The Art of the Web Video: North Korea Party Rock Anthem Edition

Did you like Sketchy Details on Facebook yet? The 50th person to like the page gets any item they want, up to $20 in value, from the Etsy store. Exclusive content and easier commenting at the click of this link. I love a good web video. It's true. Everything from super-cuts to remixes to parodies to adorable cats stuck in boxes crosses through my screen on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes, these videos exceed all expectations. They're edited to perfection, find a great new angle, or are so entertaining they cannot be missed. This video does all three.

"Party Rock Anthem" is LMFAO's monster-hit single that people sometimes call "Shufflin'." It's a catchy dance song with an infectious chorus and even its own dance.* As you can imagine, a song this big is going to get attention. Even Kia used it in their great post-apocalyptic hamster dancing commercial a few weeks ago.

YouTube user error606 uploaded a video a few weeks ago called "North Korea Party Rock Anthem ft. Kim Jong Il." In it, LMFAO's song is superimposed with video of military and dance exhibitions in North Korea. Kim Jong Il and other politicians are shown clapping, nodding, and showing his appreciation for the performance in front of him.

It's an interesting juxtaposition. On the one hand, we know about Kim Jong Il and North Korea's policies and actions on an international stage. On the other hand, we're watching artistic performances funded by the state done with great accuracy and excess. How much of the smiles on the service-women's faces is authentic emotion brought on by the performance? How much of it is demanded by military accuracy? How are they trained and what purpose do these enormous performances serve in this nation?

Looking at just the skill of the video, it's edited very well. The movements sync up with uncanny accuracy to beat of the song. A few times, the marching is revealed to be just slightly out of sync with the song. It's close enough that it's still impressive. From the selection of footage to its arrangement, it's an engaging web video.

I think this is an excellent exercise in producing web video content. The subject mixed with the context of the popular song creates a discord that demands discussion. Even if the discussion is commenting on the humor (created by the juxtaposition) or making a broad statement about North Korea, people are talking. The video has over a million views since 16 September and has already been ripped an re-uploaded by other YouTube users trying to piggyback on error606's success.

Thoughts? Love to hear them.

*The dance may actually just be the Melbourne Shuffle re-appropriated for American audiences.

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