Monday, June 11, 2007

The Hours: Róisín Murphy "Overpowered"

Róisín Murphy "Overpowered"

dir. by Jamie Thraves

Murphy's song is a far out masterpiece, and so we approach the video almost expecting avant-garde images to accompany that spacey bass line. Yet even as director Jamie Thraves emphasizes the singer's abstract outfit early on, there are drops of sweat that impose the reality of life from the opening shots. Murphy stumbles off stage as if drunk on fame, but soon after she leaves the surreality of performing she is on the bus home next to an actual drunk.

But Thraves' vision is about more than revealing the very average life of a popular artist. As Murphy sits next to that toasty man on the bus, she avoids looking at him completely. Later she is forced to notice a couple fondling each other, boys sprinting down the sidewalk and a police car blaring down the road - but she shows no real interest in any of this. Instead, as the action encircles her, she seems a bit overwhelmed by the sheer weight of its everydayness (McDonald's - a perfect symbol of banality - is shown in the background). She sleeps in her checkerboard dress to hold tightly to the intoxication of the stage, but her thoughts wander as she turns out the lights. Stardom is the drug which protects her from her deepest fear - that life is actually this boring and she herself is as mundane as everything else.

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Depth of Focus Videographies: Radiohead / Bjork / Michael Jackson / Bowie