Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dropping the Glass Slipper From a Helicopter - Cinderella's Don't Know What You Got

Yesterday I promised a real 1980's video. Today, I deliver. I try to under-promise and over-deliver, but in this case both my promise and delivery are regular in nature.

Anyways, take a look at this music video by Cinderella:

The song is entitled (entitled is to titled as Ensure is to sure) "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)". There is a lot wrong with that title. First of all, the grammar is terrible. It should be, "You don't know what you have until it done gone away." Also, what's the deal with the parentheses? For some reason this is common in song titles, but it makes no sense. I always feel like I should whisper the part in parentheses. If it is meant as a secondary title, the correct way to do this is with a colon as in Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf.

What are the themes of this video? The most major one is that the director rented a helicopter and it was really expensive and he's going to use as much footage as possible to justify this expense.

The second theme is playing piano by a lake.

Playing piano in nature is one of the most symbolic things you can do. The lake represents the ocean, and the piano represents Portugal's foreign policy in the early modern period. The sand represents the native people of the Americas and they are ground beneath the feet of outlandishly dressed gentlemen.

On second thought, I think it represents sensitivity. The singer is a very sensitive person.

Here he makes the universal gesture for "I am feeling emotions right now."

He is joined by his band mates who are suitably emotional and all have huge hair.

So sensitive.

Blondely sensitive.

The drummer is so sensitive that he hides his emotion behind his mane, which flows freely in the lake-side wind.

This song is so earnest and is sung in such an inappropriate voice that I'm not sure how to process it. The singer is sitting there playing his piano...

...and the sounds coming out of his mouth are in a nasal screech. I feel like he needed someone at some point to say, "Hey, buddy, you're not a tenor. It's okay. You can sing a little lower and no one will think any less of you." And he said, "NO! I am a tenor! Listen to [the sound of screeching for 5 damn minutes]."

This piano by the lake stuff just keeps going for, like, 3 minutes straight without anything new happening or anything even happening in the first place. They really want to get the message across: The man has emotions. The only real excitement during this portion of the video is a tantalizing shot of his rad jewelry.

Suddenly the scene shifts and we are introduced to the theme of being a cowboy.

This is at odds with the earlier theme because cowboys feel no emotions. John Wayne is the most famous cowboy and he never showed emotion in his life. Or maybe he just wasn't a great actor. Either way.

Anyway, upon closer inspection the cowboy is actually the same person as the singer and he proceeds to play a guitar solo.

I think this is really bad form. The singer gets to screech and play piano. There's another guy who only gets to play guitar. Let him play the solo! You can hand the reins to someone else for a little bit without losing anything. The guy is an egomaniac. I now suspect that the whole cowboy thing is just his chance to live out some sort of sick fantasy.

Here is the singer thinking about how, after the nuclear holocaust, he will go to a small town where all the inhabitants are dead and dress like a cowboy. What a messed up fantasy.

Towards the end of the video the director realizes that he has a bunch of helicopter footage that he hasn't gotten to use yet.

That's the bass player. He is tiny like an ant.

I think that might be the singer or possibly the guitar player. It's hard to tell, we are in a helicopter.

To tie all the themes together at the end, the whole band stands in front of the lake and then there is a freeze frame.

Do you understand now? EMOTIONS.

Join me tomorrow when I end the week with a video that has a totally different approach to ballads.


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