Saturday, December 19, 2009

Best of 2009: Music video

Lenny Kravitz

Director: Keith Schofield
I just discovered the catalog of Schofield oddball videos this year. His "Heaven Can Wait" vid is definitely screwy, but this one is sleek. I am amazed no one has done this before (maybe they have): make a music video just like the end credits of a movie, but keep it a part of the film.

Empire of the Sun
Director: Josh Logue
Sometimes three props are all you need. But it must be a cool chair with a bull and a raptor statue. One other necessity, however: look like Bowie.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Best music videos of the decade (Honorable mentions)

"Video Phone" (Extended Mix) (2009) 
Beyonce with Lady Gaga
Director: Hype Williams
It was a tad too late in the year to put them up against the Chosen 15, but I had to give these ladies a shout-out. Beyonce has become a video minimalist while Gaga has gone the other way--Hype Williams melds the two the only way he can: awesomely. Hype even left some of the bluescreen hoods in the video! Chicks, guns and chewing gum; please don't leave us in 2010!

 "3's and 7's" (2007)
Queens of the Stone Age
Director: Paul Minor
QotSA definitely understand the importance of 21st century video making. There is one particular shot near the end of this one--it only lasts a second--but it's a view from a shotgun, blasting a fleeing victim. It may sound morbid that I like it, but it perfectly captures what grindhouse/exploitation films were all about. Really authentic.

BEST OF THE DECADE INDEX [ Intro .:. Hon. Mentions .:. 15-11 .:. 10-6 .:. 5-1 ]

Friday, December 11, 2009

Best music videos of the decade (5 - 1)

The Darkness
Director: Alex Smith
Best use of a sausage as a microphone in history.... Just watch it and enjoy the spaceship tomfoolery.

"Dashboard" (2006)
Modest Mouse
Directors: Mathew Cullen and Grady Hall
All of Modest Mouse's videos are worth watching. "Dashboard"'s video is the least surreal (subjectively) and most story-driven, but what a great ride. A fisherman tells a dive bar about a hyperbolic fish tale, all with some great elektro-fantasy CGI and island shots [that totally remind me of Tim Burton's Chocolate Factory remake]. It's a bit Moby-Dick and a bit that Daggermouth episode of Family Guy. The moral: always watch out for the old fisherman that gives you the wink.

BEST OF THE DECADE INDEX [ Intro .:. Hon. Mentions .:. 15-11 .:. 10-6 .:. 5-1 ]

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Best music videos of the decade (10 - 6)

"Whale Song" (2009)
Modest Mouse
Director: Nando Costa
If I had to pick a hall-of-famer from America for their video achievements in 2000s, it would be Modest Mouse. This one is about drawing no less, and this contraption thingy lets Isaac Brock go on a mind trip, extrapolating visions from the paper. Neither gravity nor snails prevent the band from rocking in this waking dream. And, when used right, projectile intestines and ejected organs are a perfect touch.

"Invincible" (2007)
Director: Jonnie Ross
Oftentimes great videos have stale follow-ups (usually because the previous had an overblown budget). The previous wow factor isn't there most of the time, but Muse nearly equals "Knights of Cydonia". The It's A Small World After All ride may be a tad cliche here, but the CGI-laden climax is really cool. I don't know what the message here is, but time travelers are definitely good alien killers.

The White Stripes
Director: Michel Gondry
There's a sizable chance you've never heard of this song or video. In the are-they-siblings-or-lovers era, nothing can come close to fitting the Jack and Meg White public personae. It's amazingly simple and yet something only seen regularly in Disney World's Haunted Mansion... I don't know why this projector effect isn't used more. This is just one of the few Michel Gondry musings that made the White Stripes a household name.