Sound and vision
Pop promo or film art? The late night Mirrorball strand at the Drambuie Edinburgh Film Festival places the humble music video alongside the best in contemporary filmmaking. Fiona Shepherd reckons what’s good for
the cars is good for the eyes.
or every musical purist who will cite magical moments in recorded history. saying ‘you wouldn’t get that in a video’. it is now possible to ﬁnd an apologist for the art ot~ video who can point to equivalent deﬁnitive promo clips — from Bob Dylan‘s idiosyncratically subtitled ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ to Kate Bush eloudbusting on some rural English hilltop to any Bjork
video you care to mention. pg
Allegations of video killing the radio star have subsided as surely as did fears that Nintendo was the new rock ’n’ roll. Music and visuals - now enjoy an wile/Ire cm'rliale. a fact which the Drambuie Edinburgh Film Festival is celebrating with its Mirrorball programme ol~ pop promos and ﬁlms.
Making an appearance at the Festival alongside his
14 The List 9-l5 Aug l996
video subjects. Pulp‘s Jarvis (‘ocker and Steve Mackey. is Pedro Romhanyi. currently Britain‘s hottest music video property I‘ollowing his striking work with Pulp and Brit Award l'or Blur’s ‘Parklil'e'. Romhanyi believes that sound and vision should inl‘orm each other.
"l‘hey both have a life ol their ow n.‘ he says. ‘and the great videos only happen when both cross-refer and create something even stronger. ' It's supposed to serve a purpose. which is to V s promote a record. so on one level
all the record company wants is something that's bright. colourt‘nl. isn’t contentious and makes the artist look better than the} do in real lite. You can't just make ﬁlms in a vacuum »— you have to exist and compete in that world -- but I like videos to have an idea that is intellectually more stimulating. The best work is when it embodies something that you hear in a song but maybe hadn't noticed.’
Romhanyi cites Radiohead's com- pelling video tor ‘Jnst‘. which meshed perl'ormanee with
an intriguing. subtitled. open-ended story and
as a recent example ol‘
how bigger budgets don‘t have to signal a dearth ot inventiveness. llis earliest striking video memory is Michael Jackson lighting up the pavement in ‘Billie Jean — sophisticated at the time. but like Adam And The Ants and Queen. embarrassingly lo—l'i now.
‘Production values are very high now to compete with the best l‘orms ol‘ l’ilmed entertainment.‘ reckons Romhanyi. ‘For certain things you need money to execute the idea. We're in the world of Twister and .lurassic Park now.‘
We’re also in the world of kids' TV. in this country at least. where most outlets for music video lall well before the watershed. However. despite the constraints on adult content which
‘On one level, all the record company wants is something that’s bright, colourful, isn’t contentious
and makes the artist look better than they do in real Iite.’
this otten brings about. Romhanyi is confident that music video can progress as a torm in its own right. ‘
‘Mnsic‘s always going to be action and reaction. As long as music keeps regenerating itsell' and music video does. it'll be healthy. II" it doesn‘t. it‘s all over - it'll be pale imitations of bad copies.’
Name Pedro Ronihanyi. Background Described as ‘the man who put Britpop on screen‘. he graduated with a
BA (lions) in Film from the Polytechnic ol (‘entral London and went on to work as a video commissioner. gradually rising through the ranks to director. helped in no uncertain terms by an association with the
meteoric trajectory of Pulp. Videography Pulp‘s ‘l)o You Remember The First 'l‘ime' documentary and all their Diff/WWII ('luss' videos; Blur's ‘Parklil'e‘ (for which he won a Brit Award); various recent Paul
Preachers‘ ‘l)esign For Lil'e'.
Weller videos including ‘Wildwood' and ‘(‘hangingtnan'; McAlmont a2 Butler's ‘Yes': and Mattie Street
Pick Of The Fest The photolovestorytastic ‘l)isco 2000‘ by Pulp. (Fiona Shepherd) l’u/p Videos Scone [3v Sir/Io n'iI/I I’m/m It’mn/m/rvl. .luri'ls (‘m'km' uml Slew Markov. Mun l2. ABC. [lit/I'll/NHZQII. 6.30pm. [8 ([4). I’m/m Rom/limit .S’limrru'.’. 'I'lmrt' l5. I’ll/Ii/Iuntt’. Ifrlinlmrg/I. /()pm. [6 (f4).