In 1965, French avant-garde film director Jean-Luc Godard created Alphaville, a synthesis of French noir and sci-fi that paint a picture of a bleak future not unlike Orwell's 1984. The denizens of Alphaville are controlled by logic, kept constantly in check by the central computer system, Alpha 60. Words such as "tenderness" and "conscience" have been expunged from the dictionary, replaced by words that reflect so-called "newer" ideas. In order to free the inhabitants of Alphaville from the enslavement of Alpha 60, it is up to Lemmy Caution (played by Eddie Constantine) to infiltrate the system and to find Alpha 60's creator, Professor Vonbraun. Alphaville is marked by minimalistic, dreary lighting and a quasi-futuristic setting dominated by 1960's gangster noir.

In 1993, on the other side of the globe, music video director Melodie McDaniels faced the task of filming the video "Linger" for The Cranberries, in the USA for the first time, as "Linger" was skyrocketing to the top of American college radio. McDaniels made the decision to re-capture the look and feel of Alphaville, having the members of the Cranberries dressed in eerily similar garb and recreating scenes that parallel the film. The crew, in fact, according to VH1 "were amazed to find an Alphaville-like jukebox" in the LA hotel where they were shooting.

Cross-references abound between the two videos. Both "Linger" and Alphaville start with a flashing street light. Some references, like Fergal batting a light bulb, are obvious takes from Alphaville, yet others, like Dolores passing a framed portrait of Professor Vonbraun in the stairway, are much more subtle and easily missed by the casual observer. Just how much does "Linger" resemble its predecessor? Take a look...

"Linger" (1993)



























Alphaville (1965)



























All original content herein (c) 1999-2004 Alex Kraus.

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