A series of hazy 8mm vignettes, accompanied by a soft, lilting voice over, in which girls skulk around schoolyards, spray graffiti, drink, smoke, pose and embrace, evoking the loneliness, confusion and overwhelming wonder of growing up.
A second music video, directed by Harmony Korine, was shot prior to the single release, but was not released until May 2012. The video features the band members wearing Baby Björns and ... See full summary »
The Black Keys,
Patrick J. Carney
a sidebar to Korine's Spring-Breakers. As for the song...
I'm of two minds on this video for Rhianna's 'Needed Me,' one of the single s off her eighth album. On the one hand, the way this is shot is not a surprise but that's fine: if you saw Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, with the many scenes of the excess with guns and gangstas (notice not 'gangsters', 'gangstas', there is a difference you know), and slow-motion shots of both the beautiful and the cracked out sides of violence and sex-appeal, then you get that in three minutes with Rhianna sometimes in a see-through blouse. The phrase 'stylish as hell' was created for something like this and, in a way, Korine's dreamlike, neon-candy-coated, fever-dream-of-f***-all-y'all vision of the seafront world of gangsters is maybe even more fitting for a music video than a full feature film, where the approach and world created with the shots and colors and lighting and editing fits with a song (some of the more memorable parts of the film were like a music video anyway, sprinkled with James Franco).
The downside is that the song, what drives the whole piece, is just not strong. It's meant to be a moody, slow-paced kind of bump-n-grind feel, but it's more sluggish with the pace and it's not one of those Rhianna songs that I ever want to revisit again. I'm also not sure listening to the lyrics how much it connects with what's on the screen, as it's mostly 'about' as far as a story goes with her getting on a bike and (spoiler?) shooting a guy in a strip-club. Cool to see, but the song in a way feels unfinished, like it's missing something else to make it complete. I may just not like the speed of it, how it's slow but not in that area of it being like a ballad, nor is it exciting enough to really get into like other Rhianna hits. It's not catchy and it doesn't have any strong hook. It meanders in its way like the video, so tonally perhaps it does match.
Some may love this and I do get it; I could actually watch it with the sound turned low or off and it would be effective. It's personal preference with the song part, but it does make it the full experience that it is. It's a mixed bag for me, though it fills me with a perverse joy that a true madman of cinema like Korine has made something that many millions of people have seen online and elsewhere.
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