Cinematic Music Videos: Last Cup of Sorrow/Veritgo

Cinematic Music Videos

Music Videos. Promotional tools for record companies. A venue for musicians to express themselves visually. An opportunity for up and coming filmmakers. And, let us not deny it, damn good fun.

I grew up back when MTV played music videos (some of you youngins out there may have no idea what I'm talking about. Trust me, it happened). And while it was always cool to see my favorite bands perform without having to pay for concert tickets, it was the cinematic flourishes and inspiration that got me charged up. It's cliche now, but who honestly didn't think Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was the coolest thing ever the first time they saw it? I mean, this wasn't just old MJ dancing and singing onstage. This was an honest-to-god short film! Production values. Actors. Makeup. A notable director. The whole shebang.

Some music videos have taken the "short film" premise even further and removed the band itself. The videos for TOOL are stop motion masterpieces with very few glimpses (if that) of the band members. Some have cast famous actors. The latest Gorillaz video features Bruce Willis in a very Bruce Willis type role. And some have paid homage to specific movies, going so far as to recreate classic scenes and shots. This latter type of music video is what we will be discussing here. We hope you enjoy our findings.

Last Cup of Sorrow/Vertigo This is the music video for the song "Last Cup of Sorrow" from the band Faith No More. The song can be found on their final album entitled, "Album of the Year", released in 1997. The video is humorous homage/parody of Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece, "Vertigo" (1958). Key scenes are recreated but skewed to reflect the bands dark sense of humor (i.e. cross dressing, Betty Paige, the final shot). Oddly enough, from what I've read of Hitchcock and his, at times, wicked sense of humor, I suspect the video would have played well for him. Lead singer Mike Patton takes on the Jimmy Stewart role and Jennifer Jason Leigh (Hudsucker Proxy, eXistenZ) plays Madeleine (originally played by Kim Novak).

-Steve