|The days of actual music television return once more.|
Those who were wise enough to view/purchase the first volume (Michel Gondry, Chris Cunningham, and Spike Jonze) will certainly be satisfied the same if not more. This smorgasbord of music videos, interviews, commentaries, commercials, behind-the-scenes, and short films quenches the thirst of those who loved the days when MTV did what they were meant to do.
Sorry you mooks! No Cribs, Room Raiders, Next, Made, or Real World here. Just pure, unrelenting creativity in aural to eye stimulation. I'm going to take this time to rant about MTV. Here goes--MTV f'ing blows
Anton Corbijn: I would this consider guy to be the pioneer of music videos. His work spans from 1983 up to 2005. Most of his work lies in the 80s and early 90s. That being said, I know what you're thinking. "That means....he did videos to.....80s music!!!" Well dont get your panties in a bunch just yet. Despite the horrid, rarely enjoyable tunes of the 80s, Corbijn succeeds in making unique videos with playful sets, contrast lighting, and quirky characters. Videos likes "Seven Seas" (Echo and The Bunnymen), "Quiet Eyes" (Golden Earring)), and "Liar" (Henry Rollins) were a few of my favorites from his earlier decade. Corbijn's most well-known video, "Heart Shaped Box" (Nirvana), is also included on this set. Some his special features include commentaries from Kurt Cobain, Metallica, Samantha Morton,and various others that he has had the chance to work with.
Stéphane Sednaoui: He either knows how to successfully create a glitzy,glamorours Rock video, implement abstract art through the human body, or combine the two. A lot of his videos include the artists who created the music,as do countless music videos. Yet, instead of just placing the band on a stage and telling them to rock out a la lip sync, he puts as much effects and visual candy onto the screen to make the band rock out to the Nth degree. Whether it be the flashy, discotheque-esque "Discotheque" (U2), the neon, dreamy deep sleep of "Possibly Maybe" (Bjork) or the chrome mosh fest that is "Give it Away" (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Sednaoui has a knack for making entertaining, and viewer friendly music videos.
Sednaoui's other focus is the presentation of the human body, the face, and other just plain really weird stuff. Videos like "Disco Science" (Mirwais) comes complete with bizzarre morphing effects, a kabuki orgy, and battling kabuki fighters who effectively shoot kabuki lasers from their kabuki "jumblies". A sight that just means to be seen and not explained. Fans of anti-Dave Coulier (Alanis Morissette) will rejoice as her "Ironic" video makes its way onto this DVD. Sednaoui also provides commentary for his first short film "Reve Reche" that failed miserably to uncountable degrees of pretentious subjectivism. I'm sure we've all been down that road....
Jonathan Glazer: Certainly one of the darkest collection of videos, Glazer's videos nearly gives Cunningham's work a run for its money. Everyone's favorite lazy eyed singer Thom Yorke has one of the most cinematic, bummed out videos I've never seen before. The "Street Spirit" (Radiohead) video is a graceful and depressing gourmet of particle effects and flowing movements thanks to the use of a high-speed camera. Glazer combines time fields in one shot. For example, we see Thom smash a pane of glass. The glass shatters and falls at a super slow rate, while Thom still moves at normal speed, moving on to cause more destruction before anything has hit the ground. Another one of Glazer's "visual ballets" would have to be the signature Jamiroquai video "Virtual Insanity". What Jay-K calls "Fred Astaire on Acid", this video is one of the most innovative set-manipulations one has ever seen.
To make up for the low number of videos, Glazer's DVD comes with some of his daunting, high budget commercials. Some are quite long that they could be considered short films, or just another music video, minus the fact that it ends with a giant shot of a Guinness glass or a Bruce Lee look-alike recommending "Levi's are best washed inside out." One of my favorites is the Barclay's Finance commercial where a ranting Samuel L. Jackson provides insight on how money is everything BUT evil. A profound commercial--pleasantly ironic and effective for a company that manages money. It's this sort of "advertising" that some aspire to make.
Glazer is also a filmmaker. Special features include an excerpt from "Sexy Beast" and "Birth". Nothing tops a compilation of your work without a clip of Ben Kingsley going absolutly bonkers.
Mark Romanek: Certainly the cream of the crop. Romanek would be the #1 DVD from this box set. His video work ranges from surreal, nightmarish adventures, to a cultural reflection of New York City. Hmmm....where to begin?
There can't be a single Romanek video you havent seen. One of his most famous (or rather infamous depending on TV censors) would be "Closer" (Nine Inch Nails). After seeing many of Romanek's happier, much more colorful playtime videos, I was surprised to see you don't have to be a sad individual to make something really, REALLY dark. Lush with rusty, archaic visuals and naughty word lyrics that goth chicks go ga-ga for, "Closer" is a trademark video in music video history. Many of the scenes had to be cut to be aired on TV, but regardless of a vision incision, the video still remains creepy, unnerving, and just plain freakin' awesome. Romanek's "Perfect Drug" (Nine Inch Nails) and "Bedtime Story" (Madonna) possess more of a surreal, unearthly atmosphere that's more beautiful than weird. Romanek helps create a vivid, lucid dream without ever having to set your weary head onto a pillow.
On a happier side, Romanek puts his imagination to the test, much like Jonze or Gondry. In "Cochise" (Audioslave), he creates an explosive (literally) rock production that marvels most show finales that you might see in concert. He used so many fireworks for the video, that concerned citizens thought a terrorist attack was in progress during the filming of the video. Now that's rock-and-roll, ladies and germs! For "Hurt" (Johnny Cash) Romanek seems to piece together Cash's life through file footage of his past and of a very old, whithered Johnny sitting around his repurcussions of fame and fortune. With a song that emphasizes sorrow and regret, this combination of past vs.present is quite an emotional video. Long time fans of Johnny Cash just may shed a tear or two in memorium. Other videos of Romanek include "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" (Lenny Kravitz), "Jump They Say' (David Bowie),"Criminal" (Fiona Apple), and "Scream" (Michael & Janet Jackson).
The Romanek DVD comes with "The Work of director Mark Romanek", a behind the scenes fandango of all his video work. Interviews and commentaries include Beck, Michael Stipe, Trent Reznor, Bono, Steven Soderbergh and Keith Richards to name a few. The feature "Romanekian" is a "roast" of his video. Robin Williams, Chris Rock, and Ben Stiller provide hilarious heckling on Romanek's visions.
Each artist's DVD comes with an enclosed 56 page book of photos, sketches, and additional interviews of their work. PALM Pictures had better let up, because it is going to be very difficult to top these volumes. If there was one word to wrap this explosion of music and film work, it would be this: BUY IT NOW
Written by OstrichStealth, 2005-09-23 14:59:28