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Monday, November 3, 2008

TOP TEN MUSIC VIDEOS BY MOVIE DIRECTORS Movie Feature TOP TEN MUSIC VIDEOS BY MOVIE DIRECTORS

I WANT MY MTV

The outstanding directors of today didn’t just stroll onto a film set holding a clapperboard and a cup of coffee – they had to make names for themselves first. What better way to get noticed than to rise through the ranks of the music video elite? While those other schmucks were choreographing dance moves for Britney and the Backstreet Boys, these ten directors took a different route and crafted clever mini-movies: perfect pop promos that paved their way to cinematic success.


10. THE WHITE STRIPES, ‘I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF’ (2003)
DIRECTOR: SOFIA COPPOLA
The video: If you’re a director and you’re running low on creative ideas, then you have two options. Firstly, make your movie black and white – instant indie credibility. Secondly, just have a hot woman in her underwear (say, someone like Kate Moss) drape herself over scenery and grind up against a stripper’s pole. Any viewers still watching will either be stroking their chins in ironic fascination or nursing king-size boners. Job done!

Director's trademarks? Sofia’s fetishism of women isn’t restricted to her music videos: see the opening close-up of Scarlett Johannson’s arse in Lost In Translation for proof.



9. BLUR, ‘COFFEE & TV’ (1999)
DIRECTOR: GARTH JENNINGS
The video: Garth who? A relative unknown in the States, Jennings is a young and upcoming British director, perhaps best known for the short films he created as one half of media duo Hammer & Tongs. The pair directed the big-screen version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, while Jennings went solo to direct indie smash Son Of Rambow last year. However, this cutesy Blur video – in which a milk carton goes looking for missing lead guitarist Graham Coxon – remains his calling card. Aww.

Director's trademarks? Whimsy, childlike glee, irreverence. A great concept, executed perfectly. Look out for this guy, he's one to watch.



8. RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, ‘UNDER THE BRIDGE’ (1992)
DIRECTOR: GUS VAN SANT
The video: It's not half as fancy or clever as most of the other films on this list, but Gus Van Sant's low-budget video for the Chili Pepper's breakthrough hit 'Under The Bridge' went some way into propelling the band into the MTV mainstream. Superimposing images of the band against gritty shots of the city of Los Angeles and its citizens, Van Sant's homely video fit perfectly with Anthony Kiedis' lyrics (“At least I have her love / The city she loves me”), although the last shot of the singer sprinting with his shirt off, pecs jiggling hypnotically, is still a mystery to us.

Director's trademarks? Well, it doesn't have any speeding buses or tornados in it. No, wait – that's Jan De Bont. Never mind.



7. JESSICA SIMPSON, 'THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING' (2005)
DIRECTOR: BRETT RATNER
The video: Whoah, slow down. I know what you’re thinking. Brett Ratner is a workmanlike director, almost as mediocre a filmmaker as Jessica Simpson is a singer. But – and I’m talking to principally the chaps, here – have you seen this video? Hot damn. Somehow, the little Rat fella has managed to convince one of the world’s hottest women to strip down to her skimpies and shake her booty – for that alone, his place on this list is assured. Just watch it on mute.

Director's trademarks? Hot chicks wearing next to nothing. Ratner must either be gay, a hypnotist or a magician (or all three).



6. MICHAEL JACKSON, ‘BAD’ (1987)
DIRECTOR: MARTIN SCORSESE
The video: Cast your mind back to the days when Michael Jackson was still a respectable recording artist and – shock – a seemingly normal member of society. Here, he even displays some acting chops as a young graduate returning back to his poor home town to discover his buddies are still living lives of crime. Scorsese sets up proceedings with a black and white short before bursting into colour as Jacko shows Wesley Snipes who's really bad. That's 'bad' meaning good, not 'bad' meaning 'tax evasion'.

Click here to see the video for Michael Jackson's 'Bad'
Director's trademarks? A main character contemplating crime and its influence. Not too many Scorsese films feature a dance-off, mind.

5. NINE INCH NAILS, ‘ONLY’ (2005)
DIRECTOR: DAVID FINCHER
The video: You know those little office toys made out of thousands of tightly packed metal pins? You know, the ones you leave a handprint in or occasionally use to fashion a crudely shaped cock and balls while you're on the phone? David Fincher shot a whole music video with one. Returning to his music video roots, Fincher chose an artist slightly more respectable than Johnny Hates Jazz and Sting, finding in Trent Reznor a similarly minded gloom-meister and a perfect fit for his kinetic visual style. This guy can even make desktop furniture look cool.

