Music Video Monday #11: My Chemical Romance’s “Helena” and The XX’s “Islands”

Oh, yes. Another double-whammy Music Video Monday!

Something got me thinking about My Chemical Romance the other day, and it made me remember how much I loved their music video for “Helena” in high school. I pretty much lived and breathed MCR’s first album my sophomore year of high school, but their second album was a big disappointment. The only thing that semi-redeemed it was this video.

The “theatrical funeral” music video concept is nothing new (Guns N Roses’ “November Rain,” anyone?) but I think what made me love this video is the choreography, which is about as theatrical as you can get. I also love the red and black color scheme, because it makes it feel like a sinister funeral. And as weird as I think Gerard Way is, the part toward the end where he’s carrying the coffin gives me the chills every time, because I believe that he’s mourning and destroyed by Helena’s death. (Interesting fact: the guy who directed this video is Marc Webb, who also directed (500) Days of Summer.)

The XX have not yet failed to impress me with their music videos. The simplicity of the setting and clothing makes the movement the main focus. And again, the choreography really makes the video: the subtle changes that happen in each take build up slowly until it all starts to disintegrate at once. Metaphor for a relationship? I think so. And in typical indie fashion, the XXers lay around looking bored, even when things start burning up. Metaphor for a relationship? Probably. This is by far my favorite video of the year thus far.


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