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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Music Video History: The Human League - Don't You Want Me

“Don’t You Want Me” was an archetypal New Pop move, simultaneously strong narrative pop and a fictionalising of how the Human League got the girls in to sing and thus became popular.

The video has a similar patterning as we watch a detective film being made, the behind the scenes romantic tensions of the leads, and the obsessive editing that will lead to a finished product.

Nothing is spelt out, the emotion happens in hidden stares and unmet glances. Shots are repeated and rewound and replayed; it’s easier for the characters to watch each other on a screen than to face each other in real life. The viewer is the only person to be looked in the eye. It ends, of course, with the camera dollying away from the set and filming itself in the bright lights of a dressing room mirror. This is Godard’s Le Mépris for Saturday morning TV kids.

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