Wednesday, March 5, 2014
BUG at the BFI, 28th February
So, BUG turned out to be quite different from what I was expecting, not least because Adam Buxton who normally hosts it was replaced by Doc Brown. But it was no worse for this (I imagine). Doc Brown was a really funny host who'd obviously put a lot of effort into making sure any Adam Buxton fans (or 'Buckle' to his friends) were not disappointed.
Having watched Adam Buxton's Kernel Panic, I thought BUG was going to be more of the same - lots of YouTube clips, with Adam's witty commentary surrounding them. Instead, it was a showcase of some amazing music videos - many of which were quite hard-hitting, interspersed with Doc Brown's comedic efforts keeping with the theme of videos and film to lighten the mood.
We were shown 12 music videos, in chunks of two or three. There was also an interview with the music video Josh Cole who has directed videos for Rudimental, Chase N Status and Louis Matters to name but a few. To be honest, for me, this was the weakest point of the night, though I did enjoy watching some of the videos he'd made.
I rarely watch the videos to songs I like and I had either forgotten or dismissed the emotional impact they can have and how once you've seen a video, listening to the song will provoke those same feelings again. Or how music videos can so enhance a song by forging this emotional connection to it, even if that's just one of humour. I wasn't the biggest fan of Rudimental's song Not Giving In but after watching the video, I can't get it out of my head, and that's a good thing.
There was one other song that I couldn't get out of my head after BUG but we'll come to that.
Also, I must say, the actual songs that these music videos belonged to were brilliant. Many were songs I already knew and liked but the ones I was introduced to instantly made it onto my download list.
First up we had J Cole's She Knows - a tale of two youngsters pricking about downtown before one of them making an awful discovery when he comes home earlier than expected. Burning House's Post Party Stress Disorder was a great animated representation of what its like going to a house party and getting mashed up - although it does get pretty surreal (perhaps the guy took shrooms). And keeping with the headscrambling theme we had the video for Julio Bashmore's Peppermint (above) which had some screwy visuals to go with the pumping song.
Then we had Doc Brown's injection of humour - he took some emotional scenes and, taking the idea of incidental music one step further, overlaid lyrics on top of it (sung live). Heart-swelling moments such as when Will Smith gets a job in The Pursuit of Happyness and when Daniel Day Lewis has to shoot his friend in Last of the Mohicans had words spelling out exactly what was happening on screen and how you should be feeling. Oddly, the music in the Mohicans scene was very upbeat and jaunty, clashing with the dark, traumatic scene on screen, and was exploited by Doc's lyrics, most notably, the final line (repeated to fade) 'killing his best friend to save him from suffering'. These words, and the Irish jig tune they were set to, I cannot get out of my head.
Next up was my favourite trio of videos, starting with the touching story of two long-time lovers in New York who bonded over a mutual love of gigs in the video for Elbow's New York Morning. Then came the clever (I thought) video for Oneohtrix Point Never's Boring Angel - a video telling the story of a person's life completely done with emojis. And finally, the hilarious video for Fidlar's Cocaine featuring the guy from Parks and Recreation... and a fake appendage (see below).
We had another interlude of entertainment collated by Doc Brown, namely the bizarre interview held with James Brown, before he went on tour, after he was arrested for assaulting his wife. Has to be seen to be believed.
The final four videos included Damon Albarn's Everyday Robots, Jon Hopkins Collider, Disclosure's Grab Her (the more I hear of them, the more I like) and The Last Skeptik's Pick your Battles, which features the hero befriending a bear who attacks him in the woods but then turns out to be quite nice. Or does he...?
There seemed to be an 'epicness' to these final videos, and in recognising that, Doc Brown thought it only right to introduce us to the most epic scene of the most epic of epic movies. If you haven't heard of Singham, you better rectify! I have to share this little treat with you all.
I've included links to all of the videos. They were all awesome so do check them out. And definitely go to a BUG to discover more, I certainly will.