Are we out of line for watching Fat Tony and Tom Cruz's video for "Denim Guinness Boys" with the impression that it's a role reversal take on D.W. Griffith's The Birth Of A Nation? Maybe so. But seeing the nerdy wardrobe hipster version of Gus lose his mind over lust for a curvy black woman took us back to those disturbing moments in an Intro to Film undergrad course as we watched a white woman leap to her death to avoid the pursuit of a black man. It was a surreal and enlightening moment, in which you struggled to believe that cinema would be so reckless and politically driven, and then understood its power of influence.
Apply this racially charged formula to a modern tableau and you've got a black woman on her cell phone, disinterested in a weird white dude caricature, who is strangled unconscious and kidnapped. Sure, the video takes a turn towards the torture-horror genre and the campy horror b-movie genre, but before it does so, it gives us a really uncomfortable feeling. Can't we stop with this jungle love crap from either side?
And why the hell does Fat Tony show little concern for the one black woman in the video girls posse who goes missing? Why wouldn't he go looking for her? He showed the most interest in her in the beginning, even if she dissed him. He could have proven himself, but instead he settled for a couple white girls from the video shoot. D.W. Griffith made the Klansmen out to be heroes. Fat Tony can't even handle a creepy, rail-thin white guy. What is going on?
Sometimes cinema is reckless and politically driven, other times it is made without consideration for its message and unwittingly causes distress from its poor craftmanship. Both scenarios are equally detrimental. Then, we pause for a moment and remember, it's just a fuggin' music video.
Fat Tony & Tom Cruz's Double Dragon is out now on Young One.