Is it hyperbolic to call David LaChapelle a genius?
All signs point to no.
This clip takes me back to the world Todd Haynes built in his film Velvet Goldmine, a loving tribute to the era of glam rock and roll. Quite frankly, the only part of that film that I don't like is when the DVD runs out of movie and the credits roll.
I've always wanted to spend more time in that world and this video feels like it's giving us four minutes and twenty seconds of exactly that. I know, I could be tossing back to the ACTUAL players in the glam movement that inspired Velvet Goldmine, but this video (like Goldmine) feels more like an extravagant homage to that era than a continuation of a movement.
Not that the glam movement could continue. Back in college, my highly esteemed colleague Mary said something that stuck with me, "People shouldn't call themselves 'hippies'. You can't BE a hippy. It was a social and political movement tied to a period of history. It's like calling yourself a 'flapper'. You don't just wake up and decide 'Oh! I'm a girl from the prohibition era'!"
Glam is the same way. There isn't a soul alive who could carry David Bowie's early-70's torch even if he had tried to pass it. Glam wasn't a genre. It was a movement in art tethered to moment in time. We can call back to it. We can admire it. But, we can't be it.
David Bowie gave us permission to talk to our own inner aliens. David LaChapelle takes that permission and makes it sparkle like never before.
Ice Block was not involved in the production of this music video.