Korean music Monkey Business
Jung Joon Young, “Spotless Mind”
Like the title suggests, Joon Young references the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with this song. It’s been way too long since I’ve watched Eternal Sunshine so I can’t comment in-depth on the relation between the movie and the song, but the movie is premised on the erasure of memories and the song follows that theme. “병이에요” literally means “(I am) sick,” and the lyrics describe one of a patient who has lost all memories of the person he loved.
There are actually two music videos for this song. The first, the “N극” version (above), utilizes highly visual imagery but contains very little plot. It features stark shifts between black and white color themes, but does not stick to one or the other or obviously indicate the colors’ meaning. Sticking to the standard thematic interpretation of black and white reveals very little, although Joon Young being strapped in a black straightjacket toward the end would seem to signify that he actually regrets losing his memory. While the extent of symbolism and meaning isn’t clear in the “N극” version video, what IS obvious is that the display of lights projected onto the strips of semi-transparent fabric constructed around Joon Young and the dancer is absolutely mesmerizing.
The S극 version:
The “S극” (above) is the more traditional, drama-like version. The plot is still fairly loose, but we see Joon Young waking up without his memories and eventually walking past someone it is reasonable to assume is his previous love. The “S” tattoo (which may explain the “S극” title, but not entirely clearly) probably references back to the movie; according to Wikipedia, Joel experiences a similar memory-trigger in an attempt to re-establish the relationship: “Despite [Joel’s] efforts, the memories are slowly erased, with the last memory of Clementine telling him: ‘Meet me in Montauk.’” The “S” tattoo serves as a marker of the relationship, and perhaps is supposed to serve as a memory trigger much in the way Montauk is supposed to reunite Joel and Clementine. But because the plot still takes up very little of the video, there is still a great amount of time devoted to breathtaking imagery, such the infinity-pool-like structure that makes an appearance about a minute in.
(What is “N극” and “S극,” you ask? From what I was able to look up, “극” means “drama,” but the “N극” version can’t really rationally be defined as a drama version. And then what does the N stand for? Other than that, the closest explanation I have been able to find out is North and South Pole… soooooooo I don’t have a clue!)