The Cure

Picture Show

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A sequel to Standing by the Sea: The Images, collecting all the band's videos from "Why Can't I Be You?" to the remixed "Close to Me," Picture Show is not merely a showcase for some of the band's biggest commercial successes, but the continuing genius of director Tim Pope, who did every last clip. Pope's insanely inventive, sometimes naughty imagination runs rampant throughout, with the band giving everything an appropriate gusto, which is hard to find in most of the coldly professional high-profile video work of the era. "Catch," filmed on the south coast of France at a seaside villa, is practically the best tourism commercial ever -- sun-dappled seas, beautiful surroundings, and the romantic sentiments of the song all blended perfectly, the band wandering around the striking setting as they perform. "Fascination Street," on the other hand, is all moody late-night cityscapes, haunting obsessiveness, and looming threat, the camera spinning slowly around the group as it performs, overlaid with a series of close-ups and single camera shots on Robert Smith. Let both the band's and Pope's humor fully loose, though, and watch out! "Why Can't I Be You?" and "Hot Hot Hot!!!," are completely and intentionally ridiculous. In the former, the band dresses up as animals, in drag, do hilariously bad dance routines, and completely match the giddy, freaky sentiments of the horn-driven song to a T. Then there's "Pictures of You," with the band wrapped up in coats and jackets on top of a snow-covered mountain, surrounded by fake palm trees and polar bears nonetheless. As with Images, random home movie clips and interview snippets with the band crop up between songs. Unquestionably the best is the lengthy sequence before "Pictures of You," showing the band heading into the mountains for said video shoot, stopping off at hotels, getting stuck in the snow, goofing around with their then-upcoming cover of the Doors' "Hello I Love You," and generally wasting time, but with style.

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