Sometimes the authorial intent of a song meets the vision of a director and a music video is born with such clarity that from that point on neither can exist in the mind without the other. This is the case with Frontier Ruckus‘ “Careening Catalog Immemorial” through the lens of director David Meiklejohn, a vision reminiscent of the urban haute bourgeoisie aesthetic of Whit Stillman — if his film musings had been set to a coming of age song in the Midwest.
“The filmmaker Derek Jarman once wrote that he ‘had seen very few films on male love which are gentle, they usually have a violent subtext,’ and I took that as a challenge,” Meiklejohn said of his fantastically refreshing portrayal of male youth. “I wanted to tell a story of young friends who love each other with such tenderness that even their fighting was sweet and playful.”
Songwriter Matthew Milia assembled “Careening Catalog Immemorial” from bits and pieces of lyrics and ideas he had left after most of the other 19 tracks on “Eternity of Dimming” were carefully finished. “It was a chance to have a lot of fun with all these lyrical orphans that I loved so much, but just hadn’t been able to find a home elsewhere,” Milia said. “What I had was a catalog of whacky couplets and cocky rhymes, each becoming its own stanza of disparate memories and eras for this metaphorical white limousine or minivan to careen through on the black-ice. It’s some memory-vehicle traveling recklessly from world to world of a tender childhood psyche.”
In some synchronous twist of fate, Meiklejohn had the perfect mental compliment to the Milia’s memory-vehicle. “I took a walk and tried to think of the absolute raddest thing in my life right now, and then I remembered a photo I saw of my teenaged friend Isaac and his pals hanging out shirtless around a table of food after a hearty Thanktober feast,” the director recalled. He promptly called up his young friend and pitched the idea of recreating the scene with all his (non-actor) friends. Two weeks later the video was shot in his house.
“The result was perhaps the purest distillation of idyllic youth mingling with abrupt adult punctuation that I shot to represent throughout the album” Milia added. “Definitely an accidental personal fav of mine on the record.”
“What David Meiklejohn did with the video — emphasizing all of those youthful and playful elements in the narrative and color tones — was masterful,” Milia exclaimed, and one can almost see him shirtless, chocolate syrup in hand. “There’s a sort of ecstatic but red-faced ambiguity intrinsic to my feelings for early adolescence which he just nailed visually. I love the little nuances he throws in—like the kids tilting their heads at a Nintendo magazine centerfold as if it’s porn. He’s a brilliant stylist.”
Let us know how you fell about your red-faced adolescence in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!
Spend Valentine's Day weekend with IFC's Underworld movie marathon.
Posted by Emmy Potter on Photo Credit: Screen Gems/courtesy Everett Collection
Romance takes many forms, and that is especially true when you have a thirst for blood or laser beams coming out of your eyes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a werewolf, a superhero, a clone, a time-traveler, or a vampire, love is the one thing that infects us all. Read on to find out why Romeo and Juliet have nothing on these supernatural star-crossed lovers, and be sure to catch IFC’s Underworld movie marathon this Valentine’s Day weekend.
1. Cyclops/Jean Grey/Wolverine, X-Men series
The X-Men franchise is rife with romance, but the steamiest “ménage à mutant” may just be the one between Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Their triangle is a complicated one as Jean finds herself torn between the two very different men while also trying to control her darker side, the Phoenix. This leads to Jean killing Cyclops and eventually getting stabbed through her heart by Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand. Yikes! Maybe they should change the name to Ex-Men instead?
2. Willow/Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Joss Whedon gave audiences some great romances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — including the central triangle of Buffy, Angel, and Spike — but it was the love between witches Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber Benson) that broke new ground for its sensitive and nuanced portrayal of a LGBT relationship.
Willow is smart and confident and isn’t even sure of her sexuality when she first meets Tara at college in a Wiccan campus group. As the two begin experimenting with spells, they realize they’re also falling for one another and become the show’s most enduring, happy couple. At least until Tara’s death in season six, a moment that still brings on the feels.
3. Selene/Michael, Underworld series
The Twilight gang pales in comparison (both literally and metaphorically) to the Lycans and Vampires of the stylish Underworld franchise. If you’re looking for an epic vampire/werewolf romance set amidst an epic vampire/werewolf war, Underworld handily delivers in the form of leather catsuited Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and shaggy blonde hunk Michael (a post-Felicity Scott Speedman). As they work together to stop the Vampire/Lycan war, they give into their passions while also kicking butt in skintight leather. Love at first bite indeed.
4. Spider-man/Mary Jane Watson, Spider-man
After rushing to the aid of beautiful girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the Amazing Spider-man is rewarded with an upside-down kiss that is still one of the most romantic moments in comic book movie history. For Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), the shy, lovable dork beneath the mask, his rain-soaked makeout session is the culmination of years of unrequited love and one very powerful spider bite. As the films progress, Peter tries pushing MJ away in an attempt to protect her from his enemies, but their web of love is just too powerful. And you know, with great power, comes great responsibility.
5. Molly/Sam, Ghost
When it comes to supernatural romance, you really can’t beat Molly and Sam from the 1990 hit film Ghost. Demi Moore goes crazy for Swayze like the rest of us, and the pair make pottery sexier than it’s ever been.
When Sam is murdered, he’s forced to communicate through con artist turned real psychic, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg in her Academy Award-winning role) to warn Molly she is still in danger from his co-worker, Carl (a pre-Scandal Tony Goldwyn). Molly doesn’t believe Oda is telling the truth, so Sam proves it by sliding a penny up the wall and then possessing Oda so he and Molly can share one last romantic dance together (but not the dirty kind). We’d pay a penny for a dance with Patrick Swayze ANY day.
