The last news I had heard about Placebo were that Brian Molko spent some time in Thailand as a regular DJ for The Met Bar in Bangkok, *yawn* but now we finally got some more ‘scandalous’ news: The video clip for “Protége-Moi”, a french version of “Protect Me From What I Want”, with better lyrics, has almost been banned from french television for showing too pornographic content. Here you can read something about the video, and here you can look at almost all scenes as pictures.
The video was made by Gaspard Noé, known for his controversial movie ‘Irreversible’, and I think it’s a stylish counterpole to all the pimp&hoe videos you usually get on music tv.
Although lyrically it is rather gloomy and although it also shows a party orgy scene the clip has none of the negative undertones of decadence that we get for example in that Robbie Williams clip.
Aesthetically it’s closer to the vintage soft-focus lense style clip of Air’s “Cherry Blossomed Girl”, which – to be honest – I didn’t like because of its bland storyline: “…a young girl begins making porno flicks to become famous, but then regrets her decision. So she ends up downing a bottle of pills, and stumbling around in the dark where she becomes victimized by her own decisions. Finally, after meeting Air her life turns around” – the “poor” girl wrecks her life but gets saved by the guys, I don’t know – maybe if there had been a trace of irony…
In the ‘Protège-moi” clip you get less of a story, basically you just follow a girl (wearing not much more than a walkman) who walks around in an apartment full of people involved in sex – a masturbating woman, a woman giving head to a guy, lesbian and gay guys making out, etc. The focus is on a strong female protagonist (here I would line it up with a way of empowering female sex Madame Ciccone got famous for), but not in any way degrading men instead.
I would characterize the point of view we get as ‘innocent’ like ‘immoral’ – in a way like a child is somehow pre-moral cause its not yet socially trained to be, and not consciously non-moral. This childlike innocence in my eyes is suggested by the protagonist wearing her hair in pigtails, wearing some white hood thing and of course by the first second of the clip where you just see some balloons, like at a child’s birthday party. These hints of innocence add to the casualness of sex in this clip, like it’d not be about showing sex but more about showing absorption in lust, no matter which sex or sexual preference.