Continuing our Duran Duran trend, here is the music video for “Black Moonlight” from the group’s recent Halloween-theme album, Dance Macabre. Unlike the previous video for the album’s title track, which used AI-generated CGI for a modern look, the new video is entirely retro, using live black-and-white to evoke spiritualistic practices from the early 2oth century. In keeping with the period setting, the band are seen using old-fashioned equipment, including what looks like a theramin and an old modular synthesizer.
The video’s imagery evokes not only seances but also spirit photography. Cameramen of the era would pretend to capture images of departed loved ones or show mediums with ectoplasm streaming out their nostrils and mouth. Though apparently convincing to their customers, these photos seem obviously fake to our modern eyes: the “ectoplasm” is obviously cotton or fabric overexposed to make it seem like a glowing supernatural substance. (see our review of an exhibition of these pics).
This trickery explains one eccentric visual in the video, which depicts several examples of people seemingly swallowing or vomiting long streams of fabric. Photographed with old-fashioned still cameras in the early 20th century, this fabric would have been used to create the ectoplasmic illusion seen in many of those old spirit photographs.