When the top comment reads "How could you afford to produce this?" and you didn't even have enough budget for rehearsals, you did something right. Such is and was the case for Yukon Blonde's "Saturday Night", the sixties Italian comedy-meets-seventies glam rock music video co-directed by Mac Boucher (sometimes known as Grimes' brother) and Gaya LaMouche. Lights, cameras, and even clowns abound in a single-shot dance between "Photographer," actor Danik McAfee's perfect parody of David Hemmings in Blow-Up, and "Diva," embodied to the point of iconoclasm by the devilish Sapphire Titha Reign. I don't usually glow over anything—really, I rarely even use first-person—but to me, it's like a call to arms for young filmmakers to ditch their "here's what you can't do" cinema school curriculums and "but will the blogs like it?" attitudes and make something worthy of the auteurs that inspired them in the first place.
"Visually a lot was inspired by [Fellini's] TV film I Clowns which had these beautiful and nonsensical set pieces and somewhat sad characters," Boucher tells The Creators Project, citing La Dolce Vita, as well as the "Balada triste de Trompeta" from Raphael's lesser-known Sin un Adios. "A few days before I was asked to write a video for the song, I woke up to a nightmare of paralyzed clowns laying in a pile in front of a red theatre curtain. So that was my starting point." He makes a major nod to David Bowie and Grace Jones ("I don't think I would've felt I had the license to explore Fellini, the use of language, sexuality, and fashion without those two as pioneers"), and in the hypnotic body comedy of McAfee and literally Stardust—the performer and the film—worthy ferocity of Reign, achieves, with LaMouche and the deft camera of DoP Neil Hansen, a spectacle like if peak Patrick Daughters teamed up with El Guincho-era CANADA and cinematographer Lance Acord, respectively, on a dance rock track á la Digitalism.
"I think it's a testament to the drive that young filmmakers will commit to a project, and nowhere else will you find 30 people huddled in freezing warehouse in the middle of nowhere for 60 straight hours with no other motivation than to make each shot as best as they can," Boucher continues. "We're all kids exploring cinema, but man, I had some incredible talents […] and an awesome crew working day and night. We had no supervision, no one telling us what we couldn't do, we didn't even have the budget for rehearsals, we just went out and made it."
"Saturday Night," which premiered earlier in the week on Stereogum, is the first single off of Yukon Blonde's forthcoming On Blonde full-length (June 16 on Dine Alone Music Inc.). Pre-order the album here and watch the "Saturday Night" director's cut on Vimeo.