Friday, 10 February 2012

The Hype

Everyone's hyping Romain Gavras so much since M.I.A went on the SuperBowl, but there are some things that you can't dispute and one of those things is how much his videos are still causing shock-waves despite having been out for quite a long time now. Most people only saw 'Born Free' off the wagon from the more recent M.I.A video "Bad Girls", and more still aren't even aware that he released a feature film back in 2010 called "Notre Jour Viendra" translated as "Our Day Will Come", a slogan that features briefly in the Born Free video as graffiti on a wall near where the ginger kids are fighting. He's been working closely with Justice since way back when they were still "a thing", and re-invented their image with the "Stress" video which featured heck-loads of violence (something not so unfamiliar to Gavras's style of work) and managed to pull their set-list off Radio 1, who (after finding out about the video) had to cut their constant airing of the track. Most of his videos manage to give off wild messages though, mostly in terms of controversial visual narratives, lots of explosions and flying body parts (see "Born Free") or Saudi women donning glitter and bringing it large out in the Middle Eastern desert in "Bad Girls". Not just the biting narratives of ginger discrimination and anti-tradition morals, but also the edgy camera angles, neat, aesthetically pleasing purple-hued finish to the visuals, and soft focus landscapes that include hypnotic scenarios like transparent cars and people jumping from overpasses. 

He's got a lot to offer here. I for one tend not to follow M.I.A's progression much due mainly to the fact that most tracks deliberately rip off Suicide and sample The Clash, but I've sat through the two of Gavras's films with pretty much a gaping jaw, and would even probably sit through the Adidas commercials too just because they have his name attached to it. You also can't go wrong when you've made your first, feature film using Vincent Cassel in lead role, not just as a cameo, but as your main man. If that's not a sign of hype for the right reasons, then I don't know what is. Yes, you might be sick of seeing Cassel in every mainstream french film, but you can't deny that he's got the right grit for a Gavras movie. And yes, making commercials for Adidas is not something Cannes are going to be falling over each other for, but he's got that mainstream appeal, whilst still being a relatively underground, controv, Justice's buddy sort of guy. 

So I'm all for Gavras right now along with the late-comer hype, and eagerly awaiting more from this controversial frenchman, but heres to hoping its not more adidas commercials, because he may have just turned his Stress video into reality with the practically Adidas endorsed London Riots (yeah, we all saw the tumblr image..).

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