Showing posts from May, 2011

Duranalysis: My Own Way

Am I really going to drum up a thousand words or so on Duran Duran’s “My Own Way” video? I am, aren’t I?


Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with “My Own Way,” which was the first single released off of the 1982 Rio album. It’s a fun, throwaway video for a fun, throwaway song. It’s a little surprising to discover that Russell Mulcahy, the man behind the epic mayhem of “Wild Boys” and the large-scale exotic spectacles of “Rio” and “Hungry Like the Wolf,” directed this agreeable trifle, which looks like it was shot in a couple hours in a high school auditorium on a shoestring budget (expenses: red and black paint, confetti, glitter, headbands…). Like “Careless Memories” and “Night Boat,” the video for “My Own Way” didn’t make it onto Duran Duran’s 2003 Greatest DVD collection. It’s neither a mild embarrassment like “Careless Memories,” nor an overlooked gem like “Night Boat.” It simply exists, in an inoffensive and modestly entertaining kind of way.

Fun With Keywords: Special Moving-Is-Traumatic Edition

Duran Duran reviews will return in a bit, but I’m taking a quick break to: a) recover from a grueling coast-to-coast move (blood, sweat and tears have all been involved, in significant quantities), and b) take an overdue look at some of the search terms visitors have used to find this site recently. Here we go:

what gives, wyoming preppies
I’m dazzled by the concept of Wyoming preppies. I’m picturing crew-necked sweaters and tennis skirts paired with bolo ties and hand-tooled cowboy boots. If done correctly, it could be awesome.

prentiss crush hotch
Heh. I realize this is probably intended to mean Emily Prentiss has a secret crush on Hotch, which is a popular theory among some Criminal Minds fans, but there’s a fun “Hulk smash!” air to the phrasing: “Prentiss crush Hotch! Prentiss strong!”

Duranalysis: Save a Prayer

Duran Duran’s 1982 video for “Save a Prayer” was directed by Russell Mulcahy and shot in Sri Lanka at the same time as their videos for “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Lonely in Your Nightmare.” I don’t know if Sri Lanka saw an upswing in tourism after this hit the airwaves, but it wouldn’t surprise me. It’s a land of majestic beaches, epic sunsets, and scantily-clad pop stars! Hard to resist any of that.

There's no plot, but there sure are a lot of pretty images. Let's get to it:

Duranalysis: Rio

Oh, Rio, Rio, hear them shout across the land…

The video for Duran Duran’s 1982 hit “Rio” is a dazzling, much-loved spectacle that cemented the band’s (hard-earned and richly-deserved) reputation as a bunch of worldly, decadent, hilariously excessive playboys. My film-school training prohibits me from counting “gorgeous nitwits cavort on a yacht” as a legitimate plot, so I have to dock the video points for the absence of a cohesive narrative. Still, what it lacks in plot, it makes up for in witty vignettes and vibrant images. It’s a riot of colorful body paint and spilled champagne, set against blue Caribbean waters and white sandy beaches and endless violet skies.

It is, in short, totally awesome.

Duranalysis: The Reflex

Back in the day, I didn’t have much use for Duran Duran’s video for “The Reflex.” After all, it consists entirely of concert footage, which, to my way of thinking, is the laziest and least interesting way of doing things. When it comes to music videos, I’m a big fan of strong narratives. Strong, weird, overblown, confusing, crazy, awesome narratives. Still, while I’d rather watch the boys fending off zombies or stumbling around bleak apocalyptic wastelands, I’ve since learned to relax and embrace “The Reflex.” It’s a concert video, yes, but it’s a pretty damn entertaining one.

Directed by the great Russell Mulcahy, “The Reflex” was filmed in 1984 during the band’s Sing Blue Silver world tour. While it may not be my all-time favorite Duran Duran video, there’s an awful lot to like about it. I like the gleeful synchronized hop Simon and Andy and John all take upon hitting the stage. I like Simon’s infectious enthusiasm. I like the preposterously high energy level. I like the…