With his spectacular "My Recurring Dream" video, André Chocron leapt up my list of most promising new music video directors and his follow-up video for Jonas Alaska 's "If Only As A Ghost" continues to show his mastery of composition and reverse-film / underwater filming techniques, but in a much more intimate and intensely focused setting.
Director Jim Demuth creates a fascinating documentary short about India's infamous Well of Death riders of Allahabad in this promo video for Django Django 's "WOR". The clip mixes the interviews with the amusement park daredevils with some of the truly insane motorcycle & car stunts they perform, with fantastic camerawork by Demuth and the Noisey production team.
A classical ballet class takes a demonic turn under the influence of a mysterious hooded drummer. As director Saku explains, "The video takes inspiration from the classic Dario Argento’s and Lamberto Bava’s horror movies produced in Italy during the 80s: ballet, mist, young girls and demons are elements of that particular aesthetic. This was an idea brought by the artist ( Mooro ) whose father has been the director of photography of many of these movies!"
Nabil 's riveting video for Foals "Late Night" is one of the darkest, most intense music videos I've seen this year (and perhaps since his "Cut The World" clip for Antony and the Johnsons). The promo intercuts scenes of the band playing a shady Romanian hotel bar with visceral images of childbirth, sex and suicide (all with lots of blood) taking place in the hotel rooms.
Prolific UK director Luke Monaghan helms this wonderful video for Disclosure 's collab single with AlunaGeorge , "White Noise", which depicts a security guard who passes his time dancing. This beautifully shot video contrasts the dreariness of abandoned buildings in Detroit, with the dynamic, lively dance moves of the protagonist.
Returning from a two-year absence from the music videos world, Patrick Daughters directs the extravagant promo for Phoenix 's new single "Entertainment", a loving homage to Korean culture from soapy dramas, bloody gangster films, samurias, military exercises, fireworks, and of course, K-pop. For lack of a better word, it's quite entertaining. I just hope we won't have to wait another couple years for Daughter's next video.
Eric Warheim (of Tim & Eric fame) has made some pretty bizarre videos in the past, but this wonderfully strange promo for Beach House 's "Wishes" may top them all. The video takes place at a surrealistic high school sporting event which involves horse masks, streakers in body paint, oddly-dressed twirling cheerleaders and, best of all, Ray Wise (Laura Palmer's creepy dad from Twin Peaks! ) singing on horseback.
Though not quite as great as M.I.A.'s Middle Eastern auto stunts video , Nicolas Davenel 's equally dangerous motorcycle stunts video, shot in Paris suburbs, is a gripping and visually striking clip and makes a perfect fit for Birdy Nam Nam 's Drive -esque track.
Wouldn't it be cool if your life had a soundtrack? UK director Ian Robertson shows the potential downsides in this charming and clever video for Duke Dumont 's "Need U (100%)." Good luck not dancing along while watching this one.
Acclaimed photographer Autumn de Wilde directs this lovely video for Kenton Henson 's "I'm Lying To You" which follows a striking, young lady named Arrow wandering through suburbia. It's a very simple, poignant video that fits the minimalistic folk track perfectly.
Kristoffer Borgli takes an unique, refreshing approach on the video for "First Days of Something" (his third clip for Norwegian band Young Dreams ), where the song itself is actually a part of the story. It features a man struggling after a recent break-up, who is constantly listening to the song "First Days of Something" (the track is heard through stereos, headphones, laptop speakers) as a sort-of self-help method, musing in voice-over that "if I listen everyday, it’ll connect the song to how I’m feeling, just to get it in there, stuck in my brain, as a source [...]
It was just a matter of time before Bat For Lashes teamed up with Peter Sluzska after Natasha Khan raved about his Moones "Better Energy" video on Pitchfork's Guest List last year (it also happened to be one of my favorite videos of 2012 ). Sluzska again utilizes a surrealistic, grab-bag approach, immersing Natasha in a world of life-size monster puppets, whimsical stop-motion animation, morphing landscape miniatures and floating polygons in this supremely creative video.
Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos and actress Sophia Bush deliver strong performances in this fantastic video for "Carried Away." Directors Alex and Ben Brewer explore the violent ups and downs of an intimate relationship, and portray it in a way that is humorous, imaginative, and strangely uplifting.
For the first single from their upcoming LP, mysterious Brooklyn band MS MR released a video about the sadness and the glitter vomit that results from one’s reality not living up to fantasies. The clip was helmed by up-and-coming director Austin Peters , who has recently created videos for Bastille and HAIM .
Keith Schofield is the prevailing master of creative / hilarious / insane concept music videos, and his latest video for Darwin Deez "You Can't Be My Girl" is up there with his best. The video tells a story of unrequited love using all real stock footage ( this one for example ) on which Deez is superimposed, before taking an absolutely bonkers turn at the end.
Ninian Doff is one of my favorite up-and-coming music video directors, creating an outstanding portfolio of work in just a couple short years. He was nice enough to answer a few questions for me about himself and some of his various projects. Click here to read the full interview. How did you become involved with the music video industry? Just started making music videos off my own back - self financed, was my own camera crew, did my own post production. " Staring Out The Window " [...]
Tilt-shift photography has become a bit trendy/faddish lately, but the production crew at Sounds Commercial managed to make very cool use of the video technique with their video for Matthew and Me . The promo uses the miniature-look and long shots perfectly within the video's narrative, which follows a flash mob with colorful umbrellas and a lonely clown trying to join the fun.
It's easy to forget that David Fincher, one of this generations most endearing filmmakers, got his start directing commercials and music videos, so this promo for Justin Timberlake's comeback single "Suit & Tie" is a return to roots for him. Fincher plays his best hand here with a simple, stylish video that showcases Jay-Z and Timberlake's magnetic swagger, while wowing us with some truly stunning black-and-white cinematography.
Martin de Thurah is one of my favorite music video directors and his collaborations with James Blake (this being the third) always seem to bring out the best in his work. The atmospheric promo for "Retrograde" revolves around a mysterious biker, a rustic country house and a meteor strike with otherworldly consequences, all rendered with de Thurah's gorgeous, cinematic visual touch.
Norwegian director André Chocron leads you on a journey through a fantastical dream in this masterful music video for Cold Mailman . Whimsical sequences of skateboard collectives, underwater dancing, girls in yellow dresses, ominous piles of cars are connected using an impressive amount of visual techniques (the reverse film shots are particularly stunning). Everything from the art direction, cinematography and editing is accomplished brilliantly, making this easily one of the best music videos of the year.