“Weapon of Choice” is one of the greatest videos ever made, we deconstruct it and also discuss the dance master that is Christopher Walken.
I think it is time I start talking about my favorite videos. If I can watch “Nothing´s gonna change my love for you” over and over, then it is time I write about a video I DO enjoy.
And instead of it being a soundtrack (music collaborating with a film), it is the other way around (an actor collaborating in a video). it is also perfect.
I remember the first time I saw this video. The year was 2001. I was in my room watching MTV. Yes, there was a time when I watched MTV and spent afternoons watching videos. There has been a lot said about the “demise” of MTV and how it all went down the drain, but I think this sums it up nicely:
Now, let’s dig deeper…
The video starts with a shot of a man sitting in a room. The room is nice, you can see 2 rooms, a back room where there are closed curtains in the back and a green carpet and a bag trolley so you know that is a hotel Lobby (it was shot in the Marriott Hotel in L.A.) and then a smaller room, where the man is sitting in a char, looking pretty bored and dare I say OLD? at 0:09 the camera zooms in a you are able to see that it is CHRISTOPHER WALKEN!!!!!!!
To that picture i just have to say “How you doing?”.
Famous for movies like “The Deer Hunter”, “The Prophecy trilogy”, “The Dogs of War”, “Brainstorm”, “The Dead Zone”, “A View To A Kill”, “Pulp Fiction” and lots more, including my favorite role by him in “Annie Hall”. (A sample of his magic below)
I remember I was watching and I thought “WHAT?” I really had that idea that many of us had of him: that he was a great, serious actor, usually playing antagonists roles. Scary eyes…non-emotional line delivery. I remember I saw the “Inside the Actor´s Studio” with him after that and he talked about his dancing. Turns out the many has always been a serious tap dancer, to the point of being acknowledged by none other than Gene Kelly. As Walken says himself, actors back then had to be triple threats (they had to be able to sing, dance and deliver a line) Today they have to win a reality show? Be models? Date a cougar actress maybe?
We see Walken start to notice the music and slowly come alive. The song is by DJ Fatboy Slim. The director of the video, Spike Jonze (responsible for a bunch of other great music videos, and movies like “Adaptation” and “Being John Malkovich” and an indisputable creative genius ) presses the accelerator by 0:45 and takes us on a fantastic trip choreographed by Michael Rooney, Spike Jonze and Walken himself. We see Walken and tap dancing at its finest! I will never forget my awe…it made me look at the actor in a whole new way and just drool.
By 1:14 they (director, actor, choreographer) are showing us (the rest of the mere mortals) how to properly go up escalators. And at 2:07 we all know that “walk without rhythm and it won´t attract the worm…”. This line is a reference to the fiction novel “DUNE”. The song features Parliament – Funkadelic and Bootsy´s Rubber Band bassist Bootsy Collins (lead vocals for the song). And I don´t even have to talk about the video, the song is PERFECTION and one of my favorite ever.
The video won 6 MTV Music Video Awards (Walken won for choreography) and was ranked as No.1 video of all time on VH1.