Ich würde es tun (I Would Do It) (2019)
Sissi Gotsbachner & Gary Lux 
Gary Lux
#submission2020  #narrative  #masterpiece 

29 December 2019 Share

Would we do it?

Maybe we should listen to this man in the woods. He is old and likeable, and he has some valuable advice for us.

But who is the young guy?

And what is their drama about?

In case you don’t understand enough of the German lyrics, we can wrap them up for you:

“If I had to go to the north pole
To feel your warmth
I would do it

I stand in front of the shards
I cannot sleep at night
Every moment cuts notches
In my heart ‘cause you are there

If I had to go through the fire
For you to be happy with me
I would do it

What shall I do?
What shall I do?”

This man apparently wants to be with the love of his life. But something prevents this, and he has no chance to change that. He is desperately trying to find a way out. He is alone. He would do everything to revert history. But there is no possibility, no hope. The love of his life is lost.

In the lyrics we get to know this situation. But in the music video we not only see this man, we also see him watching a younger guy, maybe his son, in a similar situation. The lyrics describe a person in a challenging phase of their life. The music video – in addition – describes the larger picture.

The old man seems to talk to us. He makes the impression of a wise man; he is convinced of something. Step by step we understand that he is talking to the next generation and remembering his younger self, and it becomes clear, that he is wiser now but his wisdom does not replace real life.

The young man, presented in flashbacks (in some special colour grading), is shown struggling and going through possible things he could do. His own loved one appears to be so close and yet unreachable.

The wall is a part of a tower⁠ in the woods. This tower was built in medieval times, and it had the purpose to give the inhabitants of the endless central European woods an overview and far reaching sight.

First the old man is standing at the bottom of the tower, considering what to do. Then he climbs to the top of the tower, where he tries to get a view over the whole world, looking for a solution. (The visual effect is heightened by the use of a drone.)

Who is Gary Lux⁠? Most famously he represented his country Austria in the Eurovision Song Contest⁠ on six occasions, e.g. 1984 with “Weekend⁠”, 1985 with “ Kinder Dieser Welt⁠” (“Children Of This World”) and 1987 with “Nur noch Gefühl⁠” (“Nothing But Emotion”).

The Eurovision Song Contest is the traditional home of schlager music⁠, boosted by another Austrian, Udo Jürgens⁠, who composed nearly 1,000 songs and sold more than 100 million records.

Gary Lux worked in this world, while some of his Austrian colleagues refined Austropop⁠ and Falco⁠ brought it to international fame. Now Gary Lux comes back with a song clearly closer to Austropop than to schlager music. We assume that he will win over a new audience with his development.

But we focus on music videos here. This is equally interesting, because Austropop has also spawned filmmakers with eventually international prominence, most notably DoRo Productions⁠, known for “Rock Me Amadeus⁠” and e.g. “The Show Must Go On⁠”.

“Ich würde es tun” (“I would do it”) is a bold answer now to the giants of Austropop, musically as well as visually.

The director is Sissi Gotsbachner⁠ together with Gary Lux himself. This video is their first directing experience, as far as we know. The young man in the video is played by Gary’s son Dennis, who is also a musician. The editor and the camera operators are friends of Gary’s.

By the way, we find Dennis’ acting exceptional, because it reflects how the old man sees the young generation suffer and feels with them. Dennis enacts exactly this.

The whole production has proven the first principle of filmmaking (again): you need a team. We hope that they had enough fun making this music video that they don’t stop here.

And don’t be fooled: this video definitely has what it takes.

Long ago Aristotle⁠ described two fundamental thoughts when it comes to stories. One of them is the concept of cause and effect⁠, and the other one is that a story consists of a chain of causes and effects, starting with an initial cause and ending with a final effect. Thus, we talk about a beginning, a middle and an end when it comes to the basic structure of a story⁠.

His colleague Sophocles⁠ taught us everything about the tragedy⁠: decisions have effects, which lead to the necessity of subsequent decisions causing subsequent effects. This, over time, determines fate⁠.

Interestingly enough, not many music videos deal with fate. This might be why music videos are in general not perceived as serious films. And, to be fair, it is bloody difficult to create a consistent tragedy in any form of play or film.

Foregoing strict criteria, the following music videos could be seen as “fateful”:

But they all fail to portray real tragedies. Most of them only deal with isolated incidents or single decisions having bad consequences. Coming closest is Adele’s “Hello”, but it also covers only a single relationship and not a person’s entire life and fate.

In comparison, “Ich würde es tun” (“I would do it”) drags us into an ultimate, timeless tragedy. Here we are confronted with an endless chain of events and decisions. Something prevents the protagonist from being with the love of his life. But he must learn to live with it.

And this has made him the man he is now.

The video compresses his dramatic story into one event at the end, where the man has gone to the tower and climbed it. It is narrative, and it implements unity of time, location and action⁠. It is literally perfect⁠.

Now, what does this video tell us?

We make experiences and choices and eventually our choices define us. Should you ever ask yourself who you are, Gary Lux can tell you a story about it: you are the sum of your experiences and choices.

Our verdict: This music video adds a new dimension to the lyrics. It introduces the topic fate into Austropop. We enjoy to grapple with it. And it touches an eternal question: What defines us? This music video is a masterpiece.

Send us your decisions.