The Adventures of Jean Noel in Video – Miike Snow
This series of videos put out by Miike Snow for tracks that appear on their second studio album, Happy To You, follows a fictional character, Jean Noel, all through his creation. What starts out with a regular looking dude who wakes up from an abduction, we learn that he really is just a regular slob, who when presented with some magical shoes, has a gift like no other and that is to dance like a mad man. Experiment? maybe. We soon learn that he’s on a space house, being operated on by a group of alien children aristocrats, who give him makeover that paves the way for his story and begins his adventure. How he got there in the first place no one knows, but after his surgical unveiling of his new face and look, his moves seem to be amplified and his hunger of dance cannot go unnoticed. He goes on to discover that he wasn’t the first to under-go this procedure, only before crashing to earth and leaving quite an impact on a small town. Oddly enough, the spacecraft seemed to have crashed into a park full of children, and Jean Noel finds himself on the run on a desert highway. Lonely, confused and lost, he soon finds that he’s not the only Jean Noel that has surveyed, but all of his other look-a-likes he found before the crash have also survived.
From here, Jean Noel takes off running, for what? Unclear but he’s running and running and running. This is a nice break from the previous two, because its a static shot from the back, showing Jean running, we get closer, we drop back farther, but we concentrate on Jean Noel running and doing heel kicks down this deserted highway, only coming in contact with a passing car, and not really knowing how to react. He has found freedom, and being such a small piece of a vast collection on earth, he’s running because he either wants to see what else is out there, or he never wants to go back to what he just came from.
In this final(?)installment, Jean Noel stumbles upon a Hard Festival in LA, where he soon gets enthralled in the music and the overwhelming feeling of what could be ecstasy. He has the face that can scare the shit out of people. Leather pants, leather gloves, for an alien visitor, this can all be really confusing with all the woman and bright and flashing lights. but he sees and feels whats going on. the unity of the people, the good times, and he’s in love with the sights and more importantly the music. touching peoples hair and faces like a blind man who just got a set of new eyes. until he makes it on stage, to see the massive amount of people who are all cheering him on, and then he lets his shoes do their thing, before being escorted quickly off stage. and finding the nearest dance party.
This final leg of the video is absolutely stunning. You know this was done without giving anyone notice, no one knew he would appear, and more than half of the people shown from the fest, had no idea who this character was, which made capturing peoples reactions the best part of the video. taking a narrative sequence and unleashing it onto a massive amount of people who have no clue that its for a music video is a real good strategy if it works. In this case, it did.
These videos make me ecstatic, besides the miike snow vibe from the tracks. the concept and execution is admirable. I love to see that a creative mind can take four different songs, and make a complete story that connects, but can still be goofy and intelligent at the same time. The details of the children being aristocratic, the news reporter being tied into the first and second videos, singing parts of the chorus, and the cops who eat donuts and start line dancing, are only minor parts of the video, but still provide the “WTF” entertainment that keeps people watching and listening. The main character still has innocence to him and his confusion of being back to earth and looking so out of place(?) is an immediate sign that we can connect to him and feel his pain and struggle, but still have a good time doing it. The 4 tracks off the album that accompany these videos, is perfectly paced music for Jean Noel and his voyage. Fast, upbeat, with soothing vocals, and breakdowns at all the right spots.