Fantasy is an activity of imagining impossible or impropable things. Dreams are built on fantasy and lean towards things we really want or desire. Music videos particularly in this decade have a trend of depicting fantasy and there’s no denying that the indulgence is highly intoxicating, as we enter another world with the characters on screen.
Here With Me
Directed by the master of all things fantasy-driven, Tim Burton collaborated with The Killers for their music video Here With Me. Featuring Craig Roberts (Submarine) and a pale, blonde Winona Ryder the filming is constructed beautifully with a tinge of gothic elegance.
Ryder plays a woman who is a figment of Roberts’ imagination, a theatre star whom he is fixated with. He is so consumed by Ryder, he even ‘sees’ her in a restaurant posing as each and every one of the people inside, as the waitress, as a customer, his mind is filled with her. But she is in fact a waxwork, who only appears to come alive at the end when he lights her up like a candle.
The blurred line between what is real and what isn’t when it comes to infatuated love is explored with whimsical grace in this motion picture.
A classic example of a fantasy subject refers to Rachel Hunter, starring as Stacy’s Mom in the Fountains of Wayne’s video released in 2003. With an underlying connection to Larry Clarke’s controversial flick, Ken Park, the video is kept light but still shows obvious pubescent sexual frustration in wanting what is forbidden.
The first scene shows Hunter picking up her daughter from school, as the teenage boyfriend takes off his sunglasses to stare longingly at her long, tanned legs in a short tennis dress. It’s apparent that he really does think Stacey’s Mom has got it going on, unable to take his eyes off her as she parades around the pool in a bikini, his young sweetheart far from his thoughts. He even mows their lawn to get her attention, but alas she is totally oblivious to his affections.
His ultimate fantasy is conceived in an imagined scene where Hunter strips down to a bustier and fishnet tights, her hair swishing from side to side as she dances around a metal pole. He doesn’t want his girlfriend, he wants her mother. However, she only sees him as the young boy who is courting her daughter. If that wasn’t the case, jail time could be on her hands. So in this instance, the fantasy is thankfully kept a fair distance from reality.
With their pastel-coloured, Rapunzel flowing locks and bright bikinis, Banks and her posse look like mermaids from the underworld, albeit mermaids with sass as they team their bottom halves with high tops rather than scaly tails.
With tropical pink trees in the background, bubbles floating through the air and a dash of star and fire computer-generated effects, the scenes look like something out of what Tumblr heaven would look like. The cool fluoro teacups that they drink from as they splash about in the pool bring a nutty Mad Hatter air to the whole charade, as Banks drops fairy dust into the air, finishing the song with birds chirping cheerily in the background.
Taking a refreshingly of-the-moment approach to what modern daydreaming consists of, the video is a great reflection of the tuned-in social media society that we currently reside in.
Fantasy can be a wonderful thing in small doses, an escapism that does no harm. Though, when it becomes something all-consuming, the fun is taken out of it. As always, there’s a limit.