The Artist Explains: Pollyanna - 'Old Rockers' (Video)
We speak to Isabelle Casier of Paris-based project Pollyanna about her single and music video for 'Old Rockers', directed by Henri-Jean Debon.
'Old Rockers' was written after seeing a poster of Iron Maiden and Jimmy Page on the Paris Metro, and is about 'Les travaux de Chauvel', the generation gap beetween babyboomers and the next generation.
We tried to recreate a doctor's office in the director's mother's home. And the last scene was filmed in a big venue outside Paris, File7.
How does the video compliment the song?
My song is about the generation gap between baby boomers and their children, and how it is hard for them to find their place in our society, especially in the music business. I also make fun of all rock'n'roll clichés still used by "old" bands. I wrote this song after I saw posters advertising shows of Iron Maiden, Jimmy Page, Mötörhead... Don't get me wrong, I love these "old" bands, it's just that it struck me that they were all still active and still topping charts.
The director, Henri-Jean Debon (who worked with Sinead O'Connor and Nick Cave, among dozens of other great names) altered this story: he decided to actually show "old rockers" backstage. He was, age-wise, almost one of them. He had a fair collection of ex punk-rockers among his friends. Girls and boys with tattoos and piercings, friendly heavy drinkers...
He found it funny to imagine these guys going to see a doctor, as age is starting to take its toll on their experienced body. It is meant to be funny, not dark. To mock how anxiety hits this "no future" generation when they actually reach the future. The pitch is: you first think these guys see a doc because they are sick but you find out in the last scene that the doctor is actually the leader of a band who was thus casting musicians.
Any behind the scenes stories?
I studied a whole night with a real doctor to learn all the right gestures and techniques... Still, I got some of them wrong, mostly because we sometimes had not understood the same thing, Henri-Jean and me, and disagreed. I would have liked to really accurately work on that, like a real actress. These unrealistic gestures add a bit of fun to the picture, though. It's a joke, really.
Tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?
I think it's in my previous replies, above. The imagery is all about rock'n'roll, alcohol an drugs, age, health and hypochondria, how people can worry about their body even when they seem not to care.
What is the message the video is trying to convey?
It's a satire with no precise agenda.
Youth isn't eternal, but no big deal. One of the "actors" in the video, Rodolphe, a very good punk-rock bassist by the way, has a favourite Nomeansno t-shirtsaying “old is the new young” on the back. That's pretty much our point.
Interview feature by Karla Harris