Ryan Staake, 2014
Human sexuality has always been a selling point in any medium — may it be television, cinema, music, literature. Sex sells. Admit it or not, majority of the human race are racy creatures. Filmmaker Ryan Staake knows this. That’s why he came up with a naughty music video for Freak, a collaboration between Steve Aoki and a bunch of other millennial DJs.
Made with clever camera shots and skillfull editing, Freak features six characters in scenes that are seemingly sexual in nature. It is sexual innuendo in moving images. The characters are the Wallpaper Woman (Lara D. Wolf), the Scrubbing Girl (Grace Marie McGookey), the Trampoline Woman (Ashley Blankenship), the TV Man (Gus Renaud), the Gym Man (Paul Fears), and the Cereal Man (Samuel Shurtleff).
I suggest watching the video first before reading my commentary.
The very first scene shows the Wallpaper Woman smiling as some creamy liquid substance sprays on her face, a “facial” manipulation of one’s porny mindset. The scene is immediately followed by the bouncing Trampoline Woman, suggesting the dirty mind that she’s having a good “ride.” Third scene shows the Scrubbing Girl sitting down while looking up, her left arm seemingly doing a “handy” job. With his mustache and “gyrating” energy, the TV Man is the ultimate “cowboy” as he repeatedly slaps his “horse.”
The first four scenes are repeatedly shown before the kneeling Gym Man is seen. Sweaty, he has his mouth open as he goes “deep inside the throat” of his endeavor. The last character is the Cereal Man. He is implied to be devouring a delicious “munch box.” This last character creeped me out though, the actor exaggerated his expression a little bit. One doesn’t eat a munch box like grocery, we savor them with a delicate tongue, I mean, “touch.” To further sexualize one’s already dirty mind, the video sums up the scenes by focusing on “sexual objects” such a wet paint brush, a squirting spray bottle, and stretching trampoline strings. The video humorously ends with the Cereal Man’s kinky desire.
To emphasize each action, most of the scenes are in slow motion. Combined with the actors’ movements and tricky facial expressions, the scenes wickedly play with the audience’s horny mentality. The video tests how dirty one’s mind is. It says a lot about the viewer and less about the characters.
One might immediately judge and criticize the characters, calling them nasty names even before the whole scenario is shown — jumping to conclusion with the help of such dirty mind.
Through its witty shots, Freak speaks a lot about the world’s obsession with sex. It is aimed at the audience, mocking their hunger for the carnal. After watching such video, an audience might come to terms with his/her own lustful imagination.
For me, Staake’s film is one of this generation’s underseen, powerful visual statement. This needs to be seen more because it “opens” our mind to the world of our freaky thoughts.