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Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 film is definitely worth the attention. Released in 1989, Rhythm Nation 1814 was a great album and a favorite of mine back then. With all the nostalgia coming back from the media, this album gets some playtime again. Rhythm Nation, the music video, was also a favorite music video. The dance routine and overall motif/theme of the album was pretty badass. I wasn’t aware it was part of a longer version until only a few years ago.

Wikipedia Notes on Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814

“The music video for “Rhythm Nation” was directed by Dominic Sena. It was the final inclusion in Jackson’s long-form Rhythm Nation 1814 film, following “Miss You Much” and “The Knowledge.” Its premise focuses on rapid choreography within a “post-apocalyptic” warehouse setting, with Jackson and her dancers outfitted in unisex black military-style uniforms. It was filmed in black-and-white to portray the song’s theme of racial harmony. Jackson stated, “There were so many races in that video, from Black to White and all the shades of gray in between. Black-and-white photography shows all those shades, and that’s why we used it.” Its wardrobe also reflects the song’s theme of gender equality, using matching unisex outfits. Jackson commented, “The foggy, smoky street and the dark, black-and-white tone, that was all intentional. When you’ve done a lot of videos, it can be difficult to keep it fresh and new. You have to try something you’ve never done, in fear of looking like something you’ve already created.”

While developing its concept, Jackson’s record label attempted to persuade her against filming the video, feeling as if it didn’t have mainstream appeal. Upon her insistence, it became “the most far-reaching single project the company has ever attempted.” The video received multiple accolades, including MTV Video Music Awards for “Best Choreography” and “Best Dance Video.” Jackson was also the recipient of the “Director’s Award,” “Best Female Video Artist,” and the “Music Video Award for Artistic Achievement” at the Billboard Awards. The video’s long-form version won aGrammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video. It was later listed among the “Greatest Music Videos of All Time” by Slant Magazine. Entertainment Weekly considered it “legendary” while Rolling Stone declared it “the gold standard for dystopian dance-pop music videos,” thought to include “the most memorable choreography in pop video history.” MTV News commended it as “the clip that sent Jackson into the stratosphere as an envelope-pushing pop star.” The video’s outfit is included in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power” exhibit and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and was previously displayed on a statue at Walt Disney World theme park.”

More info at Wikipedia


Honorable mention, Lip Sync Battle with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and crew. Abbreviated Rhythm Nation and routine, but really well done.


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