Saturday, July 10, 2010

Searching for shelter

I'm starting to think I'm alone in loving the music video for Brandon Flowers's "Crossfire" as much as I do.



Sweet, smart, and--the thing I'm not reading as much as I'd like--funny. What's not to like? The slow motion capturing of action scenes, languid editing, lingering close-ups, and ballad style of the song juxtapose with the action going on around stationary Brandon in a genuinely humorous way. Likewise, the contrast between the Americana-a-la-Springsteen style of the song and the position Brandon finds himself in--the object in need of rescue, not a swaggering powerful macho subject--is deliberate and, once again, funny. Factor in Charlize's exasperation, Brandon's apologetic, semi-embarrassed, "yes, I've been captured again, but you still love me anyway, right?" smiles, and Charlize putting her arm around him at the end despite it all and you've got a perfect video.

That first explosion, pushing in from offscreen at what seems like a slow pace compared to the manic editing we're used to for action scenes, coming after a minute of atmospheric observation of a stationary Brandon and matched with the serious tone of the belted chorus, is a genuinely laugh-out-loud moment for me, and it's intended to be. Ditto the way Charlize manages to dispatch ninjas attacking her from behind without even needing to take a backward glance to interrupt her "really, Brandon? I have to rescue you again?" face.

With its mix of action, flip humor that plays on our genre-based expectations, and genuine affection between the characters, the video makes me think of great action-comedy-dramas with competent, strong female fighters rescuing slightly awkward semi-love interests or companions--say, Chuck, Xena, or Buffy--and tapping into the same pop cultural vein as those shows can't be a bad thing.

3 comments:

Paul said...

absolutely not alone. I adore it. I think some of it is really lovely. Charlize must be annoyed that she keeps rescuing him and he keeps getting captured again, but at least it keeps her busy!!

xolondon said...

I like the video, I just don't think the song is really what he should be doing right now. But the concept is great!

Poster Girl said...

It doesn't seem as if she's been too busy making movies recently, so I guess she's got the time to keep chasing after him.

I can understand that--it's not the progression I was hoping for from him, but I've found myself loving it. I do hope there's something other than '06 Killers-style material on the album, though.