Corban took over for me on this column last week because I went down to Asheville, North Carolina to experience Actionfest, a film festival dedicated entirely to movies where people get kicked in the face or stabbed with broken glass. After four straight days of that, I’m still in something of a bloody-eyeball daze, and I’d have nice things to say about any music videos with Tony Jaa-style twist-kicks. I didn’t see any of those this week, but the whole experience might have something to do with my preference for the music video about the violent kidnappings. Actually, I’d probably prefer that one any week. Watch this week’s picks below.
5. Zambri – “Hundred Hearts” (Dir. Milton Ladd)
A mysterious piece of street art causes onlookers to stop and stare, mesmerized, and then to furiously make out with each other. At first, I was hoping the video wouldn’t show the artwork in question, just to keep the mystery alive. But when it’s revealed, the art is suitably freaky, though it didn’t make me want to make out with anyone.
4. Jessie Ware – “110%” (Dir. Kate Moross)
No surprise that director Moross is a graphic designer by trade. The images in the video are so crisp and clean and appealing that the entire idea of a narrative arc seems painfully gauche. Also, that car is dope as fuck.
3. Death Grips – “I’ve Seen Footage” (Dir. Death Grips)
The out-of-control barrage of photo images is disorienting and relentless enough that you can’t just sit and watch the entire thing end-to-end; you have to turn your head away every once in a while just to keep your bearings. But that perfectly suits the everything-all-the-time mood of the (great) song, and of the band themselves. You shouldn’t feel comfortable watching a Death Grips video.
2. THEESatisfaction – “QueenS” (Dir. dream hampton)
Director dream hampton isn’t typically a filmmaker. Most of the time, she’s one of the greatest rap critics of all time, the woman who helped Jay-Z put Decoded together. And maybe her innate, decades-deep understanding of rap and feminism and rap feminism made her uniquely qualified to put together the dreamy all-female house-party utopia we see in this clip. It’s a beautiful thing.
1. Liars – “No. 1 Against The Rush” (Dir. Todd Cole)
Todd Cole makes Los Angeles look something like how Nicolas Winding Refn made it look in Drive: A gleaming, pulsating metropolis with an angry heart beating underneath that gorgeous surface. But Drive was seductive, and this video is anything but. In its compulsive, careful kidnapper, we see a force of pure evil, and maybe that’s why the much-bigger Angus Andrew is so totally unable to beat his ass.