Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mad World

'Mad World', a hoary old new-wave nugget by Tears for Fears that managed to land itself within the British singles chart top three way back in 1982, received a new lease of life in 2001, when singer-songwriter Gary Jules delivered his own unique take on the song. This reinterpretation, poised as the signature track from Richard Kelly's landmark mind-expanding, genre-defying cult classic 'Donnie Darko', was done as a slowed-down piano ballad, with minimal production values. Freed from the at-times stilted, synth-heavy trappings of its original surroundings, the song managed to take on a whole new, refreshingly different existence here, making its inherent message of alienation and existential angst even more poignant and impactful. Check out the ridiculously simple but highly effective and inventive video clip, courtesy of enfant terrible director Michel Gondry, showing a group of schoolchildren creating all manner of animated shapes on a sidewalk, which successfully displays Gondry's natural penchant for manipulating the basic elements of mise en scène in his own inimitable, unorthodox style.


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