Jamie XX recently came out with a music video, that aside from getting a lot of worthy attention, is a stunningly dark view of the near future. The video mixes the simple, rhythmic, and somehow almost futuristic track GOSH with visuals that might be worthy of its own standalone sci-fi movie à la Blade Runner.
Why stunningly dark?
There are four themes in the video that give it a dystopian feel. By dystopian I am talking about something similar to the movies Blade Runner, Equilibrium, Gattaca, Judge Dredd, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Twelve Monkeys, and Fahrenheit 451 (all very good movies that you should watch).
Firstly, what looks like the city of Paris, has been taken over by Chinese. This could have been the results of a war in which China came to occupy Europe or China becoming an economic super power. It’s hard to say whether the director meant this city, which is actually Tianducheng, to look like Paris, but with only 2,000 people living in a city that can hold 100,000 people it’s an amazing place to film. Also, given all the toxic amounts of air pollution in China the country, where face masks are becoming fashion statements out of necessity, already has a environmental dystopia feel to it.
Secondly, the beginning of the movie features people so immersed in their virtual reality headsets they look like they are strung out on drugs in a crack house. If you read the book ‘Ready Player One’ by Ernest Cline, seen the video Hyper-Reality, or seen the series Caprica, you can begin to wonder the social implications VR will have in our own societies.
Thirdly, the video gives a feeling of some genetic experiment where albinos become almost god-like and there is an army of blonde haired clones all wearing the same outfit, a mixture of athleisure gear and 90’s inspired wind breakers which is becoming normal to see on the streets of today.
Fourthly and finally, the theme of the globalization of the near future where not only people have become more racially mixed but where the Chinese have become such a world power that Chinese is a common language and Chinese people live around the world in large influential populations.
Regardless of the actual meaning, if there is/was one, the video is visually amazing, adding another dimension to the track and almost makes you think that the track and video where dreamt up together. Romain Gavras makes some pretty sick videos and we will be looking forward to more of his work.