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Poppin’ in the Rain

 This remix advert  stuns me

not only because the music, dancing, and digital superimposition are jaw-drop-on-the-floor amazing, but also because of the complex relationship between music and moving image which produces an irrevocable heartbreaking nostalgia.

In this remix, the moment “Kelly” understands rain is not a retardant of but an attendant to his joy, the in-this-era-quaint tones of the original electronically downshift in pitch and what we remember of  Kelly’s classic  virtuoso performance is performatively and digitally transformed into a fluid dexterity characteristic of street dance. The effect is vertiginous and breathtaking and sets us up only too well for the intense disappointment that arrives when Kelly’s avatar and we see  the object  toward which this ad inexorably moves.

The remix stages the interruption of a reverie which transpires in the space between a forward-looking present and an idealized and unattainable past. Incongruously, what interrupts this reverie is the insectoid carapace of  yet another automobile .

The terminal and insensate assertion of brand identity will shock few of us, even as the remix encourages us to forge a metonymic link between the complex emotions evoked by the undeniably masterful interpretation of Kelly’s performance and a metal-and-plastic consumer object. What remains is a trauma that seeks to undo itself by repeating the circumstances of its initiation: one watches again and again the cycle of recognition, transformation, delight, and disappointment.