When Adele dropped her long-awaited comeback single Hello last week, the focus turned to the out-of-place flip phone featured in the song’s music video after the singer’s fans all calmed down a little bit.
Aside from spawning this brilliant mashup with a Lionel Richie classic of the same name, Adele’s Hello video also sent the interwebs into flip phone meltdown soon after its release. Behold:
I saw Adele Adkins holding a flip phone and tea, so I bought a flip phone and tea pic.twitter.com/Wd95QWE3ZA
— Sibongile Mafu (@sboshmafu) October 23, 2015
Adele's wanky phone – is it a piss-take of product placement in pop videos or a spare for ringing the dealer? #adele
— gimmers (@mofgimmers) October 23, 2015
*trades in iPhone for flip phone because Adele has a flip phone*
— Alex Goldschmidt (@alexandergold) October 23, 2015
Thankfully though, the clip’s director has now explained why a wealthy singer would be using such ancient technology — and no, it’s not because it’s the ‘cool new thing’ to do.
The director of the Hello video, Xavier Dolan, made the call (pun very much intended) to give Adele such a bloody old phone in the clip. He says it was an aesthetic choice focused on making sure the clip wasn’t grounded in “reality”.
Speaking with the LA Times, Dolan says the internet’s reaction to Adele’s flip phone drives him crazy. “I could see the GIFs on Twitter,” Dolan says. “I’m like, ‘Guys, get over it. It doesn’t matter.’
“But the real explanation is that I never like filming modern phones or cars. They’re so implanted in our lives that when you see them in movies you’re reminded you’re in reality.
“If you see an iPhone or a Toyota in a movie, they’re anti-narrative, they take you out of the story. If I put an iPhone or a modern car in a movie it feels like I’m making a commercial.”
Adele’s Hello video also, for some reason, features a phone booth — another soon-to-be extinct telecommunications technology. As it turns out, that was yet another aesthetic choice. “It says she is stranded in nature, which has regained its rights,” Dolan says.
“It’s an element of the past. It’s much more important than the flip-flop and trying to identify whether it’s Samsung or an AE9 or whatever.”
Catch all of humankind’s dying telecommunications tech in Adele’s Hello video below, and let’s all dream of a world in which Drake’s Hotline Bling lyrics are actually, “You used to call me on your flip phone.”
Watch: Adele – Hello