PINK NARCISSUS ‘MASQUERADE’ VIDEO
My first experience of Brighton based band Pink Narcissus came last year when I first saw the powerful video for a track from the album ‘Block Your Ears / Shield Your Eyes’. ‘Disinfectant’ is a hurricane of a track and was expertly complemented by the video directed by the talented young Trushna Patel. Taking Edgar Allan Poe’s short story ‘The Masque Of The Red Death’ as inspiration, Trushna has again worked with Oli Spleen and rest of the band to produce an dark and haunting music video for the track ‘Masquerade’ from the same album
Poe’s story follows Prince Prospero’s attempts to avoid a dangerous plague known as the Red Death by hiding in his abbey. Along with many other wealthy nobles, he holds a masquerade ball within seven rooms of the abbey, each decorated with a different color. In the midst of their revelry, a mysterious figure enters and makes his way through each of the rooms. Prospero dies after confronting this stranger, as do the other guests. This is very much in the tradition of Gothic fiction and may well seek to remind readers of the inevitabilty of death, on the other hand it may be attempting to explore the nature of disease.
The story was first published in 1842 and has been adapted and interpreted many times. In 2012, here it is being incoporated into another artform, the music video.
With a masked ball as its theme, the video is a particularly flamboyant production featuring a range of colourful freaks and drag queens as they participate in the event. Despite the elaborate designs of some costumes and masks, the wearing of masks succeeds in hiding most traces of emotion in the party goers’ faces, thereby creating a rather menacing atmoshpere. Occasional insights are hinted at when the camera dwells long enough on some eyes or lips. Whilst the participants may have been colourful in the flesh, the choice of colourisation for the video actually results in the true colours being muted. Very little in the way of bright colour is brought to the screen, a red beak here, a hint of green on a jacket elsewhere; but generally, this is a not a vibrantly coloured production. Nor does it feature expansive panoramic shots, as the camera gets viewers up close and personal in a way to make them feel that they are in attendance at the ball rather than detached observers.
Check out earlier video for ‘Disinfectant’ also: