Garbage’s ‘The Chemicals’ Video Introduces a New Kind of Gazing: Watch

How far Garbage’s visuals have come since their early days in the ’90s, when singer Shirley Manson was paraded in front of the camera like a sweet treat for the male gaze.

In their latest, “The Chemicals,” legendary video director Sophie Muller (BjörkBeckPink) puts a very different spin on the idea of gazing.

The scene it sets is an underground dance club, seemingly of the hardcore or rave variety based solely on the clothes and style of dance. Certainly in a European city, probably Berlin. It’s captivating because the camera is not a camera at all, but the birds-eye view of a clubgoer…on drugs.

Related: Garbage, Photographer Spar Over Use of ’90s Photos

Muller employs a variety of editing and visual tricks to give the film a trippy feeling, but even more impactful than that are the moments a fellow club goer looks directly into the camera, as if they were looking into the eyes of another person, with a smile before bouncing off to dance harder.


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