Straight To Video

The 12 Best Videos Of The Week

There area few extra videos from this week and last, since I was out of town last Friday and missed doing the roundup. This time there are new clips from Shit Robot, Chromeo, Nachtmystium, and of Montreal. One thing I noticed: Many of the videos have female protagonists. Three of them are entirely female worlds, though for totally different effects. In Chromeo’s video they’re mostly eye candy, in of Montreal’s video women are the ruling class and men “… provide sperm for breeding rituals.” For Under Byen’s video, the director says the song “… expresses that XX that I have longed for.” I don’t know why these videos all landed this month, but I do wonder what Robert Palmer would say.

Shit Robot – “Take ‘Em Up” (Dir. Eoghan Kidney)

This video stars LCD Soundsystem’s Nancy Whang, getting rotoscoped all over Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Director Eoghan Kidney gave Nailler 9 some details on the video, including this interesting fact: “We also got Michel Gondry’s house in one of the shots, and his son was sitting outside with all his mates trying to get us to use his car in the video, but I declined because I think they has been partying all night and were behaving strangely.”

Chromeo – “Hot Mess” (Dir. Jérémie Rozan)

Surface To Air’s Jérémie Rozan put Chromeo in an otherwise-all-female police force. He previously directed Justice vs Simian’s video for “We Are Your Friends.” And, if you’re remember, Kanye West interrupted his award acceptance speech at the MTV Europe VMAs to complain about not winning.

Under Byen – “Unoder” (Dir. Manyar I. Parwani)

Afghan/Danish director Manya I. Parwani created this haunting, ritualistic, all-female video. Writes Parwani: “Under Byens ‘Unoder’ expresses that XX that I have longed for.”

of Montreal – “Famine Affair” (Dir. Jason Miller)

of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes explained the concept of the video to Spin:”It’s the story of a man living in a feminine empire. As a male, he is considered lower class. He is expected to abstain from any social interaction with members of the ruling class, and provide sperm for breeding rituals. Each household is provided by the State with one male, the housemale is not permitted to leave the grounds. The housemale must live in the estate he is assigned to until death or sexual impotence.”

iamamiwhoami – “20101104” (Dir. ?)

iamamiwhoami is the mysterious video/music viral project that’s been attracting attention with these mini-clips since December 2009. The Internet figured out that the project belonged to Swedish singer/songwriter Jonna Lee, but the videos are still intriguing on their own. Take this disturbing one titled “20101104” (all are named for the dates they’re uploaded).

Broken Bells – “The Ghost Inside” (Dir. Matt McCormick)

There’s already an official video for “The Ghost Inside,” and it stars Christina Hendricks, so why do another? According to Vulture, filmmaker and friend of the band Matt McCormick noticed that Hall & Oates’s “Private Eyes” was kind of similar to “The Ghost Inside,” so he re-edited the clip and put James Mercer’s mouth over Hall’s.

Pogo – “Wishery” (Dir. Pogo)

Another video that recycles, as does the song, although the transformation here is hypnotic — the entire thing is made from the audio in Snow White. If you like this, maybe you’ll like Pogo’s “Alohamora” (taken from sounds/scenes/music in Harry Potter).

Stretta – “Calculus” (Dir. Franck Trebillac)

I don’t know a lot about Cambridge musician Stretta, but this video for “Calculus” is highly entertaining, especially if you’ve ever been intrigued by insects and those old Victorian(?) books full of insect and bird diagrams. I especially love the tiny identifying text that hovers above each specimen.

Brigitte – “ma Benz” (Dir. Mark Maggiori)

This video is a few weeks old, but I also found it… not quite entertaining. More upsetting and uncomfortable (you shouldn’t cry when you eat, and you shouldn’t frown when you are stripping (or getting a private stripper dance). It’s a cover of another French artist (Joeystarr), but they sound like a French CocoRosie to me. And CoCoRosie are already kind of the French CoCoRosie.

Honorable Mention:

Lazer Sword – “Beast’s Reprise” (Dir. Paul Trillo)

Nachtmystium – “Every Last Drop” (Dir. Seldon Hunt and Jimmy Hubbard)

The So So Glos – “Fred Astaire” (Dir. Matthew Greeley)