Damien Binder “Turn Me Round”

2001-damien-binder-turn-me-roundThere are plenty of music videos that are set in classrooms, but the learning facility of “Turn Me Around” is delightfully surreal. Damien enters a classrom where all the students are men his age, all neatly dressed in the same suit.

Teaching the class is a young woman, who has drawn some diagrams on the blackboard that look like a cross between American football play diagrams and dance step diagrams, only weirder. She’s a suitably prim-looking teacher, so part of me expects the video to get all Van Halen and have the teacher let down her hair and start dancing in her undies. But no. It’s very well behaved.

Damien joins the class and soon assimilates in this strange school. The teacher rubs a stick all over Damien’s suit (?) and the men do a tapping and listening thing with dinner forks, the same thing you’d normally do with a tuning fork. Damien struggles with this task. He just can’t get that tap-and-listen technique right.

There’s also a bit of biffo, with Damien and one of this classmates engaging in some civilised fisticuffs. Finally he’s ready to graduate. The classmates and teacher disappear and Damien is left sitting alone, repeatedly singing “I’m ready now,” like someone who’s having trouble ordering a taxi with a voice-reconigition phone system.

Filmed in such murky colours that it almost looks black and white, the video has a stylish, slightly surreal feeling, this strange school of cutlery, suits and fists.

Best bit: the artful fanning of spoons.

Director: Jonathan King

Next… a heartbreaking work of staggering genius.

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