Du Hast

I was on a break from San Francisco State, sometime in my second year (2001). I was driving South, on Hawthorne Blvd, in Torrance, on my way to window-shop in Best Buy or Third Planet. While I'm sure many of you are familiar with the woefully staffed, badly stocked, though low-priced experience found at a Best Buy near you, you might be unfamiliar with what was the coolest comic book store ever.

Third Planet used to be across from the Del Amo Mall and it was huge. It catered to all sorts of geeks, nerd, and dorks. It was beautiful, and obviously burned too brightly to last - at its old location, anyway. Now it sits, in a much smaller location, next to a Japanese restaurant in a strip mall dominated by said Best Buy and a Starbucks. You get the idea.

But I digress

I started writing this with the confidence that I knew exactly how this happened. The song "Du Hast", by Rammstein, must've just come on the radio during normal airplay, because my mother's car didn't have a CD player built in, but I don't remember that particular detail, and I could've sworn I put the song on myself. Nevermind.

"Du Hast" was popular in 1997, and was made known to me by its own music video, featuring guys wearing suits à la Reservoir Dogs, not say a Fellini film or anything by Godard, torturing somebody and blowing stuff up. It wasn't very funny, I'll tell you that. But, at the time, I didn't know much about film history, and I thought it was cool. The whole album is still pretty listenable (who doesn't like to hear German growling and evil guitars for an hour?) The original video just seems to be pointing in the direction mainstream film will go (Straight down the tubes). I find the use of slow-motion particularly obnoxious, as well as the choice to give the audience the point-of-view of the person being tortured.

Just to be clear, my video isn't a response to the original music video.

For whatever reason, I either heard the song on the radio, or I HEARD THE SONG IN MY HEAD, and I began to lip-sync to the song with my hands. And giggling was involved.

When I returned to college, I set up my trusty VHS-C on a tripod and, using my dorm room door as a background, hand-synced to playback from my computer. I had to do two takes, the second just to pick up some stuff I messed up on the first time. It took about ten minutes, and then an hour or two, editing and distorting the colors on Ulead Media Studio.

So, why is this here? First and foremost, I think it's clever. I think it showcases my ability to make something visually interesting and amusing with no money, equipment, or performers. Also, I'm proud to have made an image in my head into something I can share with others. It's always nice to wipe things out of your mind and stuff them into someone's eye.

Jesse Schoem
January 18, 2007
Weehawken, NJ