The sensibility of punk has a lot in common with the culture around children—both fetishize what’s simple, exaggerated, cartoonish, and loud. So it’s no surprise that the marriage of the White Stripes’ amateurist music to the kiddie world of Lego-type toys proves a match made in heaven.
In the video for the band’s “Fell in Love With a Girl,” director Michel Gondry (whose Human Nature, with Tim Robbins and Patricia Arquette, is out this month) re-creates the band out of building blocks. Using computer animation, he arranges pieces in shifting circles to simulate Jack White’s singing mouth, and jerking motions to suggest Meg White’s drumming. With A Hard Day’s Night exuberance, figures appear to run upstairs or flicker away.
The boxy shapes and basic colors give some shots the look of a Mondrian painting come to life. But all the images enhance the lyrics. The song captures the thoughts of a man trying to reconcile the high ideal of love with the fleeting feeling of lust. His thinking is as fragmented as the toy pieces. But you can take the metaphor even deeper. As with Legos, love and sex can ultimately take whatever form your imagination desires. A –JF