7 Awesome Music Videos By Film Directors

    December 6, 2010 at 6:00 am

    David Fincher isn’t the only film director who has dabbled in the craft of directing music videos.  If you’re trying to create a lasting image that simultaneously entertains the viewer and supplements the featured song in the video, it makes sense that you’d want someone who has an eye for atmosphere, symbolism, or, if those aren’t your bag,  an awesome dance sequence.

    Some of the directors listed here directed music videos before their movie careers took off; others took time away from their film careers to get back to the medium of music videos.

    Spike Jonze – Buddy Holly by Weezer

    Jonze, the director of Adaptation and Being John Malkovich, is currently at the helm of Where The Wild Things Are.  He’s best known, however, as an incredibly creative music video director, responsible for some memorable videos such as Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” (you know, the awesome Christopher Walken one) as well as Bjork’s “It’s Oh So Quiet.”  His best, in my humble opinion, is Weezer’s “Buddy Holly,” where he sets up the band in Arnold’s and splices in footage of Fonzi, Richie, and the rest of the Happy Days crew.

    Mark Romanek – Closer by Nine Inch Nails

    Romanek has directed only two feature films, Static (in 1985) and One Hour Photo.  He was attached to The Wolfman but is no longer involved, which is a shame considering the film will likely contain the dark, sinister imagery that Romanek is so great at capturing.  Romanek has got quite a few memorable music videos on his resume, but none – NONE – are as lasting as Nine Inch Nail’s “Closer.”

    John Landis – Thriller by Michael Jackson

    John Landis has done something quite remarkable: he’s directed the greatest comedy of all time (Animal House) as well as the greatest music video of all time. Your opinion may vary, but the works I mentioned have to at the very least be part of that discussion.  Landis also directed Michael Jackson’s “Black or White,” but “Thriller” set the bar for music videos and to this day has not been surpassed.  We’ve all seen the original version, so enjoy the Final Fantasy version, posted above.

    Michel Gondry – Come Into My World by Kylie Minogue

    French director Michel Gondry is a unique talent with an eye for the quirky and surreal, and his films – like Be Kind Rewind, The Science of Sleep, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – often feature dream sequences that allow Gondry to show off his special style.  Naturally, his music videos are anything but normal, and Bjork’s “Human Behaviour” and The White Stripes’ “The Hardest Button to Button” are good examples of the type of work Gondry does.  Perhaps his most impressive video is “Star Guitar” by The Chemical Brothers (if you haven’t seen it, it may take you 20 seconds or so to “get it”), but my personal favorite is the Kylie Minogue one I posted above.

    McG – Santeria by Sublime

    Before Charlie’s Angels, Terminator: Salvation, and the entire world asking rhetorically, “what kind of a stupid f*cking name is McG?” Joseph McGinty Nichol was directing music videos.  His flashy style is apparent in most of them, like the above classic from Sublime.

    Sofia Coppola – I Just Don’t Know What to do with Myself by The White Stripes

    Only the third female director to be nominated for an Academy Award (for Lost in Translation), Sofia Coppola, like heavyweights Scorsese and Landis, isn’t above directing music videos.  I know some people who, after watching The Godfather Part III, would like Coppola to stay away from feature films and stick with music videos.  If you like Kate Moss pole dancing, you probably don’t have a problem with thaty preference.  Me?  I like my girls with a little meat.  At least 180 lbs for this guy.

    F. Gary Gray – It Was a Good Day by Ice Cube

    The director of Friday and The Negotiator has got mad street cred, as he’s directed numerous rap videos by artists such as Ice Cube, Cypress Hill, and Dr. Dre.  “It Was a Good Day” by Ice Cube is an amazing song, and Gray’s video helps show exactly what in Ice Cube’s day made everything so great.  He didn’t even have to use his AK; I can relate to that.  It’s so tedious.

    1. Mike says:

      Tim burton directed “bones” by the killers


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