The Strange Convergence of Film, Literature and Music in One Longass Video

First, go here. Watch both parts (or go here for the whole thing in one clip.)

Then come back and amuse me by answering, or at least attempting to answer, the following questions:

  • Richard Price, WTF? And was this the first or final kernel of Hollywood hell that propelled him into writing the novel that would eventually become CLOCKERS?
  • Was Scorsese gettable because he needed $$$ to get THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST off the ground?
  • Are any of the actors involved remotely convincing as high school students?
  • Would the video have been better or worse if the song had been a duet with Prince like it was originally intended?
  • What’s up with the West Side Story overtones?
  • For that matter, could the whole Wizard of Oz switcheroo from black & white to color have been handled just a wee bit more effectively?
  • Just how dead-on is Weird Al’s parody?
  • What other critically acclaimed or cult favorite directors should try their hands at a music video? I vote for David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan and Whit Stillman. Just because.
  • Was this the moment when Jackson’s dancing style stagnated and began its downward slide into mannerisms and tics?

I have spent far too much time pondering this, but 20 years later, I can’t think of a music video quite so fucked up on so many levels.