Modjo’s “Lady” : memories of the video

May 2000. One day, my producer Anath sends me this tune “Lady (Hear me tonight)” and asks me to think about a music video. I listen a lot to the song, I find it absolutely melancholic and very romantic. Sadness mixed with joy.
So I come up with this bitter teenager love story :
Three teenagers, two boys and one girl, decide to run away together, and they want to have pleasure, fun and escape reality.
I write it quite fast, with “Virgin Suicides” and “Boys Don’t Cry” in mind.

Modjo, the band is french, but they made the choice to sing to everyone in the world : in english.
I am french too and I thought the video had to look the same, to be able to talk to everyone in the world, to be the most universal possible.
I wanted it to look like a mix of the USA and my french suburban hometown.
This is how, in June 2000, we take a plane and end up in Montreal, Quebec.

In Montreal we organize a casting session to find our three young heroes.
I was looking for three teenagers with a real relationship between them, no matter if it was friendship or love.
That’s how we found our beautiful teenager trio, three real friends in life : Sarah-Jane, Patrice and Gilles.

In June 2000, we went on a road trip on the roads of Quebec.

Locations are listed on this page :

Yann and Romain from Modjo appear in the video : they sell the car to the three teenagers.


Capture d’écran 2016-06-29 à 09.40.32

These are Polaroids from “Lady” Casting session

1. Sarah-Jane.   2. Patrice.

3. Gilles.  4. Patrice, Sarah-Jane, Gilles.






31 thoughts on “Modjo’s “Lady” : memories of the video

  1. To this day, this is one of the most beautiful and genuine videos of on screen love I’ve ever seen. The chemistry between the three teenagers is electric and moving. It gives me the chills its so perfect. This level of authenticity is rare.

    I had this video on an old dusty hard-drive that I’ve just, finally, sorted after many years. It was so touching to see it again and have the same affect on me. Really glad I went to look up the backstory that you’ve so kindly posted.

    I now live in Canada; so it now has lots of new meaning to me. My fiancé and I might even visit the filming locations next time we’re out in Quebec.

    A heartfelt thank you, from all the hopeless romantics that fell in love to this video.

  2. Thank you for sharing this nice background story of the video! What happened with the teenagers? Where are they now?

  3. Magnifique. François, But, I´ve been wondering about the names of those guys…
    Could you tell us who tey are please?

  4. It’s so funny. When I first saw this video all those years ago, I thought to myself, “Damn, that looks just like the rural towns in Quebec that I used to drive through when my family would take us on road trips to New York from Montreal (where I grew up)!” But I knew that the group Modjo was from Europe, so I just assumed there were places in France that resembled Quebec, because why would they shoot a music video so far from where they live, in a random rural part of Canada? And I’m not sure why, but I thought of this song the other day, so I googled it and found the music video, which got me curious again. So I googled the Wikipedia page, which led me to this essay, which explained everything! It also brought back some very fond memories of my youth in Quebec. (I now live in Los Angeles.) Thank you for sharing this!

    • just to let u know bro…..we have shoot the clip in montreal on the plateau mont royal ans st gabriel de brandon and somewhere else ,cant remember lol …gilles theberge !!!!!

      • This was filmed in places I am very familiar with in Notre-Dame-Des-Prairies, St-Jean-De-Matha, St-Félix-de-Valois, St-Gabriel-de-Brandon.

  5. Hi. Awesome video and a very interesting recap on the development process. After all these years, i still wonder what the actors from the video are doing today- especially the girl. Back in 2000 (when i was 10) i had a huge crush on her. Greetings from germany- Mike

  6. hey thanks to my brother hood to send me this liks!!!!! fucking good vibes man!!!!! that waz and will be one the most amazing experrience of my life !!!! shoting this clip and ear that sound always remind me some good souvenir xxxxxxxx its me the little skinny white boy …….and how can i forget u guys….patrice my brother and is guirlfriend at this time … love xxx gilles thegerge ..(facebook)……fuck yeah!!!!

    • Are u one of the boys?! Great! One of my fauvorite videos, so cool and there’s so good vibe between u and your friends, where are u now? Keep contact with them?

  7. Excellent de lire cet article.

    Je rejoue souvent la chanson ou le clip, et je sais pas pourquoi mais je suis directement envahi par un sentiment de nostalgie, mais un sentiment très très violent, qui prend aux tripes, vraiment. Pour tout dire, ma dernière écoute de “Lady” date de la semaine dernière dans la douche. J’ai carrément coupé la musique tellement j’avais les larmes aux yeux (je rigole vraiment pas, je regardais dans le vide en pensant à l’époque).

    Ce clip à une raisonnance beaucoup plus profonde pour moi et a vraiment marquée mon enfance. J’suis le dernier d’une famille de 5 enfants, mes 3 frères ont tous plus de 40 et ma sœur 33 ans, je suis le dernier (23 ans). Mes frères, des gros caïd de l’époque, avaient pour habitudes d’avoir beaucoup de CD House et French Touch de l’époque, du coup “Lady” tournait énormément à la baraque donc je la connaissais vraiment bien. Mais c’est surtout le clip qui est le plus dur à regarder pour moi, le hasard a fait qu’il est sorti pendant l’une des meilleures périodes de ma vie, tout allait bien dans ma famille comparé à aujourd’hui, donc le sentiment de nostalgie qui y est rattaché est vraiment fort. Mais c’est surtout parce que j’identifiais à chaque fois Sarah-Jane à ma sœur (que j’considère comme ma deuxième mère) et à ses potes, j’étais petit (6 ans) donc je voyais ça d’un œil émerveille, c’était ma soeur, sa jeunesse, sa liberté, ses potes.

    Bref, ça fait un peu journal intime comme commentaire mais je me suis dis que ça pourrait être sympa de raconter pourquoi je suis vachement attaché et touché par ce clip.

    • Le sentiment que tu décris comme étant “très très violent, qui prend aux tripes”, je le resens de tout coeur. La nostalgie qui frappe a la porte pour nous rappeller jusqu’a quel point le temps est précieux. Voir la différence de jusqu’a quel point les temps etait plus simple et pur. Ca s’rais émouvant de pouvoir retourner juste une journée dans le passé.

  8. This song is my childhood and I kept it in all my playlists so far. It’s great to know that story behinds the video. I already saved the locations in Montreal ı hope that I can visit those places one day. Thanks for this share François.

  9. You made an Indie Masterpiece with this video and this 3 young.
    This video always gonna be remembered, of how really showed the experience of being a young in the beggin of this New Millenium ..
    A Generation that has it nothing to expect, just continue and enjoy each other.
    I applaud you and thank you, for made it.

  10. And just for add, you are a real artist, you really expressed something deep here.
    I hear and like the song since I was a kid .. but when I see the video for the first time in my teen years, i’ve totally falled in love and connection with it.
    Thanks again.

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