Japanese culture has been used in a lot of music videos, but it’s usually done in a half-arsed way – the random East Asian girls in the PanAm’s “Japanese Girls” video; the videos based around home movies shot around the Yamanote subway line. Finally here’s a video that uses some Japanese style in an interesting way.
The video is set in a smoky bar, and most patrols are wearing military costumes of a vague WWII style. But this is no period drama and it’s not intended as a literal depiction of Japan. Rather there’s a curious sci-fi feeling to the scene – maybe even inspired by Blade Runner. The video also features a fish out of water, flapping around, an instant reminder of Faith No More’s epic “Epic” video.
It’s lush visuals galore, but the vid also nicely follows the dynamics of the song, from the chaotic explosion in the middle to the transcendent moment of “I’m like a nomad” at the end. It’s all very stylish.
And its stylishness was not unrewarded. “Fuji” was nominated for Best Music Video at the 2006 New Zealand Music Video Awards, with Richard Harling winning Best DOP and Daniel Strang winning Best Editor at the 2006 Kodak Music Clip Awards.
Best bit: the sassy smoker at the bar whose dramatic gesture knocks over the fish bowl.
Director: Alyx Duncan
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… less is more.