Ned Botwood - 4th July 2019

Pull out your gum and lick a sledgehammer. Miley Cyrus is outrageous again. Alexandre Moors directs this taboo-busting performance video.

A tribute to various women, the progressive video features cameos from activists and role models including her mother Tish Cyrus, along with trans models Casil MacArthur and Aaron Philip, and dancer Amazon Ashley. The progressive performance video features various taboos: images of breastfeeding, menstruation pads, scars, and a slogan that reads: "virginity is a social construct”. It benefits from some lush photography from DOP Natasha Braier (of The Neon Demon) and a lively grade by Ron Sudul.

Music videos are the great barometer of popular culture in the 21st century. And if you ever needed evidence, you’d need look no further than Miley Cyrus’ visual canon.

In 2017, Cyrus briefly returned to a more country influenced sound, and restrained visual presence to match. It was variously described with all the well intended clichés you might expect: the singer was making “clean”, “honest” music and “leaning into her roots”. But this latest video proves that Cyrus has always been more comfortable as a provocateur.

Music videos are the great barometer of popular culture in the 21st century. And if you ever needed evidence, you’d need look no further than Miley Cyrus’ visual canon. Compare the warm reception of Mother’s Daughter to the well-publicised moral outrage that greeted her reinvention in 2013. "Miley Cyrus's new Wrecking Ball video says young women should be sexually available”, read a typically hysterical headline - in The Guardian, no less.

There were some genuine criticisms of Bangerz era. In fact, her performance at the MTV VMAs was arguably the agent that propelled conversations about cultural appropriation into the mainstream. But the majority of the criticism levelled at Cyrus was from a public that simply weren’t ready for a female star expressing her sexuality so candidly. This video is equally provocative, at least to a mainstream audience. But when the worst Fox News can say is that the video “draws mixed reactions”, it makes you think. And when The Daily Mail calls it “beautifully diverse”, it occurs to you quite how dramatically culture has changed in a short six years.

Credits

DirectorAlexandre Moors
ProducerBrian Welsh
Production CompanyGood Company
Executive ProducerBrian Welsh
Executive ProducerRalph Miccio
Director of PhotographyNatasha Braier
EditorAlexandre Moors
ColouristRon Sudul
Grading companyNice Shoes
Post ProducerAndrew Illson
Other creditsCONCEPT BY : Miley Cyrus & Alexandre Moors ADDITIONAL EDITING: Nuno Xico

Ned Botwood - 4th July 2019

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