Against a brilliantly colored dreamscape, a mother rocks a little girl by the sea while a ship floats in midair behind them. The girl climbs out of her mother's arms, gets on a tricycle and, with the magic of video, pe...展开dals her way through Kenya, Russia, Spain, New York and India before ending up back home. In this visually stunning clip for Deep Forest's "Sweet Lullaby," director Tarsem retells in his own way the myth of the Hindu god Ganesh's trip around the world.
Tarsem's last video, R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" (1991), made believers out of those who doubted videos could be as artful as the music they sell. But it took him a full three years to find a song that inspired him enough to make another. Once he heard the haunting melody of "Sweet Lullaby," a song sung by a girl from the Solomon Islands, he was hooked.
French producers Eric Mouquet and Michel Sanchez, who make up Deep Forest, set the South Pacific lullaby to a rhythm track that intercuts Eurodance music and Central African Pygmy chants. The result, "Sweet Lullaby," is suddenly everywhere--a year after its CD release.
The video is as much a cross-cultural odyssey as the music is. Simple gestures and images are repeated from country to country, yet each location is tinted a different hue, alluding to both the universality and the exoticism of the song. As for possible charges of exploitation of the native cultures from which the producers "borrowed," Mouquet says they tried to complement rather than "overpower the beauty" of the music they sampled. For his part, Tarsem had the producers send him each track of the recording before he consented to do the project. "When I heard it all separately," he says, "I realized how much their input had come in."