Director's trademarks? Repressed rage in a mundane office environment: see Fight Club for a schooling.



4. UNKLE, ‘RABBIT IN YOUR HEADLIGHTS’ (1998)
DIRECTOR: JONATHAN GLAZER
The video: Back in our Top Ten Commercials feature, we chose a Guinness ad from Jonathan Glazer and confessed it was something of a cheat, as Glazer had only really directed one good movie: Sexy Beast. Well, we’re playing the same card here, but only because his video for UNKLE’s tortured psycho-ballad is so memorable. As Radiohead’s Thom Yorke warbles away a shirtless, sweating lunatic (not Iggy Pop, honestly) strides purposefully down the motorway where pain and twisted metal. Considering this exact same thing recently happened in real life, it’s extra spooky.

Director's trademarks? Stark, powerful imagery that hurts your head. Message to Jonathan Glazer: make more movies please.



3. MICHAEL JACKSON, ‘THRILLER’ (1983)
DIRECTOR: JOHN LANDIS
The video: Nothing less than pop culture gold. Director John Landis brought his expertise from American Werewolf In London (plus make-up artist Rick Baker) and crafted one of the most widely recognised, most often parodied and highly celebrated pop promos of all time. At a cost of $500,000 it was the most expensive video of its era, but it was worth it – to date, Jackson’s Thriller album has broken every record under the sun and has sold over 65 million copies. It was to be eerily prescient too, Jackson’s real face eventually crumbling to resemble its zombie self.

Click here to see the video for Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'
Director's trademarks? Listen out for the screen announcer mention fictional film ‘See You Next Wednesday’, a line featured in several other Landis movies.



2. BEASTIE BOYS, ‘SABOTAGE’ (1994)
DIRECTOR: SPIKE JONZE
The video: A balls-out action trailer for an awful-looking seventies show that doesn’t exist, this short video sees the Rayban-wearing Beasties playing policemen: sliding across walls, busting perps’ heads open and sliding over bonnets i.e. all the cool stuff of being a cop, with none of the paperwork. The tone is pitch-perfect – tongue-in-cheek but just naff enough to flirt with reality – while Jonze’s shaky handheld direction lends ‘Sabotage’ an intentionally cheesy feel – dig those crappy dummy corpses. Extra points too for the glorious fake cast – starring MCA as Nathan Wind as Cochese, Ad-Rock as Vic Colfari as Bobby “The Rookie” and Mike D as Alasondro Alegre as “The Chief” (and Fred Kelly as Bunny).

Director's trademarks? A typically impish sense of humour with a small budget reaping big returns.




1. THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS,
‘LET FOREVER BE’ (1999)
DIRECTOR: MICHEL GONDRY
The video: Three minutes and forty four seconds of sheer visual delight. Quite how Michel Gondry, whose CV contains enough wonderful music videos to dominate this entire list on his own, began storyboarding this particular brain-wrong, we have no idea: it takes an abundance of imagination to make film this intricate. So perfect is the marriage between music and image, it results in a spellbinding video in which the central character is tossed around a colourful world of floaty dreams and cheese nightmares, all to a kickass Chemical Brothers beat. Scenes fuse into one another in succession of ingenious transitions, all without the crutch of CGI. We’ve never taken LSD, but we imagine it’s something like this.

Director's trademarks? There’s classic Gondry on show here, from the dreamscapes of Science Of Sleep to the lo-fi charm of Eternal Sunshine and the inventiveness of Be Kind Rewind. Do yourself a favour and check out this.


AND THE LAMEST…


MEAT LOAF, ‘I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR LOVE (BUT I WON’T DO THAT)’ (1993)
DIRECTOR: MICHAEL BAY
The video: Yep, the guy who directed man classics like Transformers, Armageddon and The Rock got his start shooting music videos for tubby tonsil-wobbler Meat Loaf. A fairly obtuse homage to Beauty and the Beast (with a little Phantom Of The Opera thrown in for good measure), the video for ‘I Would Do Anything For Love’ sees Meat playing a hideous monster (good casting) while the bad boys of the police storm his haunted castle to stop him from touching up a young lady. Or something. To be honest, we’ve never made it to the end.

Director's trademarks? The first five seconds feature a car chase, a sunset and a helicopter, so yes, it’s safe to say this is indicative of Michael Bay’s work. Ali

Original here

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