Fiona McDonald “Damage Control”

Uh oh – Fiona’s in jail. The second single of her post-Chickens solo album sees Ms McDonald locked up in a futuristic prison cell, prisoner number 710N4 (geddit?). A stern, suited man makes his way through a room full of pipes and valves, ready to interrogate his prisoner.

Fiona may be locked up, but she has the upper hand. She’s fiercely confident, self assured that she may not be innocent, but she is not the guilty party. The video, directed by Jonathan King, is shot in black and white, with little spots of colour when the drama needs it.

“Damage Control” is dark, electronic pop, a tail of a soured relationship – not unlike the stuff she was making with the Headless Chickens in their last days. But with this being a solo work, the focus is very much on Fiona looking both rough and glam in her prison cell.

We see the suited man walking through a forest with two others. They come across a terrifying scene, which leads the man do hold a hankie over his mouth – cinematic shorthand for “Eww, an old decaying body!” Oh dear.

What terrible thing happened in the woods? The only hint given is a shot of Fiona sitting with a man lying in her arms. It seems a religious pose, Catholic-y (and now I regret not doing art history at school), and there’s no way of knowing if he’s dead or alive.

Back in jail, Fiona is angry. She hurls and thrashes about in her cell, greatly unnerving her accuser. But in the end Fiona’s collapses on her bed, all angried out.

Best bit: Fiona’s bare prison cell – no cushy flatscreen telly here.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a day at the office.

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