Steve Taylor Squint, Movies From the Soundtrack (Warner Alliance)

The Lighthouse
April 1994 Volume 3 Number 4
© 1994 by Polarized Publications

Written, directed, produced, and performed by Steve Taylor--he probably would have operated the cameras if he could... Movies represents a first-of-its-kind endeavor by a Christian artist. The project is the culmination of a trip around the world, which offers some colorful and unique shots for the video.

The video postpones the introduction and starts right out with "Smug," with Steve hopping around the countryside and tall stone walls with a small mirror acting--well--smug.

The introduction follows and without spoiling the humor of it, I will say it should be extremely hilarious to fans of Monty Python's Flying Circus. After the opening credits, there is a short clip of "Moshing Floor," shot in a dark club.

The between-video-segments are an interesting artistic statement, typically with a black and white background shot of Taylor turning cartwheels, while the foreground shot is a small inset screen in color with a look at a part of the trip or the making of a video.

The first look at the trip leads into "Jesus is for Losers," offering primarily colorful outdoor shots. The kaleidoscope effect, like on the album and video cover, is used throughout to add a little to the somber feel of the song.

The next segment offers a glance at the making of "Bannerman," and then leads into the video. Here, the man holding the "John 3:16" sign, appears in spots all over the globe announcing who can change the world.

After a short look at Steve's friendly experience with a camel, we get to see a plethora of socks dropping from a bridge in "Sock Heaven." The engaging and fairly slow paced action matches the song, but Taylor appears as awkward as ever presenting a few dance moves. Again, the sheer number of backdrop settings helps to liven the video.

Taylor then takes a humorous trip through an Irish cemetery before beginning "Cash Cow." Done in Claymation with a dark, somewhat impressionistic style, it's far from the lighthearted California Raisin's commercial. It's rather unique, and a bit tough to describe--just a slightly chaotic brown (not black) and white enactment of the opera with roughly detailed clay actors.

"The Finish Line" is next, featuring more attractive scenery as we follow a blindfolded Taylor through "the race."

Taylor's band gets a little outrageous as they form "swat team" on a swarm of bees that invaded their studio control room. Finally, as the (very long list of) credits roll, we see more clips from the trip.

The video is impressive, if for nothing else than for the extensive look at scenes filmed in many exotic locations. But for anyone who has heard the album, the project offers a very interesting representation of the tunes. For me, it stayed fresh after several times through, while most others get a little stale after three times in a row.

Roger Appelinski