Confucius was the project of Christchurch musician Nava Thomas. The first funded video was “Roll Call” in 2000, with “Take It From Me” being the second and final funded song four years later.
The video is partially animated, that is, there’s filmed footage with animation over the top. We meet a young woman who has a handful of glitter stars which float up into the night sky, looking not unlike the stars on the New Zealand flag.
The stars turn into sunflowers and there’s a lot of gaiety. Then it all gets complicated, with the woman put on a grotesque muddy mask on her face, and pulling waves of painted background around her. With the recurring motif of the flag stars, maybe it’s all a metaphor for the debate around a new national flag. Hey, if the silver fern motif doesn’t work out, maybe we could have sunflowers.
This is one of the few videos where I had to mute the song to be able to follow the visuals. The song itself is a pleasant enough chilled out track, but somehow the visuals fight with it. Often animated videos end up feeling like there isn’t enough happening in them, but this time it seems like the opposite. The video is a rich, detailed world while the song is far more relaxed.
Best bit: when the lady slumps down a wall and leaves giant scratch marks.
Director: Mark Antony Smith
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… it’s all good in South Canterbury.