Greg Johnson “Cut to the Chase”

2000-greg-johnson-cut-to-the-chase“Cut to the Chase” is a delightful pop song, Greg Johnson doing what he does best. I think it was used on a TV commercial, giving the chorus an extra familiar punch.

The video opens with the lights flickering on in some sort of high-ceilinged space. Greg leans towards the ring-flash-lit camera and his face is lit with the warm, even glow of the ’90s. And very slowly, he moves along the centre of the room, with the fluorescent tubes on the ceiling passing behind him.

But things get a little edgier in the video’s other setting. He’s sitting on a stool in front of screen with a back projected film of a dashboard view of a drive through pleasant greenery plays behind him. There’s no attempt to pretend he’s somehow in this setting. It’s purely decorative. It’s not unlike Madonna’s “Don”t Tell Me” video from much much later in 2000, or, indeed like One Direction’s “Kiss You” video. The background changes, also including scenes of a motorway and an aerial exploration of Auckland at night.

Greg is mostly on his own, but occasionally he is joined by a lyrically relevant prop – map, a table cloth, and a glass of orange juice with a cocktail umbrella. And we also see a few dark silhouettes passing in the background.

Then, at the end of the video, there’s an enjoyable twist of sorts. The camera pulls back and the fantasy of the music video ends. There’s the ceiling with the fluorescent lights, the screen and the dolly track used to make the video. And it’s no fancy television studio, but an ordinary community hall. In the background, a brass band strikes up, reminding the Greg Johnson party that they’ve got the hall booked next.

Best bit: the fruity drink, inelegantly missing a bendy straw.

Director: Bernadine Lim
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… everyone loves a wedding.

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