Harry Styles: allusions in the new video

Harry Styles: allusions in the new video

It is difficult, very difficult, to give an opinion on the new Harry Styles video that accompanies the summer single Watermelon Sugar. It’s difficult because, despite the disclaimer placed on display in the opening of the clip “This video is dedicated to the pleasure of physical contact” with a style very similar to the “Taken from a true story”, everything that appears later seems to come from twelve ages ago. Boys and girls, models and models, piled on top of each other who touch, rub, embrace and do everything that is universally considered dangerous, unhealthy, intolerable today. At least in Italy.

Rogue nostalgia, real rogue nostalgiaof the summers and beach parties that Harry Styles, perhaps unwittingly, wanted to recreate with the florilege of vintage accessories and a styling in line with the 8mm cinemascope vision signed by Alessandro Michele. But the feeling, more than of joy, fun is of a profound sadness for the times that were and which are now not – and which perhaps will not be – anymore.

Courtesy of Anthony Pham.

Even the sexual allusions, the many, many, huge like elephants in the room, sexual allusions screech like the nails of regret on the blackboard of memory. Net of the glaring quote from the great filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang, The taste of watermelon.

Courtesy of Anthony Pham.

Perhaps, instead of a disclaimer at the beginning of the video, a small addendum at the end of the video would have been more suitable, denouncing an awareness of the time in which the video would have been distributed. Even just the image of Harry who, we discover, is watching the video of his previous year’s holidays, in a sort of bittersweet twist ending but very contemporary and present. The risk, unfortunately, is to make the figure of a runner, who in addition to arriving late, ends up crossing the wrong finish line. And the music of Harry Styles, let’s face it, deserves to appear at least as contemporary as its author is.

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