I had such a nice chat with video director W.I.Z a couple of days ago, who called me following this recent i-D piece I contributed to. The piece is part of a series of interviews with fashion bods on their favourite pop videos. I agonised for ages over it because, well, don’t we all have dozens of favourites? In the end, I went for ‘Weekender’, an 18 minute long mini-film from 1992, that W.I.Z directed for the band Flowered Up. You can read all about it in the link, but I very much enjoyed researching the band because frankly, I couldn’t remember much from 1992.
But this is an amazing and evocative video that I re-watch every few months. It really is compelling viewing and one of those videos where each time you watch it, you notice something new. Same goes for the song, that segues from one genre into another, seamlessly and deliriously. ‘Weekender’ is the story of the young working class nine-to-fiver who lives for the weekend when he (or she) lets loose and – this being 1992 – raves hard.
The versions I usually watch on YouTube are actually the shorter, censored versions. But W.I.Z alerted me to the full length uncensored version on his Vimeo. As the track was longer than three minutes, and the band refused to shorten it, it received no radio play and only reached number 20 in the charts.
It was also considered controversial at the time because it was deemed to glorify drug use. If you look though, you’ll see that it’s not a glamorous video at all. In fact, the underlying message of the song is rather questioning. It does all look quite realistic though (I’d say that’s very much a strength), so much so that it was a direct influence on the stomach-churning realism of Danny Boyle’s classic 1996 film, Trainspotting.
I chose this video simply because I love it, with no outside influence. But in a happy coincidence, it transpires that the British Film Institute have also recently recognised this wonderful piece of filmmaking. I won’t give everything away here but W.I.Z is working on restoring the film for something that’s happening in the next year or so. So chances are there will be an opportunity to watch it on a big screen and learn more about the influences behind it.
Now read the original piece in i-D here.
WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
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