Frida Kahlo, The Two Fridas, 1939
Anjulie is a Canadian pop artist who absorbed M.I.A. and Santigold’s style into her wardrobe. But, at the same time, people are comparing her to Nelly Furtado, even though parts of her album definitely sound like Corinne Bailey Rae and Norah Jones (by the way, where have they been?!). Regardless, I really like her music video.
In junior high, I wanted to make music videos, and every now and then I have a flashback to those moments. So, as you can imagine, when I saw Anjulie’s “Boom” I became a little wistful. It’s such a creative music video. Granted, I think music videos are a really interesting format for budding filmmakers. Because the time limit is much shorter so one can get away with making a video that looks like a moving Frida Kahlo painting. I think that’s why Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe
received such mixed reviews. To view a two hour and thirteen minute of such visual splendor might be a little much for those who aren’t accustomed or trained to deconstruct such layered imagery. It’s just a bit intense and perhaps, too academic in an artsy-fartsy kind of way. Here, Anjulie paid homage to the rich visual history of her Latina background in the video with the Western landscapes, the warm lighting, Dali-esque skies, and Frida Kahlo symbolism. It felt like Isabel Allende’s Daughter of Fortune
and the I thought of Nelly Furtado’s flamenco dress in her video for “Turn off the Light,” the wonderful 21 missions of California that unites all of California’s fourth graders (poor Indians! I’m so sorry, but my ancestors did a good job). Our frontier past with its wide open skies combined the common history of being colonized by the Spanish through the entire Americas influences artists from the Iberian Peninsula, the Caribbean, Western, Central, and South Americas is pervasive through “low art” music videos to Western literature to “high art” like Kahlo and Dali. I hope Anjulie keeps plugging away with the magic realism in her future videos – she can give us transplants a little taste of home because it’s disorienting not being in California which has more common with the Western Hemisphere than the East.
Now, I’m going to go watch a Western.