When you listen to as much music as we do, you notice it everywhere–especially in movies and on TV, where the soundtrack is more important than ever. The monthly column highlights the most notable recent examples of music and visual media blending.
Rosalia’s TikTok live performance by Rosalia is just as original as her new album.
Rosalia performed a TikTok live performance of 28 minutes to celebrate the release of her new record. The video is best viewed on a smartphone as it uses TikTok’s Duet feature and simulates screenshots. It also allows for changing orientations to create a VR-like experience. The camera is placed inside a motorcycle helmet and facing Rosalia during the opener, “SAOKO.” Before it gets thrown in the air, the camera becomes more selfie-like. Rosalia switches between POV moments and cinematic sweeps for “HENTAI” using different camera angles and costuming. This is just like MOTORMAMI whiplashes in between experimental reggaeton and ballads. Rosalia is a pioneer in music-video creativity, breaking the fourth wall and riding in the dirt.
Bring Down the Walls makes prison documentary house music into an instrument for activism, education, and freedom
Criterion Channel will air Bring Down The Walls on Monday. This documentary, which is set in 2020, confronts the U.S. prison industry complex with a soundtrack full of joyful house music. The British director Phil Collins, not the one, transformed a downtown New York firehouse into a venue that hosted talks and workshops on prison abolition and social justice. There were also concerts at night that were made for Black, Latinx, and Queer people. As much as the film shows the party atmosphere, it also explores the ripple effect of the carceral state on various people’s lives. Bring Down The Walls demonstrates the intertwined relationship of music and social justice, following people trying to find freedom in an unfair system.
Sudan Archives transforms furniture emporium into a denim dance hall
Brittney Parks is a violinist and singer who creates rhythmic, dance-ready arrangements of string arrangements. She calls herself Sudan Archives. Parks’s new single, “Home Maker”, was released last month. The video shows Parks wearing acrylic nails and a tight, denim outfit as she wanders around a furniture store, complete with bright fluorescent lighting and beige couches. Parks is captured in the store’s staticky security camera. Men start looking at her from behind bookshelves and desks before breaking into a gyrating dance to worship Parks. This video shows that sometimes all it takes to make a memorable music video is a familiar set, strong dancing and a charismatic personality commanding the camera.
The Dropout‘s music from the early 2000s is a strange delight
The Dropout features a harrowing and sometimes hilarious performance by Amanda Seyfried. She plays Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, as she navigates Silicon Valley through wire fraud and bogus health tech. The series spans the 2000s through the 2010s and features era-appropriate needle drops that mark the passing of time. These are usually scenes in which Holmes jams alone to Missy Elliott or Yeah Yeah Yeahs while listening to her iPod. The miniseries’ low-key genius is captured in one episode. Holmes, in an attempt to win Sunny Balwani’s affections, starts blasting Lil Wayne’s “How to Love” while walking into Sunny’s office. She clumsily shakes her hips and lip-syncs with a green drink in her hand. Holmes’s eclectic music tastes may be the most extensive stretch of The Dropout but it’s a refreshing and cringe-worthy wrinkle that makes one of the strangest people on the planet seem a little more human.
Florence and the Machine cast a spell using three Dance Fever video clips
Florence Welch is the most popular arena rocker since Stevie Nicks. She has been building her reputation for the past decade. The trilogy of videos that mark the release of her fifth album shows Florence Welch finally embracing her role as coven leader. Directed by Autumn de Wilde, with choreography by Ryan Heffington and costumes by Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, the clips for “King,” “Heaven Is Here,” and “My Love” depicts Florence and her dancers as vessels of unbridled pagan femininity–stomping, wailing, flailing, flashing their undergarments, and generally whipping themselves into a murderous frenzy. It’s awesome. The videos have taken on an unintentional sadness undertone in recent weeks. They were filmed in Kyiv, in November. Two of the dancers “are currently hiding,” Florence stated upon the release of “Heaven Is Here.” She also wrote, “To my brave, beautiful sisters Maryne, and Anastasiia,” in the YouTube description. I love you. I would love to wrap my arms around you. Strength. She urges her fans to support International Rescue Committee’s Ukraine response.