“Don’t” is an award-winning music video for a dense, dissonant piece of electronica by the band Chulius & the Filarmonicos. It is a highly stylized vision combining the absurd with the blandly erotic.
The video begins with a side view of a lingerie-clad woman kneeling on a ledge in front of a tranquil blue ocean. She wears a rust-colored velvet pillowcase over her head. The music begins as well, providing an unnerving contrast to the picture. The droning trance music which would usually be used in the background of a song buzzes heavily in the forefront. It is accompanied by a distorted male voice singing unremarkable lyrics.
The scenes that follow are variations on the same theme. The same woman is featured in different sets of lingerie in varying styles, her face always obscured by an object, in the first half anyway. But it is not always about the lingerie. In one moment she lies under an oriental rug, legs and shoes protruding off to the side. The slick editorial-fashion aesthetic is set off by a sense of the absurd masquerading as a touch of whimsy.
The objects covering the model’s face are random and nonsensical. In one shot, a net of half-filled balloons is set in front of her face. It’s a table tennis paddle in another. You wonder if the director is making a point about the removal of identity, but then the next series of shots reveals her face. Eventually, she is full-face mouthing the lyrics that fill the screen with modern, elegant hairline text in huge capital letters. The last series of shots is of the model’s derriere, swaying to the song in ever-changing unmentionables. In the last scene you see her legs as she pulls a pair of purple panties off and away.
The video is visually arresting, combining unexpected elements as it does. The monolithic, distorted music is illustrated with crystal clear, high definition imagery. The model’s prettiness is set off with dissonant objects in bright colors: a beach ball, an open book. It is difficult to experience a sense of cohesion when the shots are purposely cut off and feature closeups of body parts on their own, but the stylistic consistency provides the artistic unity.
"Don’t" by Chulius & The Filarmónicos is an engaging commercial video.