Duranalysis: “All She Wants Is”

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Sarah said…
Ohhhh this video. I feel the same way you do about the backing female vocals on this song (yet I somehow own several remixes, as a loyal Duranie does sometimes...) and the video itself is a bit migraine-inducing, at times, with the filming technique. Not to mention, I'd forgotten how bad Simon's hair is in the Big Thing years.

It is a pretty innovative video - that silhouette at the end that goes into flames is cool - but I remember being disappointed back then; I wanted to see the band, not mannequins and not the model. I love your idea that someone in the band invented the award. They sure deserve it, even if it took MTV 26 years to recognize it! Nice Durananalysis (and research too!)
Morgan Richter said…
Sarah -- Simon's Big Thing-era hair... yeah. It's not good.

This is one of those videos that I appreciate without particularly liking. It's definitely migraine-inducing, as you point out. The technique is interesting, and I respect the amount of work and craftsmanship that went into it... but it ultimately leaves me kind of cold.

I think it'd be awesome if it turns out one of the band members just decided they deserved an award for the video, then invented one accordingly.
Unknown said…
Hi Morgan Richter - Interesting name. Are you related to Gerhard? I hope so cause he's one badass artist. And you are one badazz funny trapeze artist writer. I'm glad I found this revved view of the video that took 14 days just to do all the things through the camera.
But that's not interesting. What's interesting is your woven web of words. I do like your slice and dice whilst making funny alla prima style. I'm not being massochistic when I say this video deserves the slaying you effortlessly slew.
As for the breathtaketh and giveth effort to make it we did laugh a lot. I recall Nick and I in a taxi in Paris bemoaning how "Missing", the music video not being able to be shown on televisions due to contractual blahblahblahwhatblahblahblah. We ere sad because it really surprised us in a good way. Then and there in that taxi we vowed to make a video that would win, a, yes, yes, say it, an MTV Breakthrough Video Award. And vowing is not all that we did. We, I should say I won exactly that. We went to MTV offices, that is Elizabeth Flowers, producer marvellioso, and myself, where we met Tibor Kalman and David Byrne who also won a Breaththrough Video Award that day. I even have a photo somewhere to prove it. Tibor put his statue award on his head for the group photo with lots of smiling MTV execs and I put mine on my head. David is looking at Tibor not exactly seriously yet seriously. Tibor and I doing, "Look Ma, no hands!!" and laughter from execs won the day.

That's all. I'm going to click on your photo now to see if your face is like you're writing. Then I'll click on your complete profile.

Oh, and Marla was a major trooper. Thank godness for her. Even when we put the giant spider under the sheets on day 10 of 14 and understandably she lost it, man she just came back with More. There is one other scene I've still to make up to her about. I haven't forgotten, Marla.
Morgan Richter said…
Mr. Chamberlain! Thank you for commenting, and thank you very much for taking my slicing and dicing of this video in the affectionate vein in which it was intended. You are very kind. Your Arcadia light paintings are iconic and justly legendary, and damn, "Missing" is a gorgeous, dazzling video.

And thank you for clearing up the mystery of the MTV Award! I will amend my review accordingly.

No relation to Gerhard, though that would be very cool.

Marla, in addition to being very beautiful, is quite wonderful in the video. I don't know if you've maintained any contact with her, but for what it's worth, according to the official Duran website, "...if anyone can report her life history and report back, Nick's interested."

Anyway. I think that's about it. Again, thank you for commenting and being very cool about all my nonsense and relaying your tales of giant spiders and awards and Paris taxis with Nick. Made my day.
Anonymous said…
Dean Chamberlain's work is amaaaazing!
Morgan Richter said…
Absolutely. Dean Chamberlain's Arcadia images are probably the most striking and gorgeous works of Duran-centric art out there.
reactively from Twitter said…
I was very pleased to find a page about the not-so-famous great video, with analysis that makes sense and a reply from the director himself.

It made me watch it more closely, and I think my observations are worth posting.

The opening scene seems vaguely based on the Last Supper (the fish being a clue), introducing the band members as a sinister/occult version of the Three Wise Men. Marla being asleep or knocked out and also the raven foreshadow that something bad will happen by the end. Also, I suspect that the painting in the background depicts Biblical Bethlehem.

The white gloves worn by Marla and Nick probably indicate handling of dangerous materials. Marla's drinking glasses, Nick's stack of newspapers, and the apple (Adam & Eve) seem to symbolize dangerous knowledge.

