As most of you know, I watch a lot of MTV, also most of Jay Chou's CDs or other people's CDs for that matter come with some sort of bonus VCD with music videos on them. Needless to say I've been watching a lot of music videos, or as they seem to call them here, MVs.
One thing that sort of struck me about Jay Chou's music videos is that he frequently makes movie-like videos that seem to be about events or people that are central to the American cultural experience, such as the Vietnam War, or the mafia, or even American kungfu martial arts movies.
In 最後的戰役 's music video, it's especially weird to watch an Asian man seemingly participating in the Vietnam war, but what's even weirder is that the heros are both Asian. In some ways, it seems to reflect the difference of my own perspective and that of the people around me. To Jay Chou, it wouldn't really be weird because he's not Vietnamese and my guess is that he probably doesn't see the whole Pan-Asian unity thing that I see. At the same, while the music video does seem to fetishize Americans, particularly white and black men, they are really just a cosmetic or exotic feature of the video, the two heroes of the video are Jay himself (naturally) and another Asian guy.
While in 以父之名, there's just a flimsy flashback to show Jay as an Italian mafioso. Actually the plot of the whole thing makes me wonder whether the makers of Unleashed listen to a lot of Jay. It's just weird, there's a whole room full of white people and then there's some Chinese guy there with them, no explanation whatsoever. It's also interesting to me that Jay Chou chooses these very American cinematic subjects to base his music videos on. In some ways, it seems like he's placing himself in the American Cultural Imaginary (for lack of a less pompous word, sorry).
Recently Mr. Chou released a new music video for his new CD, which looks suspiciously like Hero, the film by Zhang Yimou, which opens a whole new can of worms, but that will have to wait for another time.
However, I do sort of wonder, why do academics study the films of 蔡明亮 who no one even watches when they could write papers on Jay Chou's music videos?