Straight To Video

The 7 Best Videos Of The Week

We’ve got new videos from Rihanna, UNKLE, The Grates, and WU LYF this week. I especially like the Ford & Lopatin video because it’s the human version of those Friskies ads. The ones where the cat hallucinates and believes that turkeys, fish, and other edibles worship cats like gods? They’d make really good Animal Collective videos. Watch this week’s selections:

Bruno Mars – “The Lazy Song” (Dir. Nez)

At its core this video is a surprisingly grim portrait of a bored and angry older gentleman. But with Leonard Nimoy playing the angry old man and playing himself — later in the video he paws through his Star Trek fan mail — this video becomes lighter and more enjoyable. At least we know he’s spending his last years in Star Trek reboots and not in some Bela Lugosi shame spiral. Director Nez has also done videos for Kanye West, M.I.A., and Mika.

Rihanna – “Man Down” (Dir. Anthony Mandler)

The Parents Television Council asked BET to stop airing this video, which premiered on the network on Tuesday. They refused. In this clip Rihanna shoots an unarmed man in the head, before the video flashes back to the sexual assault that lead up to her revenge. Rihanna’s own abuse story adds an extra layer to this fictional one, but on its own the video is radiant — director Anthony Mandler saturates every frame, revealing the heat and beauty of the location (possibly Barbados) and the star.

UNKLE – “Money and Run” (Feat. Nick Cave) (Dir. Tom Haines)

Director Tom Haines combines arrogance, cruelty, and British politics in this witty and harrowing clip. Note that the lead actor in this video looks a lot like Brit Prime Minister David Cameron. Haines also directed White Denim’s “Shake Shake Shake” video.

The Grates – “Turn Me On” (Dir. Dimitri Basil)

The Grates’ Patience Hodgson looks a lot like actress Anna Karina in this Jean-Luc Godard-referencing, gravity-defying video. The Grates bounce off the walls when they play live, so I’m struck by how still and serious this video is. (via Antville)

Honorable Mention:

Ford & Lopatin – “World Of Regret” (Dir. Thunder Horse Video)

Seasick Steve – “You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks” (Dir. Reuben Sutherland)

(via Promo News)

WU LYF – “Dirt” (Dir. Lucifer Youth Foundation)