Beyonce and Jay Z’s ‘Bang Bang’ Short Nods to Classic Movie Music

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 09.15.14 in News

In a recent trailer for Beyoncé and Jay Z‘s upcoming HBO concert special, the “Flawless” singer performs “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down),” a ’60s song with a rich pop-cultural history. The visuals from that trailer recur in Beyoncé and Jay Z: Bang Bang, Part One, the first in a trilogy of short films starring the musical power couple from New York filmmaker Dikayl Rimmasch. Their musical accompaniment, again, joins in a rich cinematic lineage.

The short shows the Carters as a pair of outlaws “on the run,” and it’ll only take three minutes to watch for yourself below. The orchestral music playing over most of the video, as it happens, is Ennio Morricone‘s “The Vice of Killing” theme, from Sergio Leone’s 1965 Clint Eastwood vehicle For a Few Few Dollars More — primo spaghetti Western. Over the rather lengthy credits, meanwhile, is French jazz pianist Martial Solal‘s “New York Herald Tribune,” from Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 French New Wave film landmark À bout de souffle (Breathless).

It’s the style and the fugitive theme, not the actual criminality, that appear to draw the artists to these sources. Speaking with Nowness, Rimmasch quotes Jay Z as saying “We’re not trying to do this literally, it’s not that we’re Bonnie and Clyde. We’re on the run from everything. On the run from becoming a cliché. On the run from doing the same thing again.”

The HBO special, On the Run, airs on September 20. The duo’s recent tour, which had the same title, incorporated footage from the shorts.