The 00s was a pretty dark period if you look at it: it started off with 9/11, the Sri Lanka tsunami wiped away a whole city in 2004, Hurricane Katrina raced through New Orleans in late 2005. The cherry on top was the escalating economic recess in the second half of the decade. But pop culture somehow did not stop. It never stops. On the contrary! It was a golden age of epic video clips and actually many of them were made in Hungary.
1. Sarah Connor: From Sarah With Love (2001)
An epic hit from 2001. Sarah Connor’s classic video clip was shot at Keleti Railway Station, Budapest. The little boy actor is Marcell Nagy, who a couple of years later played the leading role in Lajos Koltai’s movie Fateless, based on the novel of Nobel Prize-winner Imre Kertész.
2. The Chemical Brothers: The Boxer (2005)
This music video was directed by London-based director duo Ne-o, Jake Knight and Ryoko Tanaka, using an Arri Super 16mm film camera. It’s about a crazy basketball which bounces through the city and then explodes. Their explanation is pretty well-rounded:
“The reason for the location stems from the music in the actual video. The ball needs to bounce synchronized with the 16th or 8th beat in the track. To do that, we needed a space with equidistant or closed surfaces to bounce around. A roof low to the floor but with uprights. Obviously parking lots are ideal. But it was a technical reason that made us go with it.”
3. Groove Coverage: Moonlight Shadow (2006)
The original Moonlight Shadow is Mike Oldfield’s piece from 1986 featuring Maggie Reilly. It was a huge-huge hit all over Europe, so it was only a matter of time until someone revives it. Groove Coverage built their band up around covering songs, and this was their first hit, that brought them the initial fame. It was even played at the 2006 Winter Olympics’ Opening Ceremony. The video clip is like a travel guide video of Budapest, covering the most important routes and spots of the city: from Heroes’ Square to Chain Bridge.
4. Gwen Stefani: Early Winter (2007)
Similar to Sarah Connor’s spot, Gwen also chose an “infamous” railway station in Budapest: Nyugati. Every local is familiar with this not so pleasant, often shady spot. The video was shot in several Central European locations, and the final single and video clip was launched in Europe only. Rumor has it, that it was Gwen, who saw the potential in the Hungarian capital.
5. Katy Perry: Firework (2010)
The best possible closure is to show a clip from 2010, when the 00s officially ended. It was time to say goodbye all the hurt and bad feelings. That’s what Katy did. The video clip was part of a bigger campaign (“Life is Sharing”) organized by Deutsche Telekom. 250 teenagers from 8 countries were selected to take part in the video, all them fan were a fan of Perry (as you can tell it from the video). It was shot in the Buda Castle area and the National Library.
5+1 Radiohead: Karma police (1997)
It was not shot in Hungary and it’s not even from the 00s. It was made in the UK in 1997. But the lead character was Lajos Kovács, famous Hungarian actor. It was a time when video clips were pushing the boundaries of the medium, and this work of Jonathan Glazer is not an exception. Lajos Kovács had to run the whole night to finish the video, but unfortunately he kept getting a cramp and having to have some horrible injections put into his leg so he could keep running.