You know that thing where an artist you like makes something terrible, and it leaves you questioning why you ever liked anything that that person did? Well, Jonas Åkerlund, the former Bathory drummer and star music-video director, has two new movies: The black metal saga Lords Of Chaos and the Netflix action movie Polar. Both of them look like absolute dogshit. And their simultaneous arrival makes me wonder if Åkerlund has always been worthless. Like: Åkerlund’s “Smack My Bitch Up” video was always edgelord nonsense that owed its reputation entirely to being banned by MTV. But does the “Ray Of Light” video suck, too? Is the “Telephone” video just indulgent fake-outrage? I don’t know! This week’s picks are below.
There is a narrative here, something about snow and fire and fencing and metaphorical mind-bullets. I can’t make anything out of. But if you’re going to give me seven beautifully shot minutes of weird shit happening and Bran Stark looking intense, I am going to sit and happily watch.
The star of this video is a girl who looks just like Bad Bunny. She dresses like Bad Bunny, she has her hair cut like Bad Bunny, and she lip-syncs Bad Bunny’s lyrics while acting like Bad Bunny. And then, at the end of the movie, she makes out with the actual Bad Bunny. I don’t know what any of this means, but for once, that doesn’t feel like artistic indulgence. It feels like we’re watching a major global pop star who’s perfectly comfortable with ambiguity.
Sped-up film is a classic music-video trick that should never, ever go out of style. I don’t know why nobody does it anymore, but Aminé is here to show you that it still works. Aminé is also here to rap while his head is being stuffed in a toilet, which is a new one.
A utopian vision of an America where you can make your way cross-country by playing psychedelic steel-string instrumental folk for truckers, and where the entire clientele in country bars will line-dance to psychedelic steel-string instrumental folk. Which is to say: A look at a better world.
We have now reached that prime Michael Jackson/Missy Elliott stage, where everytime Rosalía drops a new music video, you have to drop whatever you’re doing and just luxuriate in it. This one is probably the closest thing she’s made to a Fast & Furious movie, so it’s obviously magical.