- Published on Monday, November 19 2012
- Written by Katie Marzullo
Question: What do you get when you combine R.E.M., James Franco, Lindsay Lohan, and Terry Richardson?
Answer: A whole lot of hipster melancholy!
First things first – a little over a year ago, we got the bummer news that R.E.M. was calling it quits, but not before releasing their final album, Collapse Into Now. That apparently hasn’t stopped them, though, from putting out new music videos. So, they handed their track “Blue” into the capable hands of one Mr. James Franco and let him do what he may.
And what did Franco do with this assignment? He took his 8mm camera onto the streets of Hollywood to give us a faded, gloomy look at the allegedly glamorous town set to the haunting melody of the (primarily spoken-word) R.E.M. jam. Halfway through the clip, Franco seems to drive his point home by turning his camera on Ms. Lohan as she poses provocatively for famed celebrity photog Richardson. Franco himself appears in the video periodically, but he’s dressed in drag. Natch.
Intercut with shaky footage of L.A. hotspots like the Roosevelt Hotel, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Chateau Marmont are marquees for strip joints, panhandlers on Hollywood & Highland, and cheesy tourist traps like the Hollywood Wax Museum. Lohan’s appearance halfway through seems to be the glue that ties together Franco’s themes of glamour intermingling almost symbiotically with the underbelly of a town which a friend of mine once termed “a fetid paradise”. It’s an odd dichotomy, and yet somehow it thrives. Below the glittering skyscrapers of Downtown L.A. lay the glittering headlights of a million cars in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the freeways. It’s a town where opposites collide, where a man in a powersuit shouts into his cell phone while walking down Santa Monica Blvd and passes another man in tattered clothes and a cardboard sign with nary an acknowledgement of each other. Only in L.A.
Bummed out yet? Sorry, blame James Franco! Check out the evocative clip of R.E.M.’s “Blue” below:
- Katie Marzullo, YH Staff Editor