Strawpeople “Taller Than God”

1996-strawpeople-taller-than-godStrange things are afoot at the Moturemu Motel, where Fiona McDonald plays a bored clerk at the kitschy motel. In real life it’s in Parakai, but it has a not-quite-New-Zealand feel to it.

Fiona mans the front desk, where a handsome young man checks in for the night. In other rooms we meet a elderly cellist, fellow Strawpeople person Paul Casserly conducting strange experiments, a yoga lady and a lonely seductress. This motel only attracts unusual solo travellers.

The song has a spooky quality to it, with a killer chorus. Fiona knows how to do melody. The video picks up on the spookiness, making the motel seem both comforting and uneasy.

Why has the handsome young man come to the motel? Why is he staring into a shard of broken glass? Will motel lady Fiona ever find happiness? The morning brings no answers. Everyone seems just as troubled as before. The handsome young man eats dry cereal out of a box, swigging down milk from a glass bottle.

Looking at the motel on Streetview, it appears to no longer be operating as a motel, now looking like an unremarkable block of flats. I don’t know how much of the video was set dressing, but I like to think that the Moturemu Motel used to be as crazy as what appeared in this video, complete with the troubled guests.

Best bit: continuing from the 50c coin in the “Trick with a Knife” video, this video features a big old 20c coin as part of a nervous fidget.

Director: Justin Pemberton
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a tiger hunt.

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