Sunday, January 9, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: T’Pau - “Heart And Soul”

I totally forgot that this thing is full of multiple superimposed images, so it gets a bit tough to figure out what’s going on, but I’ll give it my best shot. And, of course, I’ll just make crap up for the bits that I can’t crack.

We start off with a blue-tinted image of the lead singer (Carol?) on the right, and something involving a violin and a man’s torso on the left. Carol is looking really sad, but she’s trying her best to do a nice little swaying dance to the opening strains of the music. Then she kind of fades away and we are treated to shadow images of a man and a woman dancing near what might be a bonfire or a tragic accident involving excessive amounts of hairspray. (This was the 80’s, after all.)

Now we have shots of the drummer, um, drumming, and somebody else’s fingers diddling with a keyboard. And there’s one of the guitar players, but he’s not the cute one, so we really don’t care. More blue-tinted Carol, who apparently has enough hair that you could hide a few dead bodies in there. She’s still sad. Then Carol comes in from the other side of the screen, not blue this time, in an extreme closeup so we can see that she is very serious about her performance, so we need to pay attention. This is difficult, because the size of her dangly earrings is a total distraction.

Behind Carol, someone holding a video camera is either taking footage while running through some part of the Dust Bowl, or while riding a merry-go-round. Not clear, especially with all that damn Carol hair getting in the way all the time. Oh, good, quick shot of the guitar player who IS cute, so I feel a little better now. That Carol is kind of creepy.

Then we have a very brief glimpse of Carol (I think) sporting another hairstyle, and I fully understand why the producers only gave us an initial second or two of this look. Carol has piled all her hair on her head, and the resulting bouffant is the size of New Jersey. You have to be mentally prepared to look at something like that for any length of time, so the producers were being considerate by easing us into this transition.

More footage of the shadow-dancing couple and blue-tinted Carol with her sadness and lack of a hairbrush.

Now we’re back to Bouffant Carol, and we’re allowed to see her a little bit longer. There are sparks flying across the screen from the right, so I’m going to guess that the camera is being overworked trying to capture all that hair. Oh, and there’s something else on fire, but I can’t really tell what it is. This was a dangerous shoot.

More shots of the various Carol’s, then a better angle on that burning thing, and it appears to be a ritualistic seal of some kind. Why would they want to burn that? Are these people with the Inquisition in some way? Because I understand those folks were not very nice people. We need to be careful. If I hear the word “heretic”, I’m running.

Quick snippet of coins being dropped. Or spread around. Something with little metal discs and an overall sense of unexpectedness.

Shadow-dancers again, and it’s becoming very clear that the male half of this couple has no rhythm or skill whatsoever. And he keeps doing that “come here” gesture with one of his fingers, and this is totally annoying. I don’t want to come over there. Why would I want to be near someone who dances like they’ve got a corncob in the back forty?

Montage of the band members singing or playing, including the cute guitar player with the attempted Rick Springfield hairdo. Now Sad Carol is actually starting to perk up a little bit, waving her arms to the beat like Stevie Nicks during her gypsy phase. I don’t know what finally lightened her mood, but she needs to keep doing whatever it was.

More shadow-dancers. I think I’m starting to not care for them at all.

Oh boy. We finally got a full-frontal shot of what Bouffant Carol is wearing, and she looks like Amy Grant just after Amy quit singing all those religious songs and started wearing horrid 80’s outfits that will never, ever come back in style. Never. Once again, the producers are considerate of our mental health, and cut away from Amy Carol before the shock has fully registered.

Now the Shadow Dancer girl is running somewhere, but it’s a bit murky. It could be an apartment hallway or a train station. Then we cut back to Rick Springfield and the rest of the band, followed by another round of multiple Carol’s, and then back to the Shadow People, who are now dancing alongside a pink wall. (The inept Dancer Guy has now resorted to jumping in place as a means of musical enjoyment. I really wish he wouldn’t do that.)

Back to Carol, one of them, anyway, on the right side of the screen, while the Shadow People meander down a cracked sidewalk on the left. Oh, wait. Is that a jail cell? Please push the Dancer Guy in there. Please. But nobody does, and it nearly destroys me emotionally. To make matters worse, the camera actually focuses on Dancer Guy, who is now simply waving his hands over his head. And not even to the beat. This is turning into one of those slasher movies where you just want them to kill off all the minor characters so you can find out who’s the actual maniac with childhood issues, and then go have pizza.

More montage, mostly involving Carol’s hair, then we’re either crossing a bridge or trapped in the basement of a mental institution. This is followed by the Shadow People trudging up some really dirty steps. (We’re making a video here, people, you’d think somebody could find a broom.) The Shadow People make their way to a terra cotta floor, and proceed with more of the not dancing very well. Although, if you study the shadow image carefully, it does appear that Dancer Guy just might be snapping Dancer Girl’s neck. At this point, whatever it takes to make them quit dancing is fine by me.

We end with another montage, and a final shot of the Original Carol inquiring of us “Must I? Beg you?” As I stare at her face, wondering what she could possibly want from me, I realize that maybe all the Carol’s in this video are maybe not the same person, which would totally change my analysis of this sterling example of the 80’s at their best.

I worry about this for roughly two seconds and then close the document. It’s really not that important.


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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