Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Theres something happening but don't be scared

Before tonight's absorbing Champions League Semi-Final match (Man Utd 1- 0 Barcelona, Hurrah!) on ITV, the final ad break was taken up entirely by one single commercial. An awesome commercial. If you like football, you'll probably like the advert - its thrilling, brilliantly shot and even quite funny, especially in the appearance of Marco Materazzi.

I instantly wondered who had directed it. Somebody young and hip, at the cutting edge of cinema, perhaps? Well, no actually, it was Guy Ritchie. I hate his films, but that is based mostly on his inability to write a single believable line of dialogue or create an interesting, convincing character. Visually, he has always been assured behind a camera. His films are all slickly put together with a control and feel for the surface of things - for colour and visual tone and atmosphere - which seems perfectly suited to advertising.

For this advert, he seems to have tapped into a style which has been conspicuous in Pop culture over the last year or so - the first person POV. "Cloverfield" and "[Rec]" have both used this device with a degree of success in the context of horror stories over the last few months, and "The Diving Bell & the Butterfly" used it to heartwrenchingly emotional effect. But what Ritchie's advert (entitled "Take It to the Next Level") is really reminiscent of, especially in its non-football scenes and its vomiting shot, is the briefly infamous video for the Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up". It also recalls, to an extent, the Michael Mann Gridiron advert I posted here last year, in its relentless motion and the procession of superstars it parades fleetingly before our eyes. The song is "Don't Speak" by the Eagles of Death Metal. It becomes instantly the best thing Ritchie's ever done:

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Blogger daveysomethingfunny said...

The only thing wrong with this is that I now have to come back here about once an hour to watch it again. Dammit.

10:05 am  
Blogger Monsterwork said...

There's more narrative strength displayed there than in all three of his Statham movies. I mean that in the way that makes the advert sound good, and not his films shit, but there's some truth in that interpretation too...Revolver.

When he got knocked down outside the penalty box and I saw the booking, I actually said 'Oh no'. A kind of Strange Days sensation of having to take a shot like that in a trophy game...all or nothing.

9:49 pm  
Blogger David N said...

Another thing that impresses me is how well it captures that particular aspect of football - you get the ball and suddenly there seems no space, people rushing at you, too many options...It goes black at just the right point, too.

11:35 pm  

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