6. Cosima/Delphine, Orphan Black
It stands to reason there would be at least one complicated romance on a show about clones, and none more complicated than the one between clone Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) and Dr. Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu) on BBC America’s hit drama Orphan Black.
Cosima is a PhD student focusing on evolutionary developmental biology at the University of Minnesota when she meets Delphine, a research associate from the nefarious Dyad Institute, posing as a fellow immunology student. The two fall in love, but their happiness is brief once Dyad and the other members of Clone Club get involved. Here’s hoping Cosima finds love in season four of Orphan Black. Girlfriend could use a break.
7. Aragorn/Arwen, Lord of the Rings
On a picturesque bridge in Rivendell amidst some stellar mood-lighting and dreamy Elvish language with English subtitles for us non-Middle Earthlings, Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) bind their souls to one another, pledging to love each other no matter what befalls them.
Their courtship is a matter of contention with Arwen’s father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), who doesn’t wish to see his daughter suffer over Aragorn’s future death. The two marry after the conclusion of the War of the Ring, with Aragorn assuming his throne as King of Gondor, and Arwen forgoing her immortality to become his Queen. Is it too much to assume they asked Frodo to be their wedding ring-bearer?
8. Lafayette/Jesus, True Blood
True Blood quickly became the go-to show for supernatural sex scenes featuring future Magic Mike strippers (Joe Manganiello) and pale Nordic men with washboard abs (Hi Alexander Skarsgård!), but honestly, there was a little something for everyone, including fan favorite Bon Temps medium, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis).
In season three, Lafayette met his mother’s nurse, Jesus, and the two began a relationship. As they spend more time together and start doing V (short for Vampire Blood), they learn Jesus is descended from a long line of witches and that Lafayette himself has magical abilities. However, supernatural love is anything but simple, and after the pair join a coven, Lafayette becomes possessed by the dead spirit of its former leader. This relationship certainly puts a whole new spin on possessive love.
9. Nymphadora Tonks/Remus Lupin, Harry Potter series
There are lots of sad characters in the Harry Potter series, but Remus Lupin ranks among the saddest. He was bitten by a werewolf as a child, his best friend was murdered and his other best friend was wrongly imprisoned in Azkaban for it, then THAT best friend was killed by a Death Eater at the Ministry of Magic as Remus looked on. So when Lupin unexpectedly found himself in love with badass Auror and Metamorphmagus Nymphadora Tonks (she prefers to be called by her surname ONLY, thank you very much), pretty much everyone, including Lupin himself, was both elated and cautiously hopeful about their romance and eventual marriage.
Sadly, the pair met a tragic ending when both were killed by Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving their son, Teddy, orphaned much like his godfather Harry Potter. Accio hankies!
10. The Doctor/Rose Tyler, Doctor Who
Speaking of wolves, Rose “Bad Wolf” Tyler (Billie Piper) captured the Doctor’s hearts from the moment he told her to “Run!” in the very first episode of the re-booted Doctor Who series. Their affection for one another grew steadily deeper during their travels in the TARDIS, whether they were stuck in 1950s London, facing down pure evil in the Satan Pit, or battling Cybermen.
But their relationship took a tragic turn during the season two finale episode, “Doomsday,” when the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose found themselves separated in parallel universes with no way of being reunited (lest two universes collapse as a result of a paradox). A sobbing Rose told a holographic transmission of the Doctor she loved him, but before he could reply, the transmission cut out, leaving our beloved Time Lord (and most of the audience) with a tear-stained face and two broken hearts all alone in the TARDIS.
Singer and actress Sam Shelton should provide a glimmer hope for hopelessly troublesome men everywhere with this dreamy confessional about a pretty girl who just can’t move on, even though she knows she should.
“Sometimes it’s easy to get comfortable in a routine, complacent in familiarity, static in a situation, despite it’s ups and downs,” Shelton confided. “I wanted my video for the song to reflect that languid, distracted, downright lazy inability to pull the trigger either way, even though you know what the right thing to do is. The girl can’t seem to break up with her boyfriend, though he’s quite literally a beast.”
This song clearly doesn’t reflect her current amour, who agreed to dress as a gorilla for her in the self-directed video. “Most of the Gorilla scenes are played by my husband,” Shelton said. “I think he is quite believable!”
You might note the splendidly whimsical drumming, which is actually performed by Shelton (though not while in the suit) with producer Ben Lee helping out on the track. “I am decidedly not a drummer!” Shelton exclaimed. “We just banged on the drums when the spirit moved us and that’s what you hear in the recording.”
Shelton got her start in music co-fronting the cabaret band “The Pretty Babies” with Zooey Deschanel, and is currently a voice on the animated series “Bob’s Burgers” (her aforementioned husband is also a writer for the show). She shot and edited everything with her iPhone and laptop, directing her man and Lem Jay Ignacio, who co-wrote the song, as they traded off in the sweaty gorilla suit.
“The song is very dreamy, and I surrendered to that dreaminess while making it. As an actor, it was fun to be able to do several takes and go deep into the heart of the character’s internal monologue,” Shelton recalled, experimenting with the bad relationship dynamic. “She knows in the long run he’s no good for her, but he is also just sweet and thoughtful enough to keep her on the hook.”
Director Dima Dubson, who shot the Adam Green doc “How to Act Bad”, was watching his friends Reputante perform this deep-throated rocker and took some liberties with his camera. The band told us he just jumped on stage off to the side and started shooting. They didn’t know Dubson was up there at first and had no idea he was making a video out of it.
“It’s a voyeuristic video,” Dubson said of clandestine footage. “We’re watching James sing this heartbreak of a song locked up in a tight cell of a frame. He manages to escape at one point, but not for long.”
Reputante, featuring singer James Levy, hail from New York. They begin a 12 date tour US tour with the Mercury Prize nominees The Maccabees, on Feb 8th.”