Friday, August 4, 2006

Video of the week: Praise You

dancin', really dancin'This week's video is a bona fide classic - a three-times MTV award-winner that reportedly only cost $800 to make (that's £422.90 in real money).

I probably don't need to go into too much detail here. The video stars its director, Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich), as the leader of the Torrance Community Dance Group.

The dancers put on an impromptu performance outside a the Mayan Theatre cinema in Los Angeles, to the strains of Fatboy Slim's Camille Yarbrough-sampling Praise You.

Filmed without permission, in one take, the video is unlike anything you've ever seen on MTV. It's grainy, badly-shot, and the dancing would be below par at a special school's end-of-term talent contest. It will also make you laugh crisps out of your nose.

The crowd queueing outside the cinema is somewhat bewildered but, at the same time, perfectly prepared to accept the lunacy unfolding in front of their very eyes. Apparently a Michael Jackson impersonator turned up during filming, walked in front of the camera, did a breakdance, then walked off. He was cut from the video - presumably because no-one could be sure it wasn't the real Michael Jackson.
LA is nuts.

Despite the video's clear genius, Fatboy (Norman Cook) had trouble convincing his record label to make it.

"The only thing that swayed them was Spike doing it. They trusted that it would be genius, not complete rubbish," he told Jam Music in 2000. "But when I first saw it, I actually thought, 'Oh no, we've gone too far. This is actually rubbish, and not genius!'"

"It goes to show it's a thin line between genius and bollocks."

How true.

  • Buy Fatboy Slim's greatest hits on DVD at Amazon.
  • Learn the Praise You dance steps for yourself at this fansite.

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