Thursday, March 09, 2006


Let me make a modest claim. The music video directed by Joseph Kahn of Kelly Clarkson's Walk Away is superior to every film nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. And by quite a large margin. To begin, it has a great riff. There are no great riffs in the Best Picture category. Walk the Line wasn't nominated.

Next, it has performances that elicit emotion without resorting to affectations. Kelly Clarkson sings into a microphone, and various normal looking people dance at their places of work. They enjoy their dancing, but do not seem to be imitating another as they are doing it. They seem to be truly enjoying themselves. Nobody nominated for Best Picture seemed to be enjoying themselves. Everybody was depressed and/or serious. Self-absorbed I'd say. Perhaps if they listened to Kelly Clarkson's Walk Away they'd feel better. A quality suggestion.

The music video speaks about love in a mature manner. None of the films nominated for Best Picture do so. Brokeback Mountain follows the pattern of the "love-in-separation" motif that makes for great drama but has little relation to the life loving people lead. In the video Kelly wishes to receive an answer from her lover as to whether he wants to stay with her. If he can't decide, he should Walk Away, you see. She longs for a man who can make such a decision. Instead of wallowing in pain, she decides to cut the depressed individual loose. Very mature, that. Her strength is reassuring, and one glides over the chorus believing we can be as strong in our relationships as well. Art should provide a template such as this.

The video was from the director of Torque, which was one of Armond White's favorite films of 2004. It's a film I've wanted to see since that review, but have never got around to . One of many. And none of the Best Picture noms was one of Armond White's favorite films of 2004.

Also, enjoy those match cuts, a hairdresser and cop joining in the chorus with our Kelly, eliciting that sense of utopia that cinema at its best can afford. The musical genre was very good at this. The upcoming DVD release of It's Always Fair Weather a dystopic exception that proves the rule. Kelly and Joseph Kahn should make a musical. Please.


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