Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" Video Annotated

"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" Video, starring: Cyndi Lauper
Director: Edd Griles

[0:01] The interiors were shot in the summer of 1983 at a studio in the East Village called Mother's.

Cyndi Lauper's mother plays the mother. "When I asked my mom to be in the video, I said, 'Mom, just think of what this could mean if you're involved - then you and I will make it popular to be friends with your mom.'"

[0:07] "The aesthetic I was going for," says Lauper, "was Screaming Mimi's." Screaming Mimi's was a used clothing store in New York where Cyndi Lauper explored her fashion sense. "Laura Wills, the owner, was styling my clothes for the shoot. That store really inspired me. ... It had humor, it had wildness, it had sexiness, it had the old-movie vibe ... that modern, cutting-edge thing where you mix elements together that would never have been mixed together" in other eras.

Lauper says, "[T]here are a lot of elements of [Jacque Tati's] style in" the video's visuals.

[0:15] The dog she dances past was her own. The dog walker is Rick Chertoff. "For that part," Lauper recalls, "I was inspired by a scene in [a] Sophia Lauren movie where she comes dancing down the street in Naples in the fuckin' early morning light with her shoes slung over her shoulder. ... I went down to the West Village where there would be cobblestone streets, like in the movie." The street is Gay Street.

[0:44] "I wanted the kitchen to be very fifties. We couldn't really afford wallpaper - it was really a low-budget shoot - so I brought in a tablecloth from Screaming Mimi's that had a pattern I liked, and the art director ... painted the walls like that."

[0:50] Captain Lou Albano, a pro wrestler, played Cyndi Lauper's father. Lauper says she met Albano while she was in the band Blue Angel. She and Albano were sharing a flight home from Puerto Rico.

[1:08] "When I pick up the phone backward and then turn it around, it's because I had seen a David Bowie piece somewhere, where he had a phone receiver upside down and then put it right-side up. I thought, 'Yeah, that's a good idea.'"

[1:12] "[W]e got a whole bunch of my friends and family to be in the video. ... [B]eauticians from Vidal Sassoon [were in it, including] Justin Ware, who did my hair for the shoot. I knew everybody at Vidal Sassoon because I was a hair model there ... in 1975 or '76 ... The hairstyles were art pieces. ... [W]e had the beauticians ... secretaries from Epic [the music label], the girls from Laura's shop, Myra from the Japanese place where I had worked, and this black girl we cast who looked awesome with her dreads. ... I told Edd that we had to have multiracial people too. At that time everybody who was in videos was either all white or all black."

[2:07] For a scene by the fountain in front of the Metropolitan Museum "all of us were lined up, Francis the cameraman used a Steadicam that he owned, and I took all my sunglasses that I had gotten at Screaming Mimi's over the years and handed them out, so everybody put on a pair. ... I brought all my makeup to the shoot, too, and ended up getting pinkeye because all of us shared everything."

[2:53] The man with a handlebar mustache is Lauper's laywer, Elliot Hoffman.

[3:39] Cyndi Lauper's younger brother Butch delivers pizza.

[3:46] "Steve Forbert [is] holding flowers."

[3:49] "Joe Zynczak, who was [one of] my manager[s] was the waiter in the bedroom." Note the tray of dishes on the left.

[4:17] "I had a friend named Bonnie Ross who was a nurse, and she was there dressed up in her uniform." Note stethoscope.

Cyndi Lauper says she went into the editing room and saw that some scenes hadn't made it into the initial cut. "I was literally sitting with Pam [the editor] and pulling strips of film from a bin. I changed a few shots around with her, and all of a sudden it was moving better ... I only did it because I wanted my video to move the way it should move, because it was about music - and I know music."

All quotes (and all information) are from Cyndi Lauper: a Memoir by Cyndi Lauper with Jancee Dunn, published in 2012 by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster.

No comments: