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Girl Walk // All Day

Posted by martinteller on May 14, 2013

Girl Talk is the musical moniker of Gregg Gillis, a mashup artist.  For the uninitiated, mashup is the blending of two or more pre-existing songs (most commonly a rap lyric over pop or rock music) into a new creation, creating juxtapositions and associations that put the original songs in a new context, finding sounds that mix together well in unexpected ways.  I’ve heard some good mashups and a lot of terrible mashups, but I don’t really follow the scene.  So although I’ve heard of Girl Talk in passing, this is my first exposure to the music… a 75-minute music video of the entire album All Day.  Gillis culls from a huge variety of samples.  In the first 12 minutes alone I heard The Doors, General Public, Ludacris, Black Sabbath, Slick Rick, Beck, Jean Knight, Jay-Z, Electric Light Orchestra, Jane’s Addiction, The Ramones, and Sir Mix-a-Lot, among others.  In general the mashups are quite good, some really interesting pairings (“Paint It Black” w/ “Black and Yellow”) and smooth transitions.  It’s an energetic mix that keeps evolving.

The movie itself consists of “The Girl” (Anne Marsen) dancing through the streets of New York, having occasional encounters with “The Gentleman” (Dai Omiya) and/or “The Creep” (John Doyle).  Occasionally they have interactions with other dancers, and sometimes they just dance around, near, or with the unsuspecting public.  The film loosely sketches a love triangle of sorts, with The Girl and The Gentleman being into each other and The Creep stalking The Girl.  Other “subplots” sometimes develop, like a passerby (another dancer) stealing The Gentleman’s hat.

But the real focus is just the exuberant delight of it all.  Marsen has an irresistible smile as she moves and grooves around the Staten Island ferry, a boutique, Yankee Stadium, parades, et cetera.  Most of the pedestrians stoically ignore her, but the greatest moments are when she gets an appreciative smile or even a dance partner for a few seconds.  Her dancing (and that of Doyle and Omiya) appears to be largely improvised on the fly.  Director Jacob Krupnick is also listed as choreographer, but I assume this is mostly for the more obviously staged parts.

The world needs more things like this.  There isn’t an ounce of cynicism or snickering irony in it.  It’s the delight of unbridled freedom (speaking of “free”, the movie is free to watch at and the album is free to download).  It’s unfiltered joy.  It’s wild jubilance, it’s soaring happiness.  It’s fun and smiles and silliness.  It’s bodies in nonstop motion.  It’s a heart.  It’s the beat.  It’s the heartbeat of a city.  Rating: Masterpiece (96)


3 Responses to “Girl Walk // All Day”

  1. Danny said

    I watched this on your recommendation, and enjoyed it quite a bit. Thanks!

  2. […] 81. Girl Walk//All Day (2011, Jason Krupnick) […]

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