[Five Deadly Everythings]

Music Video Monday

Posted in music, music videos, video clip by Jef on June 1, 2009

music vid monday killer

Artist: Kanye West
Track: “Paranoid”
Director: Nabil Elderkin

Am I the only one who loves this video? Nabil Elderkin is quickly becoming one of my favourite directors. I know this clip starring Rihanna doesn’t make much sense, but for me that adds to its charm. Elderkin’s work is wonderfully post-modern, in the good way, and emobdies what I love about the music vid form in the first place; forward-looking nostalgia, commercial but artistic, visually intense but grafted to and defined by music, small but iconic, nonsensical but conceptual. In “Paranoid” we get 80s revival chic, some touches of Hitchcock and Rihanna, looking fly as hell, striking weird poses in what is her first official appearance since the Chris Brown controversy. Elderkin puts the conflicted popcultural energy of that event to good use. 

 

Artist: J. Cole
Track: “Simba”
Directors: BBGUN (Maxim Bohichik & Alex Bergman)

BBGUN’s photography here is really sharp and the one-take camera movements are fluid. I’m surprised by how much verve BBGUN gives to the tired concept of hungry-rapper-and-grimy-buildings. J. Cole weaves through alleys and streets and we’re set up by the emptiness of the scenery. The extras don’t look his way or at the camera which establishes Cole as an unremarkable presence — he only matters to the camera, to himself. This pays off in the end when the camera reveals a crowd of fans. The only drawback is that maybe the crowd should be a bit larger to make the payoff more satisfying. Good stuff, though.

 

Artist: Grizzly Bear
Track: “Two Weeks”
Director: Patrick Daughters

When a vid is built around tiny details I always wonder who comes up with the shit. Like in this one by Patrick Daughters, who decides it’s a great idea to film the band doing out-of-sync blinks in slow motion? Because it is a great idea but also so stupid. Anyway. I love the caked-on makeup, the shroomed-out anime pupils and the internal glowing. I thought the exploding heads could have been done in a more memorable way, but that’s me nitpicking because the glowing faces was cool enough. Good, nuanced performances from the band and nice, crooked wardrobes too.

 

Artist: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Track: “Heads Will Roll”
Director: Richard Ayoade

Richard Ayoade does a great B-movie treatment for this video, conjuring some Michael Jackson without going overboard with the pastiche. When the wolfman starts his acrobats in the beginning I assumed his story was separate from the performance scenes but seconds later he stumbles in front of Karen O and the crowd. He starts cutting a rug but he can’t help but killing people along the way. The confetti-as-blood was a great touch, as was seeing the band all chopped up at the end. This is the most fun I’ve had with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in a long time.

[original image via]

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