Every day in May we’re counting down our favorite kpop music videos from 2010 to 2012. Coming in at #31 with a bullet issss…
…Russian Roulette by SPICA.
To get ready for this countdown, we watched every. single. kpop. music. video. released from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2021. We discovered something pretty quickly–a lot of these music videos were completely the same from a visual standpoint. They consist of a boy group or girl group dancing in a weird-looking space and have dramatic close-up shots interspersed with the choreography.
What we liked about Russian Roulette by SPICA was that it at once kept with the trend but pushed it in a new direction.
In this video, you see the dramatic warm lighting that was part of the aesthetic of this time period, and there are dance sequences in a shabby looking room in keeping with the times BUT there’s so much more to it.
The video cleverly uses the name of the song to tell a dramatic story. If you don’t know, Russian Roulette refers to a “game” that I doubt was ever really played by any sane person but happens in the movies a lot. At the start of the game, a revolver is loaded with one bullet, and the other five spaces in the cylinder are left empty. The person loading the gun spins the chamber and then puts the gun to their head, pulling the trigger. There’s a one in six chance this will be committing suicide, of course.
If they survive, they pass the gun to the next person and they pull the trigger. I guess the loser is the person who ends up blowing their heads off. Or are they the winner because they’re the bravest? Idk. Like I said, not really a game anyone would willingly play.
Russian Roulette has come to symbolize taking dangerous risks. In the SPICA song, it represents a woman pushing her luck, trying to stay with a lover who is probably going to end up hurting her.
The video provides a visual representation of the metaphor. At the start, the gun is loaded and the game begins. Each girl is shown taking her turn. The close-up camera shots put your right in the scene, giving you a claustrophobic feeling that adds the tension. Chaotic editing makes some moments seem to last forever and others pass by before you know they’re happening.
Each member of SPICA seems resigned to take their turn, just as the speaker in the song is also accepting their fate.
It isn’t until the last few seconds of the song when the final player must go, and you already know the outcome by then. We hear a bang. A candle blows out. The inevitable has happened. So who was the loser of the game?
You’ll have to watch to find out. And don’t forget to come back tomorrow to discover #30 on our list.
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