Levitating Beds and a Jacked-Up Tree: The Mynabirds – “Body of Work”

Mynabirds Body of Work

We start out with a woman sprawled across a bed in some forest, her hair dangling off the side of the mattress in a forlorn manner, but before we can ask her if she needs any assistance, we quickly cut to somebody doing something with drumsticks, and then to a woman fiddling around with lots of square mirrors suspended from trees. We’re only 8 seconds into the video and I have no idea what’s going on, but at least we’re not in a dance club so this video is already better than 97% of the videos out there.

More anonymous drumming, some schizophrenic imagery of what I’m starting to think might be the lead singer (or maybe just someone who has questionable access to video-editing equipment), and a barefoot woman running away from what little plot there is. Back to the bed, where the previously very-tired woman has swallowed some type of stimulant and is belting out the lyrics of the song.  This is followed by some more shots of bare feet, this time re-enacting the Lucy Ricardo grape-stomping scene of yore, only there’s no grapes or Lucy or rustic Italian-peasant attire. Just feet and mud. This is one of those things that seems like a good idea at the time, but then somebody has to hose you down when you’re done.

A woman that we haven’t met before briefly struts past the camera and then disappears, which is kind of rude, but she may have urgent things to take care of somewhere that doesn’t involve a forest.  Another lady is trying to take our picture, but she’s using one of those old-school cameras the size of a Buick and we don’t have time for that, cutting back to the woman on the bed. Bed-woman seems to have a lot of issues, but I guess we’ll have to get back to that later, because the woman who disappeared suddenly re-appears, smiling invitingly at us, so her agent must have told her to get her ass back on the set and make nice with people.

More drumming and more hanging mirrors that don’t seem to have a purpose, then we get a long shot of Bed-Woman and we immediately understand one of her issues. The bed is floating several feet above the forest floor, which is kind of festive if you’ve taken the right pharmaceuticals, but rather annoying if you’re just trying to catch some shut eye before the concert later tonight. No wonder Bed-Woman is pounding on the mattress with her aggressive-looking drumsticks. She needs a ladder, stat.

Oh wait, maybe she’s not that upset about the altitude, because now she’s smiling a lot and flopping around on the bed with enthusiasm and gazing at herself in yet another mirror. (Apparently mynabirds like reflections, write that down.) And the next scene shows that they also like to hold up and look through decaying windows whilst a strange man squats behind them and hugs them around the ass. (No idea, but they both seem to be having a good time, especially the Ass-Man.) Then we have a nice montage of random eyeballs, the woman with the camera, Bed-Woman banging her sticks together, someone who may or may not have just sat on a very stimulating pinecone (look at that expression on her face, that surely means sexual release, right?), and some disembodied hands clapping.

Did I mention pharmaceuticals?

The montage continues, with several barefoot women and some dorkily-dressed men frolicking about in a handy stream, the Pinecone Woman eating leaves off an odd branch (I get hungry after nature sex as well), the Bed-Woman temporarily out of the bed and wearing a nice frock while she holds up lit sparklers, and a group of three new women (just how many Mynabirds are there?) doing a line dance that involves dramatic poses and thigh-slapping.

We check in on Bed-Woman, now properly back in her bed, and she’s still doing the same thing, using sticks and a floating bed and even more mirrors to tell the story of something unsatisfactory that happened in the Ozark Mountains. Cut to a woman who may have fallen and can’t get up, a brief shot of clouds, another group of women who seem very invested in jumping, more random trees, Bed-Woman using a telescope to see if anyone is paying attention to her drama on the daybed, more trees, more mirrors, and the never-ending usage of drumsticks.

Montage #37: A trio of colorfully-dressed women sneakily creep down an embankment toward that stream where people were previously dancing, looking like piñatas up to no good, more mirrors, more exuberant jumping, a shot of what might be Lisa Kudrow wondering when she will ever score another part like “Phoebe”, clouds, the piñata people launching three paper boats on the stream (is this a tribute to Columbus?), a woman spewing glitter dust out of her mouth (pharmaceuticals!), and a woman sitting in a jacked-up tree and gazing into yet another mirror with the passion of Maya Angelou writing a poem about the mystical inner-strength of women who sit in jacked-up trees.

Uh oh, Bed-Woman is out of the bed again, waving those lit sparklers around in a dangerous manner. We should probably tell someone, I’m just not sure who that would be.

Then we have a nice bit where the line-dancers are back, doing something interpretive with their hands and hips. Wait a minute, one of the dancers from the original scene is missing. Is this like Dreamgirls? (“And I’m telling you, I’m not leaving this forest!” Then whoops, she gone.) Brief bit with a woman who might have starred in The Ring standing near two trees, followed by another brief bit with a solo dancer who might not be listening to the same song that we are, and finally a man apparently freaking out and waving his arms about. (What, is this too much estrogen for you? Are you in the Republican party?)

Oh wait, Freak-Out Man was apparently the introductory dancer to a sequence where everyone appears to have at least minimally lost their minds, gyrating and flailing like they really mean business. (Mixed in with this are shots of Bed-Woman still pounding and what might be summer-camp photos from a camp that never really existed.) This culminates in a big-ass dance off where lots of people are jumping around in a field that was apparently adjacent to a Janis Joplin concert in 1969.

Another shot of clouds rolling across the sky, reminding us that Mother Nature loves us all even if we do extraordinarily unusual things at times, then we cut to one of the Mynas sitting amongst some foliage and whipping her hair around with enough frenzy to power Newark for the next three months.  (That girl is going to need some pain-killers at the wrap party, for sure.)

More sparklers.

More jumping.

And we roll into the final montage with Bed-Woman properly ensconced back in her Levitating Slumber Slab of Freedom, more mirrors, some mess with people running along and waving homemade flags, Jacked-Up Tree Woman looking at us like we just said something insipid during the Summer Solstice passion play, something about a half-door that leads to a pond that might have algae-buildup issues, and another review of the Janis Jumpers as they whirl around like the Von Trapp family just ate mushrooms on an Austrian mountaintop.

We close it out with all of the Mynas and their Myna-friends standing in formation and wistfully gazing up at the sun. The sun gazes wistfully back at them, but doesn’t say anything. Because it can’t. The Mynas wait. The sun waits. Then somebody hollers “Cut!” and everybody runs to pack their bags for The Burning Man festival…

 

Click here to watch this video on YouTube.

Originally published on 04/28/13, revised and updated with extra flair for this post.

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