The big music video from this past week, the one that seemed custom-designed to drive conversation, was Ariana Grande’s “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored.” It sucks. The video is an overly literal reading of the song’s lyrics, told with no real visual style, and building up to a fake-shock moment that everyone watching the video saw coming a mile away. Ariana Grande is so good at being a pop star, and yet the videos aren’t really there yet. She has a few good ones, but she hasn’t hit that Michael Jackson/Madonna level where she understands how to present her own persona, where the release of every video is an event. (That’s not a lost art. Drake and Rihanna have both, more or less, figured it out.) This week’s picks are below.
A perfect little indie film about trauma and its aftermath, with gorgeous cinematography and a jangled timeline that might take a couple of viewings to sort out.
A series of completely ridiculous images of what success even means, the best of which is clearly Schoolboy Q as an oiled-up bodybuilder with a blunt in his mouth.
A hallucinatory flashback on a traumatic life, with every scene blurring into the next, moments of boredom interspersed with moments of overwhelming tension. Which is how real flashbacks work.
A fun little Black Mirror webisode, with Katy Perry, who’s been a strong music-video actor since she was showing up in Gym Class Heroes clips pre-stardom, proving that someone should fuck around and put her in a movie already.
I wonder when Weyes Blood realized she should direct her own music video — when it became apparent to her that absolutely nobody else could nail the ’70s slasher-film aesthetic quite so perfectly. Because she really, really did.