Cristina Conde Tkatchenko - 26th May 2020

Joji negotiates a surreal fantasy of escape in his remarkable video for Gimme Love - the third single from forthcoming album Nectar - that's comprised of two distinct parts: the first directed by George Miller (that's Joji himself); the second part by Andrew Donoho. 

Part one immediately sets a frenetic pace with a rapid-fire montage of a homemade-style video, creating the semblance of a VHS tape recording. It tells the story of a scientist - played by Joji - working his way up the ranks. The location and set design instil an immediate realism, almost producing a mockumentary voyeurism that offers a glimpse into the career progression of this man. 

And as he climbs the ladder, his character changes. Brief moments of bonding with co-workers are overshadowed by the anxieties and frustrations that weigh him down. As he receives greater recognition for his professional accomplishments, he becomes unhappier. By the time he reaches the high point of his career, promoted to government-level, he is ordering others around and flying into fits of rage - of while also having suffered numerous tragedies and setbacks.

This breathless montage of fast-paced cuts is counterpointed by the upbeat pop production of the track, Gimme Love. As the beat transitions into an emotive ballad, an ethereal melody initiates the cut into Part Two - and the immediate change in production values as Donoho's direction takes over.

At this point, Joji’s character hijacks a rocket, and is preparing to project himself into space, while the astronauts are locked outside and the control room panics. Chaos is still unfolding, but the roles have shifted, with anger and confusion transferred to others, as Joji's persona now exhibits a disturbing calm. 

With Joji’s decision to produce a song that shifts in tone through the mid-way, the music video manages to naturally replicate the sudden deviation, and Andrew Donoho’s stylised approach in the second segment is the perfect complement to the rawness of the first.

The themes of this video mirror Sanctuary, the first previous single from Nectar, establishing a clear narrative progression through the new album, and presenting a dramatic end to what seems to be the beginning of a 'Joji-verse'. 

Credits

DirectorGeorge Miller
Director of PhotographyJason Ano
EditorGeorge Miller
ProducerChristopher Heinrich
ProducerJesse Chorng
Production designerRacheal Stephens
Set DresserSami DeMars
WardrobeKaitlyn Vitug
Production Company88rising
DirectorAndrew Donoho
ProducerIan Blair
Production CompanyInvisible Inc
Production ManagerValerie Bush
Director of PhotographyNicholas Wiesnet
Production designerArae Webner
Art DirectorEldad Sharon
1st ADJeff Cobb
StylistKen Law
EditorMiles Trahan

Cristina Conde Tkatchenko - 26th May 2020

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