If you’ve watched TV in the past several months, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Microsoft’s ads for Internet Explorer 9. The ad is for the latest iteration of the web browser, but the star is a song: Alex Clare’s “Too Close.”
The track was released on Clare’s debut album in 2011, but became a hit when Microsoft made it part of its campaign. If you’re like a lot of people – 29,151,092 of them as of Tuesday afternoon, to be exact – then you’ve gone to YouTube to find the full-length version of “Too Close” (see video at the top of this page).
The official video features martial arts scenes that look like a cross between “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “The Matrix.” Two people in long blue robes, their faces hidden by metal masks, hold a violent duel with long poles in an abandoned alley.
But the scene isn’t something out of a director’s imagination. The athletes are practicing the ancient martial art of kendo, also known as Japanese fencing. Only A Game featured the sport in my story about an international kendo tournament at Harvard University. Check out my kendo photo gallery and story that originally aired in 2010.