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The Best Music Videos Discussion

Mister Pink

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Mister Pink

Often some of the best filmmakers started out making music videos. Here's a thread to discuss some of our favourite music videos. Discuss production techniques, directors, etc. 


I'll start off easy with something familiar to most. One of the most iconic music videos of the late 90's. Praise You by Fatboy Slim. Spike Jonze the director is also the main dancer/David Koresh looking ma'fa'. That same year he had a little film out called Being John Malkovich! :D  It's from 1999. There are so many Spike Jonze videos to post. Sabotage by Beastie Boys, Weapon of Choice by Fatboy Slim, Drop by The Pharcyde. The list goes on! 


According to one of the commenters on YouTube: 


The story of the video is pretty amazing. Its deliberately made as a bit of a joke to look cheap. MTV originally rejected it as they thought it wasn't professional. Then  Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim) had to explain it was meant to be bad. The song took off, people thought the video was hilarious, and it ended up winning the three awards at the 1999 MTV awards! When they were filming, someone was frantically running around getting legal permission from all the people in the background shots so it could be used.


Spike Jonze, director being the main dancer in his video. 


MTV originally wouldn't play the video because they thought it was sh*te. Normal tells the story here and there's clips of Spike Jonze's "audition tape"


This isn't a music thread or an excuse just to post your favourite music. If you post a video without any discussion, I'll delete the post. Simple. This is a Movies & TV thread so a filmmaking/video perspective is expected. 

Edited by Mister Pink
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I'd be remiss not to mention the work of Chris Cunningham, but there is a bias here - if you spend any length of time talking to me you'll know I'm a massive Aphex Twin fan, and the two have frequently worked together in the past. There's several to choose from, but my personal pick has to be Windowlicker. The video is a clear pastiche of what you might call the "thug life", or American hip hop culture - two men cruising the streets of Hollywood ready to engage in some good old fashioned casual sex, with some very liberal use of the N word, almost to a point it's vulgar beyond the meaning and history of the term itself. Their attention is caught by two "hoochies" who continuously deny the men, until they are rear ended by a ridiculously long limo. As the video goes on, we're treated to the sight of scantily clad women with Aphex Twin's own face plastered over their own, be that through use of digitally enhanced prosthesis or CGI. The entire point of the video is to be a parody of itself as well as the scene it's referencing. The music, whilst electronic and beat heavy by its very nature, contrasts sharply with the imagery we're shown. It's this contrast that I find so satisfying, the fact that nothing about this should work. I remember staying up late one night as a kid because my dad had fallen asleep on the sofa. I think it was MTV2, and they had an "after hours" segment where they'd show the more explicit music videos that the industry had to offer. I saw the logo, I heard the men, immediately knew that what they were saying was rude but I didn't care. It just seemed to go on and on, to the point I wondered if it was even a music video at all. Just as I was about to switch over to a horror channel, the aforementioned limousine arrives and things quickly get weird.


It's more of a personal pick, I'll admit, but I can't help but love what's being shown.



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If I remember correctly David Fincher was doing Madonna videos prior to his first film project: Alien 3.

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I don't really know much or look into who directed music videos really, I don't really watch them these days either like I used to as a kid/teen. But for sure, Michael Jackson must get a mention here I feel.


Not necessarily for having up and coming directors as such of course, but the list of names that have directed a Jacko video, or even those that have starred/cameos in them, is huge. I know the man has his controversies, but boy did he entertain me as a youngster with some truly fun and awesome videos/songs.


Martin Scorsese doing Bad with Wesley Snipes (which I didn't realise until long after), John Landis' ground-breaking Thriller video of course, and more. IIRC, John Singleton and Spike Lee have done one but I forget which, and as mentioned above, David Fincher also. Not sure if Spielberg directed one but remember he was in one too.

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Mister Pink
On 7/17/2020 at 2:32 AM, RARusk said:

If I remember correctly David Fincher was doing Madonna videos prior to his first film project: Alien 3.

I did not know this!.... Yes, he did Vogue for Madonna. That's mental!


22 hours ago, Lonely-Martin said:

I don't really know much or look into who directed music videos really, I don't really watch them these days either like I used to as a kid/teen. But for sure, Michael Jackson must get a mention here I feel.

Michael Jackson videos were like an event. Granted, I was a kid catching the tail end of his success but some of them were just beautiful, like Stranger In Moscow with the super slow-motion. Stranger In Moscow was actually produced/filmed by an English photographer, Nick Brandt.  Not sure he's done any other videos. It really looks "photographic" like if you pause the video at any moment, it could be an in intention street photo. 


Scream by Michael and Janet Jackson was directed by Mark Romanek. He also the directed the video for Johnny Cash's cover of Hurt by NIN. He also directed the film One Hour Photo with Robin Williams. Scream cost 7 million to make, making one the most expensive music videos ever made beaten by a couple of Madonna videos. 




One of the greatest videos of all time, literally in terms of known cast; 


Revisited acts as a sequel to the events that took place in the original (Fight For Your Right) music video and features Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA (played by Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood, and Danny McBride, respectively) as they get into more drunken antics, before being challenged to a dance battle by the future Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA (John C. Reilly, Will Ferrell, and Jack Black, respectively), coming out of a DeLorean. The short features numerous cameo appearances, some appearing onscreen for only a few seconds. They include Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon, Steve Buscemi, Alicia Silverstone, Laura Dern, Shannyn Sossamon, Kirsten Dunst, Ted Danson, Rashida Jones, Jason Schwartzman, Rainn Wilson, Amy Poehler, Mary Steenburgen, Will Arnett, Adam Scott, Chloë Sevigny, Maya Rudolph, David Cross, Orlando Bloom, and Martin Starr, as well as the Beastie Boys themselves.


It's 30 minutes long and some of the cast like Steven Buscemi just play extras. Yes, it's like the first video where the extras are all pretty famous. It's not without faults. Some of the editing is a bit off. But It was made while MCA had cancer. He directed it. And you can see him as a cop at the end. He's grey and frail. I think he died shortly after. This video was his big send off. He was big into filmmaking. He founded the film distribution company Oscilloscope with David Fenkel. Fenkel left and ended up founding A24! 


The ending is quite genius. Its can be interpreted in many ways.  So at the end we have Beastie Boys from the future, battling Beastie Boys of 1986 (current day in the video) because the events take place directly after the part in Fight For Your Right(to Party). But then the cops come along. And it's the real Beastie Boys. And they lock up the future and present -setting Beastie Boys. I can see as the real BBoys shutting down imitators and wannabes or it's like a send off. Because Yauch/MCA was dying and after he dies the is no future Beastie Boys.  :D 


Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood, Danny McBride play present-day Beastie Boys (1986) and Will Ferrell, Jack Black and John C. Reilly play future Beasties. 



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