Strawpeople “Crying”

1994-strawpeople-cryingThe Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision describes this video as “Elaborate split screens video monitors”, which isn’t quite accurate. It’s a collection of eight boxes that play footage. To me it looks more like a digital composite rather than eight actual video monitors (and flat screen technology wasn’t that advance back then).

The video is directed by Mark Tierney and Paul Casserly, and it was a style that both would later use in videos they directed for other artists – Casserly for Greg Johnson’s “If I Swagger” and Tierney for Jan Hellriegel’s “Pure Pleasure”. And Matt Palmer used a similar style in his 1994 video for Maree Sheehan’s “Kia Tu Mahua”.

But the “Crying” video throws in an extra element. One of the boxes features Fiona McDonald singing the song straight to the camera and it’s almost totally unedited. Just a few flash cuts along the way.

The other boxes show scenes of urban Auckland. The tank farm features, back in the days when the tanks had utilitarian numbers painted on them, rather than poetic murals. Numbers feature a lot, with mysterious dates flickering across the screen and appearing on a television set in an empty room. There’s also a young women who walks around taking photos, and generally looks cool with her matt lipstick.

I like this video. I like that it’s a bit mysterious and doesn’t try to explain everything. A bit like that song.

Best bit: the giant camera the woman uses.

Directors: Mark Tierney, Paul Casserly
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a loving walk.

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