6's Bobby Van - Take Me To Broadway (1953) could have been inspired by The Bunny Hop dance craze from 1952 which took off with Ray Anthony's recording of the song.
posted by stavrogin at 10:32 PM on February 8, 2010


the song.
posted by stavrogin at 10:33 PM on February 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


antville hosted a lengthy excursus on this video, and originality in videos in general; Dougal answered to some of the points raised in an interview (Google cache).
Nice additition to the discussion, the McLaren film.
posted by progosk at 10:33 PM on February 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


the name of the director of the Peter Wolf video

It was directed by Ed Griles.
posted by progosk at 10:37 PM on February 8, 2010


Here's more from Dougal on the homage at You Thought We Wouldn't Notice:
Dear YTWWN,

We did think you would notice, had you watched Bobby Van’s famous jumping scene from ‘Small Town Girl’ (as Peter, JGCook, dL and strictlykev kindly point out). You can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bKwsUnd2F0.

This is actually what I shamelessly ripped off, not Peter Wolf. The Peter Wolf video had obviously been inspired by the same marvelous dance routine. I hadn’t seen the Peter Wolf video until after I’d made the Goldfrapp video and people on the internet started saying I’d ripped him off.

I attempted to make the Goldfrapp video a respectful homage to Bobby Van and László Kardos (the director of Small Town Girl) by casting a dancer who looked similar to Bobby Van, giving him the same white suit and tie, setting the video in as similar a location as we could find in wintry London, and including as many of the same gags as we could afford. I also included a poster for ‘Small Town Girl’ on a lampost, but frustratingly, you can’t read it because of strobing!

I seemed to have unwittingly inspired quite a healthy debate. I won’t be getting ‘inspired’ by anything else in a hurry.

Anyway, I protest too much.

All the best,

Dougal
posted by ocherdraco at 10:38 PM on February 8, 2010 [2 favorites]



Also, when I imagine The Whelk, I like to think that he's basically the hoppy guy in "Happiness."


I would be so lucky to be so fit. Note to self: Hop more.
posted by The Whelk at 10:47 PM on February 8, 2010


From progosk's link: Nima Nourizadeh's video for Santogold's "L.E.S. Artistes" vs. Alejandro Jadoworsky's The Holy Mountain (slightly more explanatory link, though this is the kind of thing that can never really be explained).
posted by ocherdraco at 11:04 PM on February 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is this where I can post about how much I love goldfrapp? Their new single is glorious.
posted by empath at 12:08 AM on February 9, 2010


What is interesting to me is the music in the Norman McLaren piece. The blips and the beeps sound almost identical to the bleeps and the beeps of the C64 era. I can't find any information on how those sounds were made though.
posted by bigmusic at 12:32 AM on February 9, 2010


I don't see much resemblence between Neighbors and the Happiness video. However, Tony vs Paul is clearly cut from the same cloth as Neighbors.
posted by potch at 12:41 AM on February 9, 2010


Does this kind of hysterical pointing every actually accomplish anything? I know in this case the website is actually wrong (and the impact of that will be possibly slightly detrimental to Dougal Wilson's goodwill), but actually, in real life, people buying stuff in shops don't care do they?

I'd like to be wrong on this one though...

One example that comes to mind is Crystal Castles, loads of noise about them ripping off other artists blatantly, but they still parade their awful noises around the world (although getting booed off stage at Sonar, which is no mean feat in a shed full of E'd up gonks, might be a step in the right direction).
posted by debord at 2:23 AM on February 9, 2010


The fence is to be hopped along in one video, whereas it represents man's territorial nature and greed in the other. One soundtrack is inspired by the Beatles, the other is early electronic music (tape manipulation, possibly edited the same way the film was?). Both videos begin with happiness and end with images of death and dying. And Bob Dobbs was in both.
posted by AppleSeed at 4:16 AM on February 9, 2010


"This video is not available". Yes, I can see McLaren's influence there.

bigmusic, McLaren painted calibrated blobs onto the audio track of blank film stock, and dubbed it along with the image.
posted by scruss at 4:49 AM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ow, my calves!
posted by kittyprecious at 5:51 AM on February 9, 2010


Well I for one can't wait until 20 years from now where I can make the same video yet again!
posted by fungible at 5:54 AM on February 9, 2010


Compare and contrast: Counter-Strike vs. Peter Wolf.
posted by tybeet at 5:55 AM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Vicious Cycles
posted by whuppy at 6:39 AM on February 9, 2010


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