FEATURE: Aluna George – Superior Emotion (Dir. Courtney Brookes)

Hazy, sensual, with a touch of satire, the recent video for Aluna George’s ‘Superior Emotion’ perfectly captures the blurred lines between love and infatuation, and the frustration that comes with it. The video takes on a saturated palette and 80’s influenced visual aesthetic- both trademarks of director Courtney Brookes’ previous works – which so effectively puts the hopeless romanticism of the lyrics into a visual medium.

Brookes herself gave us some insight about how this video went from the idea inception, to being brought to life on the screen;

What was the concept you explored in this video?

“The concept was a combination of satire and beauty drawn from the sarcastic title of the song being ‘Superior Emotion’ – something that doesn’t quite exist as we want it. The video follows a narrative of Aluna’s night in, desperate for love, as she begins to consult divine and other-wordly sources for guidance and answers about her love life. She turns to her horoscope, a magic 8 ball, a seance, and even fortune cookies, although all the signs point to her remaining and being comfortable alone and waiting for fate to take its natural course.”

Aluna George – ‘Superior Emotion’  (BTS Photos by Dannah Gottlieb)

“The idea came to me immediately upon hearing the song, particularly the fortune cookie scene where she is told “Bitch, Relax!”. The lyrics describe this internal search for love and the innate desire for companionship and I thought it would be humorous to contrast that against a physical and spiritual search, particularly one that doesn’t prove fruitful.”

Where do you draw inspiration from?

“I have some signatures to my work including a love for all things 80’s and kitsch, a dreamy or surreal sense of nostalgia, and always some tongue in cheek if not quite obvious humour. I also prefer to work within the structure of a narrative as opposed to a more visual or experimental style – I love character arcs and unravelling relationships within my clips.”

Aluna George – ‘Superior Emotion’  (BTS Photo by Dannah Gottlieb)

With such an over saturation of music videos in the market, what do you do to keep your ideas fresh?

“Humour. To pair humour with music is often quite hard to do particularly when it is a serious song, whilst also choosing the right kind of humour to employ. I move between an honest self-deprecating, relatable kind of funny or a sharper, tongue in cheek wit.”

Aluna George – ‘Superior Emotion’  (BTS Photo by Dannah Gottlieb)

“To arrive here I dive into the lyrics and analyse them myself usually creating 2 or 3 storylines that could manifest from the song. Some are quite literal, whereas some go completely whack. It’s always fun to just go wild and then pare it back or combine concepts. I also have a giant list of concepts just waiting for the right song to show up, some that I have had for years that I am itching to make but I have to be patient and just like Aluna in Superior Emotion – wait for the right one.”

By blending ideas of unrequited feelings and wanting what you can’t have through a comical lens, both Aluna George and Courtney Brookes successfully give us a gentle reminder to take our love lives less seriously, providing a feast for the eyes and ears.

Here is the official video for “Superior Emotion”

Music Video Credits

Director + Editor: Courtney Brookes. Producer: Yohanna Zecarias. DOP: Tine Delucia. 1st AC: Laura Eraud. Gaffer: Ivana Bernal. Colourist: Kath Raisch. PA: Destiny Brundidge. PA: Andrew Ceneus. Stills + Art Assistant: Dannah Gottlieb. Stylist: Nikki Jackson. Stylist Assistant: Autumn Morriar. MUA: Tenelle Veira.

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