College Boy – 6th Day of Urban Dionysia

The Διονύσια τὰ ἀστικά ‘Urban Dionysia’, are the last Dionysian celebrations of the Hellenic lunar calendar. They close the yearly events in boreal spring – austral fall – with other rituals, dances and performances. Each day of Dionysia, I introduce in a few words, a piece of performance art from anyone in the world, at any moment of history, and that I want to share. This includes: theatre, opera, dance, body art, music video and cinema.

The last work I introduce for this year’s Urban Dionysia, deals again with dramatic violence. It is also a short film of a special kind since it involves music and has been acknowledged as a music video when it was released in 2013. Canadian director Xavier Dolan made his actual first music video on the theme produced by French rock band Indochine. The video – and song – title is 【College Boy】 but, although parts of the lyrics are in English, most of the text is in French. However, the six minutes video can be taken as an opus by itself with proper actors and a rich staging. The surrealistic violence depicted in the film serves a social question, and this is probably the main reason why I chose to end these Dionysia with this one. Social exclusion is still an important part of our world today. But bullying is a practice which happens everywhere under many circumstances. The school-oriented topic here in the film can be enlarged on a global symbolic scale. And the reference to Jesus’ crucifixion brings me back to my readings about scapegoats and society’s natural violence – which is also the main point of the Gospel, for those who know how to read. On the symbolic analysis, the physical violence itself is not as bitter as the reactions in the background. In a few minutes, you get a clear and acid picture of what victims abused by ‘popular guys’ can actually expect from classmates, from teachers, from family and even from institutional authority: blindness.

Note that the music video has been censored in some countries as explained in this article. If you can’t watch the video on Indochine’s official channel, here’s a link to a DailyMotion version. Also, a complete English version of the song exists but has not the same strength as the French one. You can still listen to it here.

Here is the 【list of previous posts】 for the Urban Dionysia.

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