R.E.M. tribute song for comedian Andy Kaufman got this elegant, old-fashioned black-and-white clip that is good to look at it, doesn't reflect much about Kaufman (except for some footage of him in the background) but there's a life of its own that doesn't affect the viewer in negative ways. In fact, by that time, R.E.M. was an establishment rock group getting out of the oblivion with "Out of Time" and the impeccable "Losing My Religion" taking them above stratosphere after spending the whole 1980's as an indie yet most interesting band of all and the clips that came with such fame, money and success were the ones that got a better concept, better presentation and most spectacular in everything.
But what's going in "Man on the Moon"? Michael Stipe walking through a desert road, cowboy heat in head, some Kaufman flashbacks then Stipe enters this bar that has all the other band members (Mills, Buck and Berry) playing small town simple characters, an almost difficult way to spot them - can't even remember where Bill Berry was or who he was playing (I think it was the truck driver). Those with more background or more imagination than me will see plenty of references concerning the "Taxi" star or associations about his career (the lyrics explain a lot); others are more visible and interesting (Mèliès' classic "A Trip to the Moon" is featured here) but to find a real reasoning behind the main and most memorable idea of Stipe and his desert trip is beyond me. No trouble at all though. Clip's execution in a different style was great - the direction of photography was superb; another great memorable moment for the band with one of their greatest hits from "Automatic for the People" (excellent album), a sound that conquers you very easily while the images make you dream a little bit despite the reality contained in it of lonely places, sad figures who find ways to sing the song chorus towards its final moments.
Not sure exactly if they actually put a man on the moon but this clip definitely can take you into amazing places. Watch, listen and enjoy. 9/10
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