Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

The Russian Circus

Published 09 Feb, 2021 04:06pm
From 'The Candy Jar: Good Ideas to Chew On' – an online series.
Photo: YouTube
Photo: YouTube

I have listened to all kinds of music and watched all kinds of music videos, but one in particular caught my attention and has stuck to me ever since. You know how there are some tracks you feel like listening to, but don’t play too much because you are afraid you will get tired of it? Leningrad’s Kolshchik (Russian for 'Tattoo Artist') is one of them for me.

But the reason this piece of art is in the Candy Jar is not because of the music, rather the music video which was produced by Dimitry Mouraviev and directed by Ilya Naishuller, a Russian musician and filmmaker, in 2017. The lyrics – which tell a story about a woman who asks a tattoo artist to give her already tattooed eyebrows an angrier look after being heartbroken – have almost nothing to do with the events in the video.

The highlight of this video is the fact that it progresses in reverse and reveals step-by-step a bizarre chain-reaction of catastrophic events in a seemingly ordinary Russian circus. The video has won several accolades, including a Cannes Lion, a D&AD Pencil and even the award for Best Concept and Best Music Video at the Berlin Music Video Awards.

Watching the video is fun and refreshing and has a catchy tune to it, while the crazy lyrics (which I absolutely do not understand) play in the background. After you are done watching the original music video, watch the same music video reversed again (in chronological order) and enjoy a whole new experience.

Muhammad Ali Khan is Associate Director Creative & Strategy at Spectrum VMLY&R. He also teaches in the Masters of Advertising program at SZABIST-Karachi.