Surrealistic Felines Cascade to the Beat of the Cosmic Australian Trio
If you are a dog person, look away, as an oddball troupe of cats strut to the sound of Midnight Juggernauts’ “Systematic.” Taken from the Melbourne band’s third album Uncanny Valley, the track gets its musical cues from the stardust-sprinkled harmonies of Electric Light Orchestra, providing a driving backing to this bizarre collection of furry friends. French director duo Mrzyk & Moriceau recently made an explosive phallic fantasy for Parisian electronic act Jackson & His Computerband, and have carried their signature hyper-pop stylings to today’s Division-produced romp. “They had an idea to throw dozens of cats around and we were curious to see how they could do that without offending animal cruelty groups,” says the band’s keyboardist Vincent Vendetta. “My initial reaction to the video was to laugh throughout—and obviously no animals were harmed.” Midnight Juggernauts are fresh from touring their native Australia—a jaunt that featured a trip through the crocodile country of Darwin and a marriage proposal on stage in Sydney—and plan to visit Europe early next year. In the meantime the three will attend to their corresponding pets. “Dan [Stricker] has a rabbit and Andy [Szekeres] has a sausage dog,” says Vendetta. “I have a cat that I think inspired one of the animals in the video; I bought him a mini drum kit, which I make him play when I’m lonely.”
Mrzyk & Moriceau's Erotic Battleground Sets the Scene for the Electronic Eccentric
An anonymous female protagonist takes on a phallic army in Mrzyk & Moriceau’s erogenous epic for Jackson and His Computerband. Taking new single “G.I. Jane (Fill Me Up)” as their starting point, the French directing duo worked with a team of five animators for two months to create a chimerical world of sexual fantasy for the Warp Records-signed multi-instrumentalist. Born Jackson Fourgeaured, the Parisian released his second album Glow in September after an eight-year gap—the long player comes complete with guest vocals from Berlin-based disco absurdist Planningtorock and singer-songwriter Mara Carlyle. “We had no brief; we showed him a storyboard and he said ‘Go,’ he let us totally free,” says Jean Francois Moriceau, one half of today’s featured creative pair whose CV includes videos for similarly outré Gallic stars Air and Sébastien Tellier. “We love Jackson’s song, so the ideas came very fast. We wanted something sex-gore-bizarre, so created this faceless girl fighting against penises that appear from everywhere.” The explosively charged narrative takes in Manga influences and the duo’s trademark pop eroticism, while also providing, as Moriceau opines, a comment on misogyny and female empowerment. “Of course you can see the power of feminism in the film,” he says. “But firstly, we want to entertain.”
Graydon Sheppard's Celebration of the Animal Elite Reaches its Grand Finale
Warning: The above video contains many feathered coats, large eyes and wet noses. The viewer may witness scenes of astonishing dignity, dramatic posing and movement at great speed.
Writer and filmmaker Graydon Sheppard offers up the third and final installment of Pure Breeds, the series that celebrates the most charming and beautiful of pedigree pets. Having tackled the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Cornish Rex, today the creator of the internet phenomenon Shit Girls Say looks at the Saluki, thought to be the fastest dog on earth. The Saluki is alleged to be the most ancient of purebred animals, with mentions of similar hounds appearing in the Bible, the Avesta and the Koran. Petroglyphs and other forms of rock art showing Saluki-like dogs were created as early in human history as 10,000 BC. “My boyfriend came across a video of some Salukis online, and we were instantly fascinated,” says Sheppard. “They seemed so rare and elegant. They look like rich old ladies and they have that attitude, too, like they're saying devastating things about your wardrobe when you're not within earshot.”
Today we look at the Saluki. We understand that this time around the talent were less than cooperative on set. Can you elaborate?
Graydon Sheppard: They’re not so much difficult as “over it,” and they are not interested in posing for very long. I tried to put a pharaoh hat on one of the dogs but he wasn’t interested. Salukis are also very fast and bouncy, so getting them to sit still for long periods was tricky. But they’re so damn pretty. When we got the shots it was worth all the hassle.
The Saluki has been immortalized in art and religious texts for thousands of years. How do you think their personalities reflect their pedigree?
GS: There's definitely something otherworldly about them. It's kind of like that attitude of “being in the world but not of the world.” When I met these dogs they got right up in my face and stared into my eyes as if to examine my soul, but they could just as easily look right through you. That’s a bit dramatic, but they really are sprite-like.
Throughout this series we have heard about your family dog Molson. Last time you shared an anecdote about his having eaten an entire Christmas-worth of gifts. We love Molson. One last story?
GS: One day I took him with me for a swim. He was doing this insane back-and-forth thing—running in and out of the lake, screaming—when he stopped, chest-deep, looked at me, and retched in the water. I wasn’t much in the mood for a dip after that.