+Just posted this over at my music blog TUNEclatter. It contains two film references, so I figured why not go ahead and re-post
One of the best aspects of music is its ability to mesh the most unlikely disparities into one very pleasing tune. Think about the new Jack White song, “Love Interruption.” He sings longing for love, but that request comes the most an array of unromantic desires- “I want love to roll me over slowly stick a knife inside me, and twist it all around...” to name one. Another example goes by the name “Pumped Up Kicks,” the popular Foster the People song. [Check out those lyrics.] These two songs share the perverse ability to turn such shocking statements into a something far from unfavorable.
That isn't the exact case of the Arctic Monkey's song "Fluorescent Adolescent." No, its lyrics doesn't demand any such ill mannered requests; here it’s the visuals that are called to questioning. The music video for "Fluorescent Adolescent" involves a man and his posse dressed up as clowns trying to bash the brains of a rival group. Other than the unfortunate association these characters have with serial killers and messed up B-horror films, clowns used to be seen as symbols of impeccable joy and childlike entertainment. Bu these clowns share none of these qualities.
When I first watched this, I immediately called to mind a comparison with a scene from Stanley Kubrick’s 1971film adaptation of “AClockwork Orange”- you have a bunch of weirdoes dressed up in outlandish clothing trying to kill each other. But unlike the mindless chaos brought forth by Alex in “Clockwork,” our clown here seems to acknowledge his wrongdoings. Working in stride with Turner’s lyrics- “Where did you go?” the clown puts down his fists for a moment to think. He looks back and remembers what he was once-a sweet-hearted and innocent young boy, now grown up and dressed up as a clown mindlessly whacking people’s brains out. “The best you ever had is just a memory...” Something he realizes a bit too late.