Found videos from 2000

A cowgirl workout, Manhattan sightseeing, poets, kitchens, cafes and that cinema in Auckland where the carpet always feels like it’s going to peel off.
Continue reading Found videos from 2000

SJD “Tree People”

2001-sjd-tree-peopleThe “Tree People” video takes place within an actual pop-up book. It’s a handmade work, with scenes sketched out in watercolour paint. A pair of hands pushes and pulls the levers and opens the flaps, bringing movement and depth to the story.

The video opens with a large outside a nightclub (Club Sandwich), waiting to see the sold-out SJD gig. Inside, SJD takes to the stage and the audience wave their hands in the air like they just don’t care.

The next day SJD goes for a ride in his lowrider (which I’m sure is an accurate real-life detail) and head to the beach. The beach is full of hot chicks in bikinis, who wiggle their bottoms in appreciation. I feel a bit sorry for them. There they are at the beach, but for some reason there are no guys. Then along comes beardy musician in corduroy with a drive-through mic. Well, any port in a storm.

But this life of bitches and money isn’t for SJD. He relaxes on a hillside and sweetly watches the sunset with a bunny rabbit friend. Of course.

This is a very enjoyable video to watch. A lot of effort has gone into the pop-up book, but behind it is a solid narrative, so it’s real pleasure to see all the bits working together.

Best bit: the slowed down beachside bum wiggles – the male gaze on cartridge paper.

Director: Gerald Phillips

Next… reprogramming.

Betchadupa “Man on my Left”

2001-betchadupa-man-on-my-leftThere’s a really simple concept behind this video. Betchadupa play their song at a cool gig while a bespectacled cynical dickhead in the audience slags them off to another guy. We follow the conversation with subtitles.

Many of Betchadupa’s previous songs have been short punk numbers, ripping through them with a burst of energy that might not even see the timecode click over to two minutes. “Man on my Left” is an epic 3:23, which prompts the dick to quip, “Wow, over two minutes. This must be one of their long songs.” Lol! But that length means they can’t just edit together a bunch of cool shots. That have to make a proper music video.

“Man on my Left” takes its inspiration from Radiohead’s “Just” video, which using subtitles to introduce another level of story into the video. The risk with this concept is that the viewer becomes so engrossed in reading the subtitles, they forget about the song. But “Man on my Left” gets around this by making the conversation about the band, with the band turning out to be the worst band ever, as far as the cynic is concerned. “How many cliche rock poses can that bass player pull,” he sneers. Eight, it turns out, as the video demonstrates.

There’s a lot of energy in the video. The audience are fully moshing, not the standard unnatural music video direction of “wave your hands in the air”. Like the band, the audience is young with energy to burn.

And then this all leads to the fun payoff at the end. “Even their music videos are lame,” moans the dickhead. “They always have punchline at the end.” The fellow he’s been talking to turns, removes his earplugs and says “I’m sorry, did you say something?” Ba-dum-chh!

Best bit: the steely close up as the dickbag sneers “predictable”.

Note: An episode of The Big Art Trip profiled video director Gerald Philips, including a rehearsal of the “Man on my Left” video. The item can be viewed in part three.

Director: Gerald Phillips
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… peace in wartime.

Betchadupa “Awake”

2000-betchadupa-awakeIt’s morning and the Betchadupa boys are in bed. But not all in the same bed with each other (which has happened in other videos) – no, we see a four-way split screen with each band member in a different corner. And the video continues like this, with each corner focusing on the domestic goings-on of its allocated band member.

In the top left is Liam. He wakes up and jumps in the shower, which is filmed so the bottom of the shot ends mere millimetres above his area. Oh my. But he’s out of the shower and has a play with his Scalextric set. He then grabs his guitar for some rocking out, and ends the day writing some lyrics. (Not seen – the bit where he grows a beard and gets all serious.)

Down in the Matt corner, he wakes up, snaps on a sweat band, has some toast, idly does some authentic knee drumming as he watches the telly, and then gets on his drumkit to rock out at the same time as Liam.

Next to Matt is Joe, the more metrosexual band member. He awakes with cucumber circles on his eyes, enjoys a healthy breakfast, grooms his thick eyebrows (he must have consulted Petra Bagust’s beauty book) and rocks out on the deck, to the appreciation of a group of kids, before tidying up with a spot of vacuuming.

As for Chris, well, like Jeff Wiggle he spends most of the video alseep. When his three bandmates all rock out, he just lies there. Why could this be? Is he a lazy arse? Hungover? No, as we discover right at the end, Chris is tired from being up all night with the three young women who are sharing a bed with him. Three? That’s just greedy. Think of your bandmates, Chris!

For a short song (less than two minutes) this video packs a lot in. I kind of wish there was more connection between the four situations than the rocking out. But it’s a fun video that captures the spirit of Betchadupa’s early years.

Best bit: Liam’s near-naked hip wiggle. Crikey!

Note: The YouTube clip is annoyingly geoblocked to viewers in New Zealand and Germany, but should work anywhere else. The clip also includes the Betchadupa video for “Sleepy News”.

Director: Gerald PhillipsNgā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… search for the golden beef