Thursday, July 12, 2007

Heart It Races: Tracey Thorn "Raise the Roof"

Tracey Thorn "Raise the Roof"

dir. by ?

The girl begins the video in yellow sneakers, a shy cat meowing at her feet. She works a menial job shining anonymous men's shoes, wearing a confining bonnet in a stark and lonely room that must surely reek of polish. Yet there is no despair in her eyes today, she pulls out her red shoes and dreams only of the coming night. Because this evening isn't just another Friday night - this evening she has a date.

Across town the boy of her dreams (or at least some guy who had a compelling MySpace profile), has just flown into town and anxiously hails a yellow cab. The fact that he comes from some distance implies their relationship - at least on the Internet - is more than a few days old. Thus the anticipation of this meeting has been building for a while on both sides, despite their mild-mannered appearances. As they each lay on their bed admiring pictures of the other, or practice dance moves in front of the mirror, they expose how truly ebullient - and optimistic - they are about this rendezvous.

Normally in these situations the cynic in you might take over, but the two characters here are played with such caution and humor that we allow ourselves to believe. Though the girl is wearing her Dorothy-shoes and the man initially jumps in a cab called "Confident Taxi," neither of them ever appear completely secure. Thus we are in the dance hall with him as he waits - wondering if she'll ever show up - and we are on the bike with her - worrying if he'll be anything like his online persona.

But once she finally does step in the room, without speaking a word, they know this is going to work. She crumples the picture in her hands and he waves sheepishly, but they are suddenly caught in the adrenaline of the moment. Their confidence grows by the second, with each furtive glance and every awkward dance move. The potential love that permeates the shrinking space between them is what lets them temporarily "raise the roof."

They don't kiss, because the music ends, but they stand inches apart waiting for it to resume. One imagines they don't speak at all in that silent gap. It's all about the dance tonight, finally being near each other and finally being free to express long dormant desire. Their heels kick up in unison - standing in their new shoes.

1 comment:

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