Sugar Water by Cibo Matto

I recently came across this cool music video directed by Michel Gondry in 1996 (Gondry would later go on to direct one of my favorite films, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). The song is Sugar Water by Cibo Matto. One blogger said about the video…

As Michel notes on his DVD, the song made him think of a palindrome, so he came up with the idea of a visual palindrome told in one take on two sides of the screen. The left side is forwards, the right side backwards.

But, that’s not all. Halfway through there’s a reversal and we begin to realize that time, among other things, is being played with. It’s fascinating. I’ve watched it three times and am still making new discoveries.

Not to mention the song itself is great. Cibo Matto’s “trippy, sultry pop” is simply addicting, and I’m enchanted by lyrics like: “I’m riding on a camel that has big eyes / The buildings are changing into coconut trees / Little by little.” It’s too bad the band disbanded in 2001.

Here’s the video:



6 thoughts on “Sugar Water by Cibo Matto

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  1. So are they passing a note? How they related? ARE they related? This drove me nuts…I watched it three times too. I think I get the switch and time forward/backward thing but it led to lots of other questions like WHY, and why pour sugar on her head, and why take two showers in a day. Was at night and one during the day? I thought they were both at night. Dh thought not and I didn’t want to watch it a fourth time LOL. And didn’t she “Kill” her? So she got up from the “accident”…but is the girl in blue a stalker? Poparazzi? It’s drivin’ me nuts.


  2. Your comment made me smile, tia. 🙂 I’ve asked similar questions. About the showers, I think each of them are only taking one. We’re just seeing it twice (once going forward and once going backward). Something else, when I watch just the going forward parts, then the timeline goes like this: the woman in blue wakes up, takes a water shower, gets a note out of her mailbox, deposits the same note in the outside mailbox and goes to where the woman in red is on the ground then the woman in red gets up, starts walking (and is followed for a bit by the woman in blue), deposits her note in the outside mailbox, gets another note out of her mailbox, takes a sugar shower and goes to bed. I think. So, are they mailing each other notes? Also, it’s wild how the note the woman in red has doesn’t really make sense until the one moment in the film where forward and backward meet (when she’s on the ground).But, then, what to make of the cat? 🙂


  3. This is really interesting — I’ve never seen “Eternal Mind,” but if this video is any indication it should be challenging to watch. I had never heard of Cibo Matto until just a few months ago (I’m a tad behind the curve on some music), and now I see or hear them often. This song is one of my favorites — wonder if my wife would like them?- Matt


  4. The video has its inconsistencies, but I do like it.I love Cibo Matto – I have Stereo Type A and can honestly say that I love every song on it. I also like Miho Hatori’s solo work, she did a song called “Blue Glasses” that I really like and found online for free. Getting the “Smokey and Miho” album is a bit more complicated, especially when you live in Aus. I found Cibo Matto through the music genome project web site (helps visitors find new music based on a database of music the creators deem to be similar) –


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