The walk of a dog-man
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Daft Punk‘s “Homework” album & despite the group separation in 2021, the legendary French duo has released the making of video of the second track of the album : “Da Funk”‘s music video directed by Spike Jonze and released in 1997 on television around the world, it follows the walk of a dog-man through the streets of New York. Mythical and enigmatic.
“ It’s the story of a dog-man walking with a ghetto-blaster in New York.” – Thomas Bangalter
Da Funk Narrative
As it was resumed by Thomas; the clip shows a dog, or rather a man with the head and body of a dog, who vaguely resembles a cocker spaniel or a basset hound. He wanders the streets of New York at night, like Taxi Driver but without a vehicle. His right leg is in plaster, he carries a crutch in his right hand. And his left hand holds a ghetto-blaster, a radio that streams music from the track itself.
Children follow him, they make fun of his limping gait, but not at all of his dog mask. Because nobody in the clip seems to notice that he has a dog mask, or that he is a dog. The children, on the other hand, find the music fun. The entire theater of New York at night parades in the video and along the course of the dog-man: a sounder, a traveling merchant, windows and more windows.
In a supermarket, he meets a neighbor with whom he grew up. We learn that the dog is called “Charles”. They talk. She offers him to go to dinner downtown, he accepts, they are waiting for the bus to get there. The bus arrives, but it is written on a sign next to the door: “NO RADIOS”. The girl goes up, he does not go up. The bus leaves, he remains alone. End of the short film
A message of tolerance?!
If we want to analyze the video clip beyond its absurdity, we can find a much more universal and pretty message. Because what is beautiful in the trajectory of the man-dog is that if no one, among the passers-by he meets, is surprised by his appearance, everyone notices the music that his device broadcasts.
As if director Spike Jonze and Daft Punk were trying to tell us that this atypical music that springs from the ghettoblaster is much more remarkable than seeing a dog wandering the streets of New York at night. This is perhaps a primordial way of indicating that the masks and the people are ultimately not so important, and that only the music matters.
The beginnings of Spike Jonze & the French Touch
The clip blithely watered MTV, MCM and other channels broadcasting clips all day in the 90s. This real short film has a title: “Big City Nights“. It’s the work of filmmaker Spike Jonze, before he made big movies like In the skin of John Malkovich and Her.
Beyond its unique musical sound identity, the “French Touch” has become famous for the cinematographic treatment of its own music. Daft Punk has also written its legend by producing many funny, original and sometimes bizarre clips. It is even said that the 90s were a golden age for the genre.
Bonus n°1 : The Making Of The Dog’s Head