The crucifixion figure falling from the refrigerator I believe means soul destruction.

The scene of the shadowy solo female figure at the little table almost surely is a missing man table (military lost/MIA) plus a subtle reference to the "Missing" video. I interpret that as her humanity being about gone by that point.

I think the entire video is a backstory to the sinful woman lyrics and a deliberate, subversive commentary about pop-culture putting toxic ideas into people's minds, similar to the band's later recording "Too Much Information."
reactively from Twitter said…
Also, I just noticed that all three members are wearing gloves. On one level, that probably is meant as a uniform, while from a production standpoint, it probably made it easier for the mannequin portions than giving them moving, real-looking flesh hands.
reactively from Twitter said…
Well, yes, I was inaccurate - the crucifix flies rather than falls. I think that's significant, because that movement is common in exorcism scenes. It points to her already being overtaken by evil.
reactively from Twitter said…
I've figured out something else. The fish most likely is deliberate Christian symbolism. It might represent multiple things, but one interpretation is baptism, which dovetails nicely with the green drink being poured on Marla later. She's being baptized in sin. That the fish skeleton is shown possibly is another intentionally foreboding visual.

If much of my interpretation of the video is correct, then the video isn't just amazing technically for the time, it's genius storytelling.
Unknown said…
To the great Morgan Richter! I am sure I love you for writing what I just read you wrote about my "Duran-centric" light painting photographs in 2016. I don't know how I overlooked (never saw it till yesterday) a real bow of real gratitude for putting it just as you did. You will but have yet to know how much I needed exactly what you said. I would even kiss your feet should you say the words, any words - slave, acolyte, aspirer to the lowest position in my extensive compounds and dominion. You call it.

May I, with your permission and that of high eschelon powers beyond my comprehension or even my wildest dream to approach conception thereof attempt to comment on the comments of the most recent comments? I commend the courage of the commenter to see the imagery in the music video All She Wants Is as diabolical, sacriligious, beyond the pale(huh), against the grain, against nature, beyond hope of redemption, iconoclastic, and just evil as all getout. I don't have my finger on the pulse of the good commenters righteous indignation yet, do I? I am trying to get with him/her enough to show I am sorry if the images project such pernicious and odious transgressions (did i already use the word 'transgressions'?) Know that I invite a direct question so I may give you a direct answer. Thank you again for your courage.
Unknown said…
Oh, you who, mssr. mdm. commentor(sp) ~ Have you no question for mssr le director of image choices for the music video upon which it would begin to appear you surmise to have more understanding than the maker! I cannot imagine you want to, in effect of sorts (of course), assume the mantle of the director of the music video, All She Wants Is, by some bizarre sort of self-ordination proxy, do you? I wouldn't imagine you would want that title. Well, that is until I read you slipped in the word, "genius". Tee, that's a fishy word for such a bunch of disquieting barely moving pictures. Pray ask, do pose a question or assume the title of which I can't imagine you would assume. Go ahead now, take your time! (Unh)
In Sympathy of Sorts,
Dean Chamberlain
Morgan Richter said…
reactively from Twitter: I apologize for the delay in response! I've more or less abandoned this blog and only check comments infrequently. As to your analysis of the symbolism in this video, it all sounds very good to me, but I will refer you to the above comments by the uncontested authority in this matter, Dean Chamberlain.

And Mr. Chamberlain, thank you very much for visiting and commenting again, and for your very kind words! Your light painting photographs are beautiful; every frame of Arcadia's "Missing" video is a gorgeous dream.
reactively from Twitter said…
Oh, the director himself noticed my comments much sooner than I expected, nice. It was reasoned speculation. I had some more, such as Marla beginning 'asleep' as in ready to awaken sexually, the last scenes representing hell, the dance poses appearing non-Western (perhaps related to the Kama Sutra), and the band members maybe dressed in a trickster way
(I'll point to the odd clothing combos and motif on John's shirt and the raven). I was hoping for confirmation, that's all, but not expecting it, because I know artists usually want to leave things to the viewers' interpretation. I fret that many views haven't even done that, that the mannequins and stop-motion effect get the most thought from them. Doing analysis is in and of itself somewhat enjoyable to me, especially if others get in on it.

Since I've been invited to ask questions, I'll pick two I think might be answered:
Was - as some people on YouTube seem to think but I personally doubt - the green liquid chosen with antifreeze in mind?
Roughly how much of the concept ('treatment') was yours and how much was Nick's, and did the other two come up with any of it?

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