Juxtaposition - Two New Short Films
May 30, 2012 3:40 PM   Subscribe

Gymnast: In Motion — The elegant movements and athletic prowess of five twirling trampolinists are captured in photographer Steve Harries’ new short film. Performing up to 7.5 meters in the air—shot from a tall camera tower beneath a rig suspending the set, mirrors and lights from the ceiling—bodies were broken up into fragmented forms and motions by a bank of six mirrors. Contrast that with No Church in the Wild, the Jay Z & Kanye West collaboration filmed by Romain Gavras. A message of hope to anyone who feels society needs to change direction, or a furious extended urban battle scene?
posted by netbros (9 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
No Church in the Wild looks like Oakland, CA to me. Recuperation.
posted by pianomover at 3:47 PM on May 30, 2012

netbros: “A message of hope to anyone who feels society needs to change direction, or a furious extended urban battle scene?”

The Big Mac hamburger at McDonald's: the height of modern cuisine, or a masterpiece of abstract sculpture?
posted by koeselitz at 3:58 PM on May 30, 2012 [4 favorites]

wtf do the lyrics have to do with what's on screen - pure hucksterism. you can't sing about Rolls Royces and threesomes and coke jungle fever while showing images like this. also, imma suggest every VJ and video artist remix this to a better soundtrack. cause the images - stunning - the audio, whack as f**k.

My thoughts exactly. Also possibly Slate's.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:02 PM on May 30, 2012

I watched No Church in the Wild this morning right before I watched Lost in the World (two different albums). They're both basically visual spectacle. Lost in the World tries to use the spectacle to fit the music; No Church in the Wild seems like it tries to use the music video format as an excuse to fit something zeitgeisty, which is awkward (kind of like Jay-Z's "Occupy All Streets" shirts). The song is actually a neat kind of deliberately-vacuous-but-also-sincere hedonism, and probably could have had a better video.

It's too bad, because then I watched the Bad Girls music video and it's clear that the guy can direct stuff that actually meets the music and looks great.
posted by postcommunism at 4:49 PM on May 30, 2012

Also, I just read that Slate link and:

Jay-Z and Kanye don’t protest wealth on their record, they celebrate it...The narcissism of the lyrics seems to cheapen the imagery deployed in the video. So what’s going on?

What's going on is Slate ignoring that Jay-Z consistently talks about wealth as something he's acquired in spite of a rigged system ('cause he's just that dope, braggadocio etc) and that a big part of Kanye's schtick is the tension in someone who grew up underclass but talented trying to be upper class. It's a dumb video, but not for the reasons they give.

They did point out that Gavras did that not so great MIA vid with the redheads though, so maybe the dude really does have some kind of oppression/struggle fetish going on in his music videos.
posted by postcommunism at 5:05 PM on May 30, 2012

I guess this is pretty much what we have to look forward to for the next few years, though: OWSploitation.
posted by koeselitz at 5:16 PM on May 30, 2012

David Brothers has an articulate smackdown on the Ye/Z video. I like both of them and their music, think Watch The Throne is a great album, find the politics behind that video reprehensible.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 5:23 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Contast both videos with Gymkata. Just sayin.
posted by SenorJaime at 11:02 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's an appropriation of the current idea of cool, but from the perspective of living in a city where a major issue is the perceived hedonism/materialism or the protesters that are tromping every night combined with ambivalence about the violence and intimidation on both sides, I did not find talking about how hard you party that tone deaf against the relentless chorus of "I see them with their iphones, their ipods, their lattes, go back to school, you spoiled brats, if you worked harder you could afford your entitlements".

I also thought talking about sexually outre behaviour- in this case negotiating poly relationships, doesn't stand that poorly on glorifying the left. So the dreamlike and sensual back beat suits the slightly pro-protestor, but also remarkably humanizing to riot cops to remind you that there's a person in the armour.

It's also what the people involved are making themselves, so there's mutual appropriation of music being overlaid of cuts of riots being produced as a fan made artistic product. (Links go respectively to footage from a Montreal and Athens riot, the Montreal one containing profanity in English and French.

If I had to lay a criticism here it's that the music video makes going to war with cops look easier than the reality. Way less men with chiselled abs, way more men and women screaming, not in rage but little whoop shrieks of terror; disorganized swearing and left wing verbal salad from the camera crew; crowds of people being very upset while you watch someone in a huddle of cops being taken down with moderate roughness and restrained; clouds of pepper spray; people earnestly (and truthfully) saying they "just need to get their bike officer"; people milling around asking what's going on; people intermittently trying out gestures, kneeling, lying, posing; and all the other human chaos caused by a by and large acephalous mob, many of whom didn't sign up for a fight, just a parade.
posted by Phalene at 9:36 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

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