Warp Films Chris Cunningham : Rubber Johnny (UK,2005)****°
I always loved this little clip of “Rubber Johnny” by talented filmmaker Chris Cunningham who made several clips for Aphex Twin, but this one perhaps kills it all. I am sure Chris Cunningham’s talent is highly contributive to Aphex Twin’s electronic collage pop music. Two other clips, Aphex Twin’s “Come to Daddy” and perhaps Squarepusher’s “Come on my Selector” might be much more scary than this one (Aphex Twin’s “Monkey Drummer’ I think is cool too), it is this clip which has made me especially more curious about Aphex Twin’s music too. But checking a few Aphex Twin releases out in a shop was still a bit disappointing, for this sort of music need in fact much change and detail to work well, which the releases I have checked shortly didn’t seem to have.
This clip is so effective for several reasons. It is full of surprises visually and in content. It has a story behind it and a scary psychology worked out. The detail in which each micro-second has been worked out is enormous, and there must have been a lot of work gone into that. How much I couldn’t find any more, except that Chris C. explained in an interview “It was incredibly difficult to edit this video and find that line, where it seems breakneck, but still flows and makes sense as a sequence. I would have to redo each shot about twenty times in order to find something that worked. It involved a lot of experimentation. It was closer to animation than editing and I had to create the video 2 frames at a time. Sometimes spending a day on just getting two frames to work to the music.” A part of the study on how to come to the realistic deformations and danceable movable body in the clip is included in the limited DVD+book, but it is the end result which still is the most fascinating. “Rubber Johnny is definitely a continuation of my fascination with anatomy and the body.”The music itself contains rapid change of electronic beats with complex interactions, something with the contrasts of the different filmic settings worked just perfectly. For me this still is one of the most successful clips of electronic pop. Even though the DVD has been sold out by now, I still preferred to have it mentioned on my website. The clip can still be seen on youtube.