Video director Chris Marrs Piliero knows how to use low-brow, absurdist and the spotted use of cameo, as is apparent by one of his brightest, the Black Keys’ “Howlin for You.” Now he’s been paired up with America’s sweetheart and punching bag Britney Spears, and together they strike back and break hearts with “I Wanna Go.”
And the result is fun for fans. There’s little Easter eggs throughout the clip of Britney’s past and present, and of course, the recurring theme of death-to-the-paparazzi. The former Mouseketeer dons a cutoff tee with a Mickey Mouse skull, and a polka dot bikini underneath like Minnie. Her “Got Milk?” campaign gets turned around on her cameo cohort Guillermo Diaz (“Weeds”). A marquee at a movie theater touts the fictional sequel to Spears’ movie bomb “Crossroads” with “Crossroads 2: Cross Harder.”
The video starts out with Brit-Brit addressing The Media head-on, fielding stupid questions about “love children” and the various arbitrary bans at her concerts. Ultimately the (literally) spiky diva flips the bird at her tormenters and takes the street in Hot Topic wear that would turn Avril Lavigne red. Her field hockey skirts of Old has been replaced with safety pins and tears in a jet-black mini, her argyle with punky stripes. She grabs the proverbial package of an adoring fan and turns the heads of mere babies. She flashes the street, then gets a full-body search from a cop (and returns the favor). Then she breaks the camera of the pap, who then turn into evil cyborgs from the “Terminator” franchise, before she is swept away in a convertible by Diaz.
But it was all a dream! Or was it?! End scene with a tip of the hat to “Thriller.”
This little nugget is wildly all over the place, straddling between the male gaze and utter parody. While I don’t think Britney was behind the cleverer zingers, she certainly rolled with it, taking a break from serious mini-films and dance sequences to have a good time with “Femme’s” third single.
And in good time too. This week is the cutoff to qualify for the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, a field of honors Spears has dominated in the past. And, hey, yesterday was the official start date of summer, and the solstice has a spot for a single as strong as this.
A week after Lady Gaga debuts what I view as one of her most boring, biggest rushed, cheapest videos(but BEST styling), this clip is a big, stupid blasphemous blast. And Spears scores extra because she didn’t have to dance.
I increasingly love Piliero, too. He knows and tailors to each of his clients’ audiences, clearly has a good time on his end and should clear more room on his awards shelf.
What do you think?
By Katie Hasty