Like any pornographic film, there is less emphasis on plot than what the audience is meant to be feeling. Whoa! Hold on, Sarah Mary Chadwick released a porno? Well, not really but the clip for single Aquarius Gemini is meant to depict ‘sad internet porn’. It’s a depressing thought and an unwanted image in our mind. The visual recreation of this idea created by director Geoffrey O’Connor is both just as we might expect but also quite different.
Sarah Mary Chadwick evokes sadness in the Aquarius Gemini video, but it doesn’t necessarily get us down.
Sarah, originally from New Zealand but now based in Melbourne, said the video “Wasn’t meant to look hot at all,” and you would be hard pressed to find someone who disagrees with that statement. Sarah herself stars alongside two men and it is awkward and disturbing to watch. There is no erotica to be found here. On the contrary, it seems as though the individuals in the film are simply going about business, like there is very little passion between them at all.
Instead it is a simple satisfying of personal desires. In the background, we get glimpses of old-school video games, the meaning of which is left to interpretation. Perhaps a comment that internet sex is in no way based on reality. Thus, we begin to detach ourselves from the film but O’Connor, whom Sarah describes as a good mate (“We socialise a lot together ”) does a fantastic job of bringing us back in, keeping our eyes on the screen.
First off, the colour and lighting is incredible, fitting seamlessly with the downbeat tone of the song. The aspects that really grab the audience are the sheens of sweat on the actors that O’Connor captures perfectly. All of a sudden we’re brought into the film because it seems real, but at the same time we are viscerally repulsed by what we’re seeing, it’s a great technique which makes for interesting viewing.
The film was developed as an extension of the cover art on Sarah’s new record 9 Classic Tracks, which she herself illustrated. Speaking about her art and the video Sarah stated “Pornography is a weird mish mash of human/detatched/involved/intimate/public feelings that appeals to me a lot. I like how it’s not atmospheric at all. Actually, I think I like that about it the most of all. This all speaks to why I would make images or art about it.”
This video seems to have quite a heavy atmosphere, which is also an integral part of her music. Sarah says not a lot of conscious thought goes into combining her art and her music, “I kind of approach music and art stuff the same way” she says. “In that not much thought [goes in] and [I] try to just be as clear with my feelings as possible, more for myself than anything. I think they are just what they are really, some songs and some pictures that maybe share the same tone and vibe.”
There is something about a simple percussion and guitar combination that, when coupled with swirling emotion-filled lyrics, can’t be beaten. Aquarius Gemini has this in spades, the music a relatively repetitive backing to Sarah’s incredible voice, but it never feels repetitive, never seems to drag. Put this down to her vocal ability to keep you engaged. The husky New Zealand accent and slight breaking of her voice is simply vibrating with emotion. So much so I’d be surprised to walk past her and not feel her aura humming, reverberating off the people around her. The echoing of some of Sarah’s lines in the track only serves to accentuate the mood of deep regret.
Singing “I wish I had gone home with you” in a tone that threatens to be more raw than a paleo diet, she speaks aloud the thoughts we all have had at stages in our life. Moments that were let slip because at the time we thought they meant nothing, but later realising we should have grasped them with everything we had. Hearing Sarah sing of the past and the future in a stark and bleak way actually has a lulling, relaxing effect because we know we’re in the same boat together. We feel what she feels; she says what we think in a way us talentless hacks never could. It’s quite beautiful. Dark, for sure, but beautiful.
Sarah Mary Chadwick is preparing to launch her amazing record for two special nights in Sydney and Melbourne. She is brining with her a 40-minute extended version of the Aquarius Gemini film clip in all its NSFW glory.
Thursday 28th May – Golden Age Cinema Bar, Sydney w/ Summer Flake MORE INFO HERE
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