Monday, November 22, 2010

Backup Dancers From Hell: Evanescence - “Bring Me To Life”

We start off with a fly cam zooming through some metropolis, where the buildings are all dark and angsty, so this might be some sort of tribute to “Blade Runner” or another movie where unhappy people live bleak futuristic lives. Of course, we’re also hearing the lovely opening part of the song where a piano is playing, which should be soothing, so we’ve already set up a dichotomy of sorts. Are we going on a picnic or are we going to drown ourselves in gothic doom? Some of us face this decision every day.

As Amy, the lead singer, starts wailing, we focus in on a particular window in a particular building. All the other windows in the building are closed, but this one isn’t, with curtains billowing in the wind, meaning a free spirit lives here. Or at least somebody who hasn’t figure out how to close the window. The camera intrudes through the window (because it’s not a real rock video unless there’s voyeurism of some kind) and we see Amy lying on a bed, looking all lethargic and unsatisfied.

Suddenly, Amy is falling through the air in front of the building. She probably wasn’t expecting for this to happen, since she’s still wearing her slinky negligee and not something more helpful like a parachute. She’s not opening her eyes, which is probably good, because who wants to see a street rushing toward their ass when they unexpectedly fall out a window that they probably should have closed before they started drinking absinthe?

Oh wait, now we’re back in the bedroom, with Amy tossing and turning on her strangely-long bed. Is she dreaming? Does she have sleep apnea? So many questions. (Another shot of Falling Amy, still falling. This must be a very tall building.) Sleeping Amy appears to be singing parts of the song as she writhes in the bed. She seems to be in a lot of emotional turmoil. Maybe this wouldn’t be happening if she had bothered to remove her gothic makeup and piercings before she retired for the evening. How can you rest comfortably with a metal stud shoved through your eyelid?

Brief pause in the music, then the camera rolls up the building a bit to another apartment, where the rest of the band is performing in a nice room with padded walls. (Symbolic, much?) They rock out for a bit, which apparently causes Sleep Apnea Amy to rise from her strange bed and head toward the window of her own boudoir. (Is this really a good idea? I’m still not seeing a parachute anywhere, and something tells me you might need one.)

Montage of the band jamming and Amy unable to resist the allure of the Death Window, slowly working her way to the opening, but pausing here and there to look tragic and pale for the camera.

Amy, still not properly dressed, climbs out her window (hey, that’s a good idea) and stands on a tiny ledge. She starts working her way around the corner of the building (instead of going back to bed like a non-suicidal person would) while gale-force winds are whipping her hair and nightgown around. (Where is this severe wind coming from, anyway? Is the Republican Convention in town?) Brief sequence where Amy wanders past a window where an older couple is watching something on TV. They don’t seem to mind windblown rock stars strolling outside their window.

Amy also passes a few windows where people wearing creepy masks are dancing with balloons and wearing unfashionable attire. (I’m going to guess this is a jab at pretentious music critics. Otherwise, I’m at a loss.) More shots of the rest of the band bouncing around in that padded room, and it appears that Amy wants to join them, gazing skyward as trees and cows blow past her.

She starts climbing up the building toward the floor where her mates are rocking comfortably in a room that doesn’t have open windows. (Say, Amy, that’s a really good idea. Climb even higher so you can fall even further. Smooth move.)

Hey, is that Jack Nicholson at 2:03?

Mount Everest Amy finally clamors her way to the floor with the rest of the band, which is pretty impressive considering she’s barefoot and doesn’t have any actual superhero skills. The band doesn’t immediately notice her arrival, so she stands at the corner of the building and lets the wind whip her hair about while she writhes against the stone masonry. She finally gets bored with that, and staggers over to one of the windows, pausing to sing in a manner that indicates she might be enjoying what the wind is doing to her nether regions. Just a guess.

The other lead singer (no idea what his name is, but if memory serves he’s just a guest on this song, so it doesn’t matter that we don’t know who he is) finally notices Morticia on the tiny ledge. He shoves the window open with far too much exuberance, causing Mount Everest Amy to lose her balance. She tumbles, but manages to grab hold of the tiny ledge just below the window. (It totally sucks when you scale giant buildings in the middle of the night, so many things can go wrong.)

This other lead singer climbs out on the ledge, and tries to rescue Morticia, which is initially a good thing. But they both keep singing, which is kind of stupid, and makes the rescue attempt much more difficult than it needs to be. This goes on for a while, with Morticia dangling, unknown other lead singer weakly trying to hold on to Morticia, but really more invested in his vocals, and shots of the rest of the band rocking out and not even trying to help in any way. Inevitably, other lead singer loses his grip and Morticia Amy plummets.

Really sad. But we were expecting this, yes?

So Morticia Amy falls for a really long time, in that slo-mo way they do things when we’re supposed to pay attention. The other lead singer seems a wee bit torn up about this development, but he doesn’t stop singing, so he’s probably a little jaded about the sudden death of people he’s performing with. (The rest of the band still couldn’t care less, strutting about in the padded room.) The other lead singer does have a quick shot of him looking off to the right and appearing distraught, but he’s probably thinking “dang, if Morticia is dead, how am I going to get another gig?”

Oh, now we’ve cut back to Sleep Apnea Amy and she’s still in her bed. So, did any of this really happen, or was all of it a shifty dream, aided and abetted by the recreational use of controlled pharmaceuticals? We may never know.

The camera pulls away from the Building of Death and Falling People, leaving us all to ponder the significance of our lives and whether or not Rock and Roll might kill us at some point.

Fade to gothic black.


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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