I interviewed Anton Corbijn once, and he’s a totally lovely human being. I liked his beaten-down Ian Curtis biopic Control and his deconstructed George Clooney spy movie The American. He takes pretty photos. But my god, I don’t think there’s ever been a high-profile music video director shittier or more overrated than he. Corbijn’s whole style — the all-pores close-ups, the smeared makeup, the heavy symbolism, the high contrasts, the turgid pacing — make for some utterly ugly and boring music videos; I’m convinced the Killers would be playing stadiums right now if Corbijn’s godawful “All These Things That I’ve Done” video hadn’t severely undercut them. So I’m bummed that Arcade Fire got Corbijn to direct their video for the triumphant “Reflektor” and that Corbijn went Full Corbijn on it, putting the band in hideous waxy masks of themselves and generally leaching pleasure out of it wherever he could. That song is dope, and it deserves way better. (There’s also the interactive video, but I can’t comment on that one because I can’t get the thing to work.) “Reflektor” topped our songs-of-the-week countdown, but you won’t find it on the list below. Fortunately, there were a shit-ton of great videos these past seven days, and the five below only scratch the surface.
5. Au Revoir Simone – “Crazy” (Dir. Alex Braverman & Poppy de Villeneuve)
It’s an entirely ridiculous premise — remaking parts of Scorsese’s After Hours shot-for-shot, with the three female band members playing every character — but these lunatics somehow pulled it off. I was worried they wouldn’t include the punk-club scene, but no, that’s in there. Don’t think you can get away with skipping After Hours just because you watched this, though. This isn’t CliffsNotes. You still need to see After Hours.
4. Jonathan Rado – “Faces” (Dir. Alex Braverman & Poppy de Villeneuve)
Two things the world always needs more of: (1) Movies about underground pit-fighting tournaments, and (2) people who take dancing really, really seriously. This video somehow combines both of those, and it does it while incorporating some batshit-wonderful silent-movie acting.
3. Future – “Honest” (Dir. Colin Tilley)
There’s a scenario I’ve been playing out in my mind: Aliens come down to earth, and they appear to me, demanding a reason not to exterminate my entire dangerous, wasteful species. I show them the image of Future in this video. The aliens instantly realize that humans, for all our flaws, are capable of absolute perfection, and they get back into their spaceships and fly away.
2. G-Dragon – “Crooked” (Dir. Suh Hyun Seung)
If actual punk rock was always as much fun as the idealized cartoon-universe K-pop version of it, I would still spend every weekend going to shows in VFW Halls.
1. Blood Orange “Chamakay” (Dir. Adam Bainbridge)
The way the palms reflect the sunlight. The look on Dev Hynes’s face when he meets his grandfather for the first time (and the look on the grandfather’s face, too). The tie-dyed Guyana T-shirt. Hynes’s chemistry with the girl in front of the house, the one who lip-syncs Caroline Polachek’s vocal parts and then busts up laughing. The walkway on the beach. Hynes’s dancing. Especially Hynes’s dancing. If you know the story of the video, of Hynes visiting his mother’s Guyanese hometown for the first time, this video might crush your heart. But even without the backstory, the video looks something you wish you could call home.