6 Music Videos You Wish Were Full Length Films
    • FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 2017

    • Posted by: Larisha Paul

    Stop for a second and think of all of the times you've listened to a song and had absolutely had no idea what was going on in it. The amount of times you've looked up a song on Genius to see if there was some kind of explanation of the lyrics that made an ounce of sense to aid in your coming to an understanding of the song's meaning. Too many to count, right? One thing that has always been expected to clarify the story at the origin of a song is the companion music video; but, even that doesn't always help.

    On countless occasions I've found myself finishing a music video and being left with a longing to know more. There is only so much an artist can fit into a 5 minute video; so, when they try to compact an entire storyline into a music video, it can become slightly overwhelming. You are given the basic outline of a story, the characters are presented to you, as well as their conflict; however, what you often aren't shown is how those characters got to where they are, what caused the conflict to begin with, and there is rarely ever a resolution given. You become so engulfed in trying to pick up every detail possible that when the video ends you are pulled back to reality where you soon realize that you are lacking so many pieces to a very large puzzle. I've come to the conclusion that the only way to solve this problem is to convert the music videos into feature length films–I know, super unrealistic, but hear me out.

    Back in December of 2015, British music duo Seafret released the music video for their song "Wildfire." The second verse of the song consists of the lyric "As feelings arrange deep down inside / Try describing a love you can't design." I understand it to be this line that inspired Seafret to create the video that they did. The "Seafret" music video is a modern recreation of psychologist Arthur Aron's social experiment in which he tested whether or not two strangers could fall in love with each other in an immensely short amount of time. The test required that the two volunteers sit across from each other and contemplate the 36 intense questions provided to them, after which they were told to stare into each other's eyes for 4 minutes. By the end of the experiment, some participants and their partner appeared to have grown fairly close in the short time that they spent together–closer than others, at least. Some departed from each other with a simple handshake, some a hug, and a few with an added in kiss on the cheek. But then it's over. The video ends, and the credits role, and that's it. Did any of them actually fall in love? Did they exchange phone numbers to keep in touch? Instagrams? Snapchats? Home addresses to send letters? Okay, probably not that last one because serial killers do in fact exist, but you get my point. You're left with no explanation of what came to be for the pairings. It's hard to deny that turning the plot of this video into a full length film would be a bad idea. This is the kind of story that you can become so invested in that you don't even realize the entire hour and a half of the film has gone by.

    Bastille's "Glory" is yet another story of love, but without the cliffhanger found in "Wildfire." The song itself accounts two lovers together talking and telling stories through the night, and while doing so they begin to question the authenticity and truth of the reality they find themselves in. In the video, this night of conversations is brought to life as lead singer Dan Smith lays a top the hood of a car with model May Daniels, passing a beer between the two of them. They watch planes as they go by, as stated in the song, and as they are retelling the adventures they have shared together they begin to notice differences in how they remember the events transpiring. Some gaps in memory are innocent, like Dan remembering the sunset turning the sky yellow and May recalling it being full of pinks; but, others could use more concrete remembrance: like whether or not the man, whose house the two lovers literally ran through, had a gun or not.

    As a film, "Glory" could dive deeper into the memories Dan and May's characters have shared together, presenting each scene in a different light whenever a lapse in recollection appeared. It would be a film about love that is unlike any other–no unnecessary fights that were only added to make it seem as though the couple wouldn't end up together even though everyone knows they will; rather, it would be an existential film about what it means to share experiences with others, and how the mind may alter the ways in which we remember these events.

    Taking a turn for a more similar topic, electronic pop artist EDEN explores the downfall of a relationship in "drugs," or so it seems. When listening to "drugs," you are presented with the lyrics "She said, 'You ain't you when you're like this. This ain't you, what you done?" which is then followed by a response, "And I said, 'That's the point.'" This all suggests that the conflict is between a woman and her drug-using husband who essentially turns into someone else when he's using, which was his plan to begin with. This all makes sense, and when viewing the "drugs" music video it all continues to add up.

    We see a man smoking near the dumpsters behind a restaurant he appears to work at, with a look of despair coating his face–which is a complete 180 from his expressions of happiness in the scenes that follow in which he is with his wife. Going back to the restaurant, we learn that the man is a dishwasher, and from his response to the $72 paycheck he received he isn't making nearly enough money to afford his habits. Later on, the man is shown entering what looks to be an abandoned warehouse that now houses some very questionable individuals–many of which are passed out in chairs and bathtubs. A girl that he meets there pulls him into a room where he gives her a lump of cash, presumably his entire paycheck if not more, in exchange for a ziplock bag of pills. As he leaves to go home, you become disappointed that he is choosing these habits over making his wife happy, but then things take a turn and we're hit with a massive plot twist: the pills are for his wife. The man arrives at home and wipes the tears from his eyes before entering a room in which we see his wife hooked up to an IV and in a gown as though she was being treated at a hospital for cancer. The pills that he bought were her medication. Again, the credits roll and it's over. No further explanation of their clearly complicated story. As a film, this would have to be way more in depth, but it would be totally worth it to see the history and fate of this couple.

