March 28, 2011

You Do Know Russell Mulcahy

When I saw it on Matt Connors' blog, I realized I've never seen the 1985 music video for Culture Club's "The War Song," but it's amazing for how familiar it feels.

Not the particular specter of war, of course; it's worth remembering that the nuclear disaster we lived in fear of back then was quite different.

I mean the kind of dramatic, operatic style of the video itself. It FEELS like 80's MTV. And no wonder. Turns out "The War Song" was directed by Russell Mulcahy, who is basically the Orson Welles and John Ford of MTV's Golden Age. Not only did Mulcahy direct the first video ever shown on MTV, The Buggles' "Video Killed The Radio Star." He made two of Duran Duran's three greatest videos--"Hungry Like The Wolf" and "Rio." [The 1981 video "Girls on Film" was made by Godley & Creme.] Spandau Ballet's "True." Billy Joel's "Allentown." Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes." And on and on.

Holy smokes, in between Culture Club and Falco, he directed the original Highlander, too.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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