The Horror Honeys: Sci-Fi Saturday Double Jam - A Jonathan Glazer Special!

Sci-Fi Saturday Double Jam - A Jonathan Glazer Special!

In honor of this week’s Sci-Fi Honey review of Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, here’s a Sci-Fi Jam special featuring a double dose of Glazer for your spaced-out pleasure!

Glazer has an impressive background in music video directing, lending his unique visual style to classic tracks by renowned artists such as Radiohead, Nick Cave, and Massive Attack.  In 1995 Glazer collaborated with Britpop gods Blur for his take on their song “The Universal,” an epic rock-symphony of a track about the technological promise of the new millennium (“No one here is alone, satellites in every home / Yes the universal's here, here for everyone”).  Lead singer Damon Albarn, donning Alex DeLarge eyeliner and a mischievous grin, hangs with his fellow band-Droogs in a milk bar while Kubrickian characters converse in the space around them.  It’s a playful yet chilling theatrical interpretation of the song, and shows early on the influence Kubrick had on Glazer, whose 2001: A Space Odyssey is heavily referenced in Under the Skin.

Two years later Glazer was once again tackling the phenomena of a rapidly-changing technological society when he directed the video for Jamiroquai’s 1997 mega-hit “Virtual Insanity.”  Arguably more famous for the video than for the song itself, lead singer Jay Kay is depicted in a nondescript well-lit room with some modern Ikea-looking furniture, grooving genie-like across a sometimes bleeding and roach-infested conveyor belt of a floor.  Like Blur’s similarly themed track, Kay laments the great cost of our growing dependence on humming electronic devices (“Always seem to, be governed by this love we have / For useless, twisting, of our new technology”) at the cost of our very souls (“There's nothing left to do but pray”).  The effect Glazer pulls off in the video is not magic stored in Jay Kay’s crazy hat; it was created by building a room and simply dragging the walls around, which appears to make the floor move.  Sounds fairly simple, but at the time, it blew our MTV-fried minds. ~SFH