Yusuf/Cat Stevens 'Wild World' by Effie Pappa
To celebrate the fifty year anniversary of his seminal 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman, Yusuf/Cat Stevens has reimagined it's tracks for 2020 - including a more laidback, jazzier version of the album's biggest hit Wild World. Now Effie Pappa has visualised the new recording, drawing inspiration from the classic 1940s movie Casablanca, and reminding us that even the toughest days can be brightened by the optimistic perspective of youth.
Pappa conjures up an atmospheric club, like Rick's Bar in Casablanca, but with kids playing the roles of Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Dooley Wilson, and others. A card game between two of the young characters is the jumping off point for depictions of the just how wild the world can be, and always has been - with newsreel footage from around the same time period intercutting the scenes in the club.
Rendering a modern day filter on the 1940s story reveals how different yet how similar some of the global issues we now face. But ultimately as the young leads get togethe in a aircraft witnessing an animated dog fight, the WW2-era world dissipates, as they find themselves having tea in space, and drifting towards the heavens in a symbol of hope.
Packed with visual imagination and wonder, Pappa's video is also a product of the conditions imposed by the pandemic: developed and produced remotely between the UK and Greece, where the shoot took place. In many ways, the video itself is a testament to the spirit of optimism in the new world we find ourselves in.
And Yusuf/Cat says of the film: “It shows how much we need art to direct our thoughts sometimes towards inexpressible goals; to relive early childlike innocence and keep our eyes of hope open beyond the clouds of war and darkness.”
“When we come into the world we are taught life’s lessons through imaginary tales, juxtaposing life’s turbulences and misfortunes with stories borrowed from another universe, creating a safe place. Coming to Wild World as adults, this safe area tends to be neglected and lost in space - a vague memory from distant childhood.
To my eyes the lyrics of Wild World are letters from a younger self.
"Yusuf’s iconic song Wild World has spoken to a number of generations, and to my eyes the lyrics are letters from a younger self. I strongly felt the urge to create something that would equally be a recall to our inner child and that exact same safe place.
"Gambling and winning, loss and acceptance, war and love, are a few of the themes that are depicted through this film, borrowing classic themes from Casablanca to reimagine ‘Wild World’ for 2020, and celebrate the comeback of ‘Tea For The Tillerman 2.’”
|Executive Producer||Alex Bedford|
|Assistant Producer||James Robinson|
|Service Producer||Manolis Kontarinis|
|Director of Photography||Dimitris Lambridis|
|Art Director||Maria Kalamara|
|Hair & Make-up||Demmy Stamatopoulou|
|Editing company||The Quarry|
|Production Services||Takes 2|
|1st AD||Efi Papageorgiou|
|Edit Producer||Tor Adams|
|Grade Producer||Kayleigh Dugdale|
|Additional VFX||Effie Pappa|
|Stop Frame Animator||Anastasia Papadopoulou|
|Other credits||Story: Yusuf/Cat Stevens & Effie Pappa Production Assistant: Tom Davies Production Manager: George Pergantos Camera Assistant A: Stamatis Kouros Camera Assistant B: Spyros Kontorouchas Camera Assistant C: Peggy Zouti Gaffer: Michalis Christoforatos Electrician: Sakis Kiousis, Giorgos Athanasopoulos, Stathis Giannikos Props Maker: Anastasia Papadopoulou Set Dresser: Vasiliki Tsiligrou DIT: Christos Theofanopoulos Sound Engineer: Alexandros Sakellariou Production Assistants: Dionysis Metaxas, Christos Panagopoulos, Markos Kontarinis|
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