Author Topic: Spike Jonze and music videos. Music videos and Spike Jonze.  (Read 2722 times)

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Mr. Merrill Lehrl

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Spike Jonze and music videos. Music videos and Spike Jonze.
« on: April 06, 2005, 11:50:26 AM »
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Isn't it easy to call Buddy Holly the best video in his catalogue.  I will argue that this is not only easy, but dismissive.  That Buddy Holly's concept far outweighs its actual performance as a music video, and that somehow its shadow has continued growing all these years after.  Spike Jonze is at the very least a maverick, at the very least an original, unshaken voice.  Buddy Holly represents the least of these.  He has been more funny, more daring, and more clever.

  Sabotage is barely the other side of the same coin.  While Buddy Holly is a send-up of a nostalgic television show (which was a nostalgic show itself), Sabotage is more of a general reference to television watching.  If it appears bold it is in the innocence of the material, the material is a safeguard for the viewer.  The video has this tip of the tongue feeling that makes it feel personable and also allows it to have broad appeal.

  The way is which Undone (The Sweater Song) is glossed over in conversations is absurd.  The four minute plus steadycam tracking shot of a video is as dangerous, especially when historical context is considered, as anything Jonze has done.  It is also amazing.  Dazzling even.  This is Jonze showing that he knows the camera, knows the screen, and has the balls to be an artist with the two.  It is a subtle side of his genius, but is equal to his other work in the way it provokes awe.  It is a special treat.

  The It's All About the Benjamins rock remix is talked about today, many years after anyone cares about Puff Daddy's musical career.  Rightly so too, given the insane amount of energy the video contained.

  Still, it is Electrobank that I truly cannot get over.  The logical fan would say that it is Jonze squirming under the limitations of the music video, which would later surface in the Da Funk video.  However, I merely choose to be perfectly fine with this assessment.  The video is Jonze bursting with creative cause.  It is all the elements of Jonze taken together.  There is a story, there is spectacle; it is sharp, clever, and ironically funny.  It is adventerous.  This is a confident side of Jonze, here he takes no shortcuts and makes no sacrifices.
“If I had to hold up the most heavily fortified bank in America,” Bolaño says, “I’d take a gang of poets. The attempt would probably end in disaster, but it would be beautiful.”

Ultrahip

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Spike Jonze and music videos. Music videos and Spike Jonze.
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2005, 01:12:16 PM »
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Ummm...I think it's pretty fucking clear that his Bjork "It's Oh So Quiet" video is the best. Shh! Shh! And her squinting and flying away like the swanny little siren she is...it's oh so lovely.

Ghostboy

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Spike Jonze and music videos. Music videos and Spike Jonze.
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2005, 04:35:00 PM »
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After refreshing my memory of Jonze's videos, via the Director's Label dvd, I found myself far less impressed than I remembered being. He's enormously talented, in a merry prankster sort of way, but his truly great videos are far outnumbered by excercises of simple conceit - one trick ponies, technical jokes, that don't hold up well the way, for example, Gondry's do. I think he works better with a narrative concept to drive his visual creativity, which is why his movies (and the great videos, like Bjork's) are so good.

Ravi

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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2005, 10:04:14 PM »
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I too recently watched that DVD, and I didn't like them quite as much as I did when I saw them on MTV2 years ago, but they're still fun to watch.

Mr. Merrill Lehrl

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Spike Jonze and music videos. Music videos and Spike Jonze.
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2005, 11:33:57 PM »
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Quote from: Ghostboy
After refreshing my memory of Jonze's videos, via the Director's Label dvd, I found myself far less impressed than I remembered being. He's enormously talented, in a merry prankster sort of way, but his truly great videos are far outnumbered by excercises of simple conceit - one trick ponies, technical jokes, that don't hold up well the way, for example, Gondry's do. I think he works better with a narrative concept to drive his visual creativity, which is why his movies (and the great videos, like Bjork's) are so good.


Have you watched Gondry's videos lately?  I think the exact same thing could be said about him, actually.  And I half-heartedly agree with you, I think the more you see Jonze's videos the less exciting they become, but I think this is the nature of music videos.  I would apply it to all music video directors.
 
I think the best of Gondry's work is far superior to the best of Jonze's work, but that taken in catalogue form Jonze's outweighs Gondry's.  There is an energy in Jonze's videos that really resonates with me.  They work differently too, though.  I think with repeated viewings Gondry's will inspire me creatively for longer while Jonze's will ambiguously energize me.

Actually I can't decide.  I like them both.
“If I had to hold up the most heavily fortified bank in America,” Bolaño says, “I’d take a gang of poets. The attempt would probably end in disaster, but it would be beautiful.”

Ghostboy

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Spike Jonze and music videos. Music videos and Spike Jonze.
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2005, 11:44:01 PM »
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I think the reason Gondry's hold up for me is that I still can't figure out how in the world he did some of the things he did. Even when I know how he did it, it still boggles my mind. Some of them, though, like Beck's Deadweight, which is just simple whimsy, loses its charm the same way Jonze's do.

But yeah, I like both of them to. Just arguing semantics here.

Pubrick

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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2005, 12:02:03 AM »
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Quote from: sundown all over
I think the more you see Jonze's videos the less exciting they become, but I think this is the nature of music videos.  I would apply it to all music video directors.

that's probably the nature of everything.

but in terms of replayability, u can't separate a music video from its song. on that front, cunningham is still as fresh as the first time i saw him. and even jonathan glazer.. Rabbit in Your Headlights plays like a short film, as does Song for the Lovers. both possess the same qualities u would find in Electrobank.

it's in the nature of things to wear out and for "new" things to become old, that much is obvious, but the vitality of a music video can only remain as long as it establishes a separate core from its song. often when it's at odds with it.

all the songs i've mentioned so far hav escalated to a climax in which song and video transcend their limits, electrobank emotionally, rabbit spiritually, lovers philosophically.. they seem to believe in sumthing which is wholly achievable. it's a prophecy which cunningham fulfills. he propels his videos as if the whole thing were an ending. relentlessly clashing sight and sound into beautiful and monstrous forms.

no one has provided more excitement/vitality, by redefining and reinventing the music video format, than cunningham.

and gondry, well he just likes inventing shit, period.
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