Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: La Roux - “Bulletproof”

So we start in some place where black lines are racing across the floor to take over a set piece that somebody found on a soundstage from 1987 when everything was angular, stark, and far more colorful than really necessary. The conquering lines eventually lead us to the odd tennis shoes of someone seated in an uncomfortable plastic chair. Oh look, it’s La Roux (or whatever her real name might be), pimped up in a too-busy outfit and sporting a hairstyle that can get cobwebs out of the corner of the room with one flick of her head.

She starts singing, but we’re so distracted by her vibrant orange lipstick that we probably missed a few words of the lyrics. This probably isn’t important, since it’s very clear that she’s angry about something and needs to vent. We’ll go with that. (Side note: Just googled, and apparently the angry lead singer’s name is Eleanor, or Elly, for her closest 5,000 friends.) Elly hops up and starts stomping around in her stark world, with her facial expressions indicating that she will gladly decapitate anyone who gets in her way. She scary.

We get lots of close-ups of Miss Ellie’s futuristic makeup, with a special emphasis on her startling green eye-shadow that could probably cause satellites to stop in their orbit. Elly and her Rubik’s Cube accessories keep strutting around, but we have no idea where she’s going, unless it’s to an anger management class. Just to keep things jazzed up, the producers are jacking around with the psychedelic set piece so that it looks like Elly is trapped in a scene from “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Without Stanley Kubrick. Or an off button.

Oh look, Elly did a quick costume change, and now she’s running about in a modified Goth outfit that involves pieces of aluminum foil and some new eye-shadow that confirms you are only cool if you have metallic bits smeared on your skin. She’s also wearing what looks like a cameo necklace, which has nothing to do with anything, so somebody in Wardrobe probably got fired.

The inappropriate accessories don’t stop Elly, though. She keeps marching through her alien world, fully intent on destroying the boyfriend or girlfriend or potted plant that did her wrong. We get some shots of her looking really sad and not singing, but this might just be the result of so much hair product that her brain had to shut down until the noxious vapors cleared the room.

And we have yet another outfit, this one involving a tribute to the Spandau Ballet album cover for “Communication”. This signals the producers to make it look like Elly is on a catwalk that leads through a giant piano. Then they do some fancy camerawork so that it appears Elly has been trapped in an Ikea showroom. This leads to a segment where Elly and her hair have to rest, probably because the spandex tights are cutting off her circulation.

Costume change once again, and now we have a tribute to Dale Bozzio in Missing Persons, complete with cryptic pink eye-shadow that has taken over Elly’s entire head. (Seriously, there’s a stylist somewhere who actually told Elly to wear what she’s wearing right now? I am SO not understanding musical fashion at the moment.) And there goes Elly again, tromping around in her “Tron” environment and still looking angry. Does she EVER smile?

Wait, is she now singing in a futuristic bathroom? What’s up with that?

Okay, now we get to the slightly calmer part of the song, and Elly is now ensconced on a throne of some kind, coupled with images of her flat on her back (probably because her hair is too heavy). She’s looking more tragic than ever, so I really don’t know if we should believe all her bellowing about being “bulletproof”. Just sayin.

Then some discordant projectiles start falling from the sky, looking like Elly is being attacked by an alien spaceship in an old-school “Galaga” video game, and things start to pick back up. Stone-faced Elly starts strutting around again, and the projectiles miss her completely instead of smashing her to smithereens. (Not that she would notice, with her clenched jaw and “I’m going to stomp along until I get my way” attitude.)

And now the producers start slicing-and-dicing the imagery, so that we get to see composite shots of all of Elly’s questionable attire in one image, along with some fracturing of the camera angles. Great. I didn’t care for the individual outfits, and now we get a fantasia of sense-assaulting couture. This right here is why people turn to drugs. But I’m not bitter.

And that’s how we wind things up, with the split-personality wardrobe, sprinkled with re-visits to the startling unisex bathroom that no one apparently uses except Elly. We also get shots of Elly on that odd throne thing, so it’s possible that she is some type of interplanetary queen just waiting for the right time to take over Earth and rule forever. I’m fairly certain that this won’t happen, because the Republicans won’t allow anyone who isn‘t white and rich to govern, but I’m still going to pack an overnight bag just in case…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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