Your Film Major Friends Will Love Phoenix's 'Ti Amo' Video
    • TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2017

    • Posted by: Annie Brinich


    I'm not always sure if popular musical acts that were once underground are ridiculing themselves or not, so I'll give Phoenix the benefit of the doubt with their "Ti Amo" video. If they weren't making some kind of statement about the vapidness of old timey Europe, this video, with its images of skinny, scantily-clad young white women, paired with lyrics like "Love you! Ti amo! Je t'aime ! ¡Te quiero! / Open up your legs / Don't tell me, don't tell me no" would be pretty weird. But again: benefit of the doubt. This is probably some kind of commentary on the fetishization of 1960s European film stars. Right?

    The point is probably (hopefully) this: the nostalgia people might feel for the Europe of 60 years ago is actually for the Europe shown in films from 60 years ago. People miss the car chases through the mountains, the beautiful women undressing on the beach, and people feeding each other heaping forkfuls of pasta, because the most popular remaining representations of that time show people enjoying European life rather than in a panic over elections, terrorist attacks, and financial crises.

    And it is fun to see Europe represented as such a carefree, sexy place. The montage of grainy footage of beaches and tourist destinations is very pretty. It's just… Phoenix really risks being mistaken as a group of middle-aged guys who genuinely want to go back to a time that had as many, if not more, problems as the Europe of today. And with the theme of nostalgia for a "simpler time" in mind, they've constructed a song that's kind of simple too. Not that there's anything wrong with simple--it's just easy to mistake for pointless.

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