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Cool For August - Don't Want To Be Here

Music Video
ArtistCool For August
SongDon't Want To Be Here
DirectorDavid Kleiler
Director of PhotographyMott Hupfel


Have you ever felt completely alienated in a shopping mall? Have you ever thought, _We're all just consumer-culture slaves,_ as you watch a gaggle of mall rats line up to buy the exact same beauty product? Have you ever been in a mall and sensed the collective melancholy of so many lone shoppers? For a lot of talks living in So Cal communities, malls substitute for public space. Malls replace parks and main streets. In a shopping mall, I wonder if the old men gathered on benches wouldn't be happier in a less pre-fab environment I wonder if the struggling young mother wishes she could think of some other way of spending time with her children...
We follow two characters ambling through a typical American shopping mall on a busy after noon. Our heroine is a high school girl out with her girlfriends. She pretends she's right at home in the mall she scopes guys, cracks jokes with her girl-posse and does a lot of shopping. Soon she becomes alienated by the environment and her friends - the Winona Ryder to their "Heathers." These Heathers stand in line after line, all buying slight variations on fhe same clothes, shoes and beauty products. She models a dark-colored dress while the Heathers just laugh and convince her to get one of the light-colored ones that they're all getting. She keeps looking in her wallet, noticing that she's running out of money Gradually she falls back from them. In the garish food court she sits at a table looking distracted while the boisterous Heathers laugh and have a good time.
lf only she knew our hero, a slightly older high school kid who works at one of the fast food joints at the food court. Think Judge Reinhold in Fast Times At Ridgemont High. He's having a similarly alienating experience on this mall afternoon. We follow him from his job flipping hamburgers. through his sad attempt to relax during his lunch break. First he goes outside to have a cigarette by a mall entrance. Before he can light his smoke, he gets accosted by a security guard that motions to a "No Smoking" sign and tells him to step away from the building. Later he winds up in a store that's a parody of The Sharper Image or Brookstones. It's filled with stupid foot-massagers and little black gadgets with blinking lights. Puzzled and bored at the same time, he fiddles with these useless items. He sits in one of the massaging chairs until the sales person at the store shoots him evil looks. He finds solace in a cool, vintage-80s video game that's tucked away in a remote corner of the mall We see his look of concentration reflected on the screen of the game's glass. Hunched over the game wearing his fast-food uniform, he seems utterly alone.
Throughout these vignettes of our two high-school heroes, we catch glimpses of the Cool For August boys, performing their song with intensify Light reflected off of some unseen body of water dapples Gordon's face, and we're not initially sure where he and his band mates are. They seem tore on some kind of stage, but they're basically facing each other, and their performance is covered in slowly-dollying close-ups. Within these intimate close-ups, the general vibe of their performance environment is in stark contrast to the garishness of the mall scenarios. However; as the song progresses wider shots reveal that the band is in fact performing on a stage in middle of the shopping mall adjacent to a fountain/wading pool hence the shimmery light that plays on Gordon's face. This is proably where kids come to sit on Santa's lap during the holidays, but this season it's an oasis of cool... for August They look out of place here in a good way They're the honest rockers battling against the tide of shopping mall conformity. Gordon's refrain, _I know I don't want to be here_ takes on a more serious meaning. There's a crowd of folks watching the band, but many shoppers just stroll on by. Our heroes are two of those shoppers. Each arriving simultaneously at the stage - perhaps pulled by some mystical force of rock - they stop to watch the band for a moment. Their eyes Are they going to introduce themselves, discuss their alienated lives, move to a farm in the Northwest and bake their own bread? Of course not This is a mall no one has any kind of rea action. She has to go back to her friends, he has to go back to work. They're shoppers passing in night. By the end of the song, we follow as she continues shopping with her friends, and he goes to flipping burgers. The Cool For August band plays on...
This would be shot with a 'well-exposed" color negative film look, as if it were one of those teen dramas from the '80s. Ideally the mall would have lots of awesome '80s architectural details as well (remember the Hollywood Galaxy before they put that museum in there?) that the camera would study when we weren 't with our heros Besides, other folks in the mall would be given some activity; a guy in a fast-food mascot-suit, other bubble-gum chewing teens, wannabe gang-bangers and families. These folks would seem like real people, not the usual parade of music video grotesques. Even though there would be some funny business in the stores, the mood here would not be 'Wacky_ There would be an attempt to bring out the mall melancholy Think Jake Scott's REM, "Everybody Hurts, " but much more toned-down, less slick." Amidst all of these other elements, the band's performance would be given a chance to breathe. Covered from a number of different angles, we would really get an intimate look at Cool For August's rocking abilities.
Copyright David Kleiler
Production CompanyZeitgeist Productions
LabelWarner Brothers Records
Script/Written byDavid Kleiler
Sound MixStereo
Technical Specificationscolour - format unknown


Something's wrong, my mind is gone.
It won't be long before I lose it made.
I will crawl into my soul to
Find a way to escape this
Sorry world.

Don't take offense by my
Cold-hearted nature
I can't escape the dreams of my head
And where is the voice of yesterday's cries
Take me away from all your lies.

I don't wanna be here
© Cool For August - Don't Want To Be Here. This is an excerpt, provided as citation under fair-use.

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