Humanity is capable of incredible things when we put our minds to something. As a species, we’ve built the pyramids, traveled to the moon, and created vaccines for countless diseases. We are also capable, it turns out, of recreating MIA’s “Paper Planes” entirely through a massive collage of movie clips.
YouTube channel The Unusual Suspect, showing just a goddamned maniacal dedication to this project, executed its strange vision by grabbing sound bytes from 210 movies, replacing MIA’s vocals (and the track’s cash register, gunshot chorus hook) with individual words and phrases from across cinematic history. The films range from Dr. Strangelove and Silence Of The Lambs to Thor: Ragnarok, Young Frankenstein, Home Alone, and so, so many more.
Now, though you may never have known you wanted it, we live in a world where one of this century’s best pop songs is performed (sorta) by Richard Pryor, Drew Barrymore, Kenneth Branagh, and, uh, Darth Vader. When it comes time for the chorus, there’s no shortage of clips to stand in for the track’s gunshots. Pulp Fiction supplies one sample, Bruce Lee’s ass-whooping another. A cash register rings open with the pneumatic crash of Buzz Lightyear’s pop-up wings extending or the rattle of Scrooge McDuck’s gold coins. The images and sounds keep coming non-stop, morphing into a Netflix-enabled pop kaleidoscope.
The Clash, astute observers of culture, may have foreseen a world where “Straight To Hell” ended up sampled in another artist’s song, but they could never have imagined this, the final destination of their work. But now, at last, here we are, delighting in Shrek ogre-yelling the melody of a remixed remix.
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