    Taking it back to 2012, we're looking at Alt-J's video for "Breezeblocks." The song itself is about loving someone so extensively that you would be willing to hurt both yourself and them just to be together (quick reminder of how dangerous toxic relationships can be!). As if the song itself wasn't wild enough, things get extremely trippy in the music video.

    There's a lot going on here, so it takes a bit of finagling to completely understand. The video begins with a young girl's face in the an overflowing bathtub with a concrete block on her chest, keeping her in the water. Seeing this, you would assume that what you were about to watch would be about a murder–but then the block is removed and the girl emerges from the water. We then see how she ended up there in the first place, and as you continue watching you realize the video is being played in reverse from the tragic ending to the alarming beginning. The block is thrown onto the young girl by a man who you would think is the initial aggressor based on the way she is shown holding a knife and quivering on the floor earlier. Only, he isn't the aggressor–she is. By the end of the video we reach the understanding that the young girl broke into the man's house while he was away at work and tied up his wife.

    When he arrives at home the young girl attempts to stab him, which leads into an all-out brawl between the two characters, which ends in the girl's death. Creatively speaking, I've never seen anything like this. As confusing as it would be to watch a movie in reverse, "Breezeblocks" would be the perfect story to do so with. It would all make sense in the end, and perhaps we can gather a backstory on everyone involved in order to understand what led to such a catastrophic night.

    I find it funny how we started with a simple video about people falling in love, and we wanted to know what happened to them next, and since then we've moved to existential crisis provoking conversations, drugs, murders, and now–kidnappings. British alt-rock band Amber Run's song "I Found" outlines the feeling of falling in love with someone you know you shouldn't be with. In the video, however, we're presented with the accounts of a kidnapping turned love story–but not in the Stockholm syndrome kind of way you may be thinking.

    The video begins with two men breaking into the home of a woman while she's sleeping and going on to chloroform her so that they can drag her out of the house without struggle. One of the men leaves a ransom note that reads, "We have your daughter. You have 72 hours." Are you on the edge of your seat yet? The men are then seen hiding out in the woods with the girl, and it should be noted that the younger of the two kidnappers has seen entirely reluctant and uncomfortable throughout the ordeal. When the older man leaves the two alone to drive far away enough to be able to make a phone call, the younger man cuts the girl free of the zip ties that bound her hands together. When they are caught sitting together, the girl free, the older man becomes enraged and tries to harm the girl. They manage to defend themselves against him and make a run for it–after which we are presented with a big fat 'To Be Continued.'

    Don't worry–it doesn't just end like that. The story is continued in "Pilot," a song about moving on and growing from your past. In the video, we again see the young boy and the kidnapped girl on the run together–still in the forest. Oh, and the old man? Don't worry. He abruptly wakes from the sleep-induced state he was put in by the younger boy, now on the search for his captives. This search doesn't last long, as the man soon falls asleep behind the wheel of the car, stopping in the middle of nowhere but still not far from where he left the two individuals. As the two make their way to the road they see a car and believe that they can finally make their great escape. They sprint down a hill to the car where the girl gets in and puts her seatbelt on, but the boy closes the door without joining her. They exchange smiles, and he lets her leave. Now he is left standing in the middle of the road, until he sees the truck of the older man barreling towards him. The driver goes faster, and faster, until it looks as though the young boy may be struck–but then the screen goes black. That's it. That's the whole thing. No 'To Be Continued.' sign here.

    Where did the girl end up? Did she ever search for the boy who saved her life? Was her father ever in contact with the man to get her back safely? Did the younger boy die? Would you look at that, all of these questions and no answers. If only, and I'm just spitballing here, someone made a movie of the video and included all of the details that would explain the stories that "I found" and "Pilot" created together. Wouldn't that be great?

    All I'm saying is that someone should get in contact with these directors and artists soon to work out the possibility of creating some major motion pictures out of these videos. Honestly, at this point, I'll even settle for Netflix originals. Anything to stop these incredibly crafted stories from going unexplained, with so many unanswered questions.

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