Friday, April 15, 2011

One Got Fat: Blast From the Past

Something interesting I noticed the other day while watching the relatively new music video for Canadian indie band The Albertans' single "The Wake" -- it looked a little familiar. Upon further inspection, I realized that it consisted of much of the exact same footage used for Boards of Canada's video for "Everything You Do is a Balloon."

Neither music video uses original footage-- in fact, the cycling children sporting oddly gruesome monkey masks come straight from a 1963 bicycle safety short aptly titled One Got Fat-- a synopsis of the story is as follows: a group of children decide to go for a picnic in the park and to ride their bikes to said picnic. None of them, save for one (incidentally not wearing a monkey mask) follow proper bicycle safety rules, and are subsequently killed off (yet, being 1963, this is only implied) one by one. The sole survivor makes his way to the park by the end of the film and commences a solitary feast-- hence the short's tongue-in-cheek title.

The decidedly disturbing public safety announcement has appealed to several other bands for sampling and has made its way into a few other music video-- namely, those of Lamps, Dr. Dog, The Black Spiders and Venetian Squares-- perhaps due to its intriguing classification by comedic writers Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy as "a concentrated dose of lab-purified nightmare fuel" which "makes monkeys more terrifying than they already are."

Watch the music videos for The Albertans' "The Wake" and Boards of Canada's "Everything You Do Is A Balloon" below, and the original 15-minute short One Got Fat here.

(I apologize, whenever I embed Youtube clips they tend to be partially cut off...)

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