We all know what it’s like to have a song stuck in our head, even if it’s a tune we don’t actually like. For the couple in Saman Kesh’s Hot Chip “Hungry Child” it’s far worse, as they not only fail to get the titular song out of their head, they can’t get it out of their lives. Wherever they go, the song follows them. Where does this music come from? Why is it following them?
As a short film site, here at S/W we don’t feature a lot of music videos for one simple reason—most of them are missing an effective story. While a lot of music videos are crafted beautifully, with high-end production value, the lack of convincing characters or an innovative narrative hook is our main reason to be picky with them. Hot Chip “Hungry Child” on the other hand has both of those things. Directed by S/W alum, and music video legend Saman Kesh (HIT TV), the film hits some surreally funny notes (pun partially intended), without overstaying its welcome and presents us with a nice conclusion about how we should try to listen more to the feelings erupting from our subconscious.
The story itself, about a couple stuck in a rut, might not be groundbreaking, but it’s the way the film weaves the music into the narrative that stands out. It’s not just an illustrative depiction of what the lyrics are about, or a stand-alone short film that basically uses the music as it’s score, the song is an essential part of the film. Although we featured narrative music video favorites over the years, such as Long Way Back Home or one of my all-time favorite shorts More, Hot Chip “Hungry Child” is one of the rare examples that elevates the medium through sheer conceptual creativity.
I’ve already expressed my admiration for Martin Starr in my review for Leonard in Slow Motion and here again he is perfectly cast as one half of a couple facing their untangling relationship alongside Milana Vayntrub (This Is Us).
To quote one of the other characters in the film, “I hate house music“, so it’s a testament to how well Hot Chip “Hungry Child” pulls off its premise, that Kesh’s eight minute video totally hooked me in. Lets just hope the song doesn’t become one of those ear-worms we could live without!