Coldplay’s Violet Hill: Riding the Last Wave of Low-Budget Douchebagery

June 14, 2008 at 9:00 am 2 comments

The new Coldplay video is cheap, and I don’t mean in an awesome “low-budget” kind of way. More like shitty, crude, and passed off as what I’m sure the record execs called “interesting” and “thought-provoking”. Deciding to jump on the “good idea=less money” bandwagon, their new video for “Violet Hill” is just too little too late.

With an inconsistent tone comprised of Chris Martin staring at the camera angrily to goofing around with his band mates, director Asa Mader makes the same errors Mark Romanek did with MJ’s “Scream“. Are we angry? Upset? Playful? In that bisexual gray area of uncertainty?

Trying to grow brains?
Trying to grow brains?

Possibly Bipolar?

Part solemn performance video in castle ruins, part playing around in nature, “Violet Hills” leaves audience members feeling hollow and flattered, like seeing a behind-the-scenes documentary of the band’s intimacy, only Chris Martin dies in the end.
More effective than cutting your wrists horizontally!
More effective than cutting your wrists horizontally!

Using stop-motion, un-original costuming, and an overworked film aesthetic, this under-shot video’s influences can be broken down thusly:

Tom Vek – C-C– Drum Major attire, similar landscape:
GOOD JOB, guys! You finally figured out how to pull off the Cold Mountain look even though Jude Law called in sick. Too bad Tom Vek pioneered it in 2005 at 1/10th of the cost. If I see one more of these get-ups I am going to scream. That includes you too, Panic! At the Disco

White Stripes- The Hardest Button to Button– Pixillation style video/performance:

If you are going to have pixillation in your video, then have it, god damnit! Don’t just stick it in for 10 seconds because you undershot your entire film. Jump cuts won’t save you, nor give you any Godard points.

Albert Hammond Jr – In Transit – Film flashing:

Oh snap! It’s like you’re using REAL FILM! How about instead of shelling out the big bucks for film flashes and shitty 16mm home-movie style cinematography, you just shoot the whole thing in HD and get a better shooting ratio, (ie: not 1:1!)

Nice one, Coldplay. You remind me of my hipster friends that try and hide the fact that they come from rich parents. Don’t be afraid to flaunt your wealth, like you did in the brilliant “The Scientist“. Just because you wanted a “raw” and “artsy” video doesn’t mean that your production quality has to be low as well.

Take it from bands like OK GO, Feist, SHITDISCO, and even SIA: one simple idea=one great video. Several poorly executed concepts will never amount to one brilliant short.


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Summer is EXPENSIVE OMG Weddings!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tim Cameron  |  June 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. I still like Coldplay despite their slow slide into mediocrity, but this video is just bizarrely awful. I honestly don’t understand how they could look at the concept for it and not think “this is a big bag of shite”.

    Maybe there was no concept to look at.

  • 2. parkrangerolivia  |  June 14, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    For Realz.


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