Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding “Outside”
Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding find themselves in parallel relationships in the video for “Outside”. Ellie is outside in this video as she is on her knees. Her relationship sees her with a boyfriend who drinks and is more focused on his dirt bike to work on the relationship. Harris finds himself with a girlfriend who drinks and likes to throw things. The significant others in these relationships are both self destructive, and put Harris and Goulding to blame. When everything freezes, Goulding finds herself beneath the dirt bike which is hovering in the air, while Harris is standing underneath all the dishes and glassware his girlfriend has thrown at him. In the end, Harris and Goulding are staring at one another. Quite frankly, in this narrative, they probably would rather be with each other. A final significant image is Goulding staring into a hovering mirror that starts to break apart. When the image you have in front of you shatters, you’re better able to see the truth.
Field Report “Wings”
Field Report’s latest video for “Wings” takes us into space and beyond. The video follows an astronaut that remains unidentified. It reminds me of Samas Aran from the Metroid video game series. We do not know if the astronaut is a man or woman. What we do know is that the astronaut is deployed into space to find a red planet where the harvesting of purple crystals takes place. These crystals are gathered by killing large creatures that grow them on the end of their snouts. The crystals are then chainsawed off and loaded onto conveyer belts that collect them in large metal units. This whole process resembles the killing of elephants for their ivory tusks. Our astronaut arrives at the planet and docks to one of the containers. We can see other ships have already docked with other containers and are taking off. Once in space, our astronaut engages the self destruct button which blows up the ship leaving everything just floating in space. Perhaps this is just an animators sci fi project or maybe it’s actually a message about being better to nature and all that lies in it. Given how humanity has treated this planet, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities for us one day to find ourselves harvesting valuable items from creatures after killing them.
Bad Suns “Salt”
The video for “Salt” by Bad Suns follows one man’s journey. When the video starts, he’s staring into the mirror unhappy with what he sees. He removes his jacket, undoes his belt, wraps the belt around his neck and pulls. A figure appears behind him and wrestles the belt away. In response, he wraps the belt around his arm and is about to inject heroin into his arm when the figure again wrestles the belt and syringe safely away. We jump to the man on a couch in a therapy session. That takes us to him trying to calm his boyfriend, but that turns into an argument. We find ourselves back at the mirror, only now we see that this man sees a woman in the mirror. That’s right, she’s a woman trapped in a man’s body. Now we can understand where all the turmoil is. So on come the hormone treatments and the dressing as a woman, only again there are problems. While walking out in public a group of guys harasses her. They force her up against a dumpster, and after groping discover she has a penis. This leads to a brutal beating and her finding herself for the worse on her sofa as her boyfriend tries to take care of her. From here it’s onto the operation to make the body match the person. And finally, she’s standing in a wedding gown looking once again into the mirror. Only now, the reflection she sees is of her former self, that turns around with a smile on his face and is gone. It takes a lot for anyone to truly become who they are, but it’s so much harder when nature gives you the wrong body. I’ll never understand it, but I’m a man who got a man’s body and doesn’t have to worry about fixing that.
Color War “Shapeshifting”
Color War’s latest video is for the song “Shapeshifting”. The video follows three girls as they have their fun around New York City. As this video starts it’s made clear these are minors due to the junk food their eating, and the first glimpse we get of them. They immediately start making their way through the city dancing as they climb things, use scaffolding as a means to stretch, generally gyrate their bodies. At this point it’s clear to see they are dancers. The way they are dressed and how they are dancing are sure to arouse a fair number of individuals, sadly. It’s at this moment I though how stark of a contrast this image would be if they were dressed in tutus and had ballet slippers on. That’s where this video goes, and all of a sudden the perception of these girls changes. It’s amazing how much time they spend en point. But now they find themselves being an artistic piece centered around things and people in the city. At one point they are dancing with people dressed up as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Elmo. It’s funny that these characters get so much attention just for standing around outside while people like these three girls aren’t drawing a crowd. That is unless they get geared up for ballet and go dancing. Another fine image is of the three dancing in a puddle in their ballet outfits. Now they are kicking and twirling, again looking as though they are performers. Earlier in the video, while in their regular clothes, they run to a sprinkler in the park, and again, viewers may find themselves thinking inappropriate thoughts about these girls. While it is not entirely shapeshifting, which can be seen more in the ability of these girls to contort their bodies, the difference in perception between three girls and three ballerinas may as well be the same thing.
Violette “All My Life”
Violette’s video for “All My Life” uses puppets to show the difference between how men remember things and how women do. We see how the couple meets according to the woman. The man walks over, knocks over the coffee mug, and that’s it. The man remembers the woman sliding over with her book until eventually she knocks over the coffee mug. The real point is that they met over spilt coffee. Then there’s the first date. According to the man it was at a fancy restaurant with champagne and candles. She remembers grabbing pizza and beer and some bad dancing to the music of a jukebox. The rest is the journey the two have together, straight to the proposal in Paris. One thing they agree on is how the wedding went. But that might be the only thing they ever agree on.