I recently came across a bittorrent of the superb late-90’s music video series Mirrorball which was initially broadcast on Channel 4. If you’ve seen the Directors Label DVDs from a few years back, then you can be pretty sure they got their idea from Mirrorball which also focuses on music video promo directors such as Spike Jonze, Chris Cunningham, Jonathan Glazer, Jonas Akerland and Mike Mills.
I watched the Gondry episode last night, which presents some of his finest work. The man is a visual genius. Examples:
Massive Attack – Protection
Shot in one-take on a set that was built horizontally, this is the ultimate music video optical illusion. Some people are hanging upside down, some are lying on their back. It’s six and a half minutes of a slow-moving beautiful headfuck.
Cibo Matto – Sugar/Water
Based on the concept of a palindrome, this split screen story swaps over half way and required precise synchronisation of both members of the band. Say if the girl on the left put something in the postbox one minute in, the girl on the right will have to take the post one minute from the end in order for it to match up.
Daft Punk – Around the World
Sometimes when you listen to a song, you can see the parts that make up the song represented by something specific, like colour or an expression. Gondry takes this concept further by placing a dancing representation of each instrument to match the song’s numerous lines and melodies.
Lucas – Lucas with the Lid Off
An ingenius idea but a superbly executed video, again this video is all one-shot. Mirrors, video screens, a series of large-scale and small-scale sets with rapper Lucas running around getting into as many shots and as many sets as possible. All one take, no edits. Just imagine planning this video.
I think this has whetted my appetite for Be Kind Rewind. Any takers?