Author: George Moore Chadwick

27th Raindance Film Festival Trailer

The 27th Raindance Film Festival is just around the corner, and that means that the 2019 trailer is here! Raindance Means Raindance is a story set in a dystopian London in 2023, a city torn apart by no deal Brexit. Only one fragment of civilisation remains in this ghost city – the 2023 Raindance Film Festival.

The initial concept was written by director Pete King, who directed the 2009 Raindance trailer (starring Dexter Fletcher). You can see his controversial festival trailer here: 17th Raindance Film Festival Trailer (2007).

The 2019 festival trailer concept is one of political satire in keeping with this year’s theme as well as “Special Guest Continent Europe”. It portrayed a dark vision of a futuristic London, with inspiration coming from classic British dystopian films like V for Vendetta and Children of Men.

The Original Treatment:

Pete King wrote this treatment on his phone walking back to Soho after a meeting with Raindance founder Elliot Grove, and with Festival Producer David Martinez:

A ragged, half torn Union Jack flutters in the wind. The camera pans down to reveal an abandoned Trafalgar Square.
The footage is in the style of urban explorers/found footage/user generated content, slightly shaky and hand held. (All shot on Lumix 🙂
The date stamp says ‘Sept – 2023.
We follow over the shoulder of a young woman as she walks through the post apocalyptic city. She speaks – French. She points out an old gift shop. In the window, Nigel Farage masks are covered in dust.
The camera operator French male, responds with an expletive.
They explore further – the whole of London is empty – everyone has left. They comment how fucked the city is, Brexit is mentioned.
The woman shouts for him to look, what’s that? Something’s happening…
He pans to reveal the cinema. He zooms in. A large RAINDANCE poster is on the billboard. It reads 33rd Raindance Film Festival 2025. The lobby looks busy.
Elliot stands in the doorway – he smiles and waves for them to come in.
Title: Raindance Means Raindance

Elliot and David loved it immediately. But Pete was called off to a job in New York. Simon Hunter, the feature film director who has helmed The Mutant Chronicles (starring Ron Perlman and John Malkovich) and most recently Edie (starring Sheila Hancock), took over as director. Simon also teaches directing masterclasses in Raindance Berlin and here in London. Simon expanded the script and created shot lists and a detailed storyboard, which can be seen here. George Chadwick was tasked with producing the project. 

Shooting the trailer

Lumix provided us with two of their new top-of-the-range cameras, the S1. The trailer was exclusively shot on those cameras by veteran DP Zoran Veljkovic. Nathalie Ishak, a Swiss actress and producer, stars as a French news reporter visiting London. Multi-media artist and performer Jon Campling with credits like Harry Potter under his belt, plays a mad British nationalist still living in the virtually empty British capital.

Simon’s vision of a deserted London demanded extremely early mornings. It’s a credit to Simon’s leadership and passion that he was able to assemble a dedicated cast and crew. A host of passionate extras played by Raindance members showed up to act as Raindance festival goers and apocalypse survivors. The shoot call time was 4:30am each morning, jumping between locations around Trafalgar Sq, Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. The final scene was shot inside the VUE cinema in Leicester Square on Monday August 5th.

The rushes were sent for a first edit with Elodie at Flock Edit. The trailer demanded a great deal of VFX shots to convey a deserted and decaying London. The brilliant team at We Are Tilt, based in Brighton, took over, led by Ivor Sims, their creative producer. When the huge amount of VFX was completed, the footage was recut and then colour graded by Michael Pearce.

They always say that sound makes the movie. During the editing and VFX process, composer and soundscape artist Nick Hinton was working on the original score and sound design. The finished soundtrack was merged with the picture and finished at 2am on the morning of the world premiere.

The world premiere was at the Vue in Leicester Square was Tuesday 20th August. After screening at the Vue, it was then screened at a special soiree in front of the Olivia Colman and friends at the May Fair Hotel.

Please like the Youtube link and comment – your thoughts on our work mean a lot to us.

RAINDANCE MEANS RAINDANCE

Against a backdrop of divisive politics and global turmoil, Raindance uses the medium of cinema to amplify the voice of indie filmmakers with compelling stories to tell. With features, documentaries, short films, industry events and immersive VR experiences, Raindance is a place to see the kind of fascinating, multi-faceted characters who thrive in today’s crazy world of indie film. T

Tickets on sale now: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/raindance

Starring:

Nathalie Ishak as Reporter
Jon Campling as Speaker
Martin Kentish as Cameraman
Vanda Ladeira as Patriot #1
Tracy Gardener as Patriot #2
Elliot Grove as Elliot Grove

Director: Simon Hunter
Concept: Peter King
Executive Producer: Elliot Grove
Producer: George Moore Chadwick
Director of Photography: Zoran Veljkovic
Editors: Flock Edit – Elodie Fouqueau, Zoé Desgraupes Ufuk Gokkaya

Production Designer: Ivory Campbell

1st AD: Laura Gregory
2nd AD: Orlando Bryant
3rd AD: Hamed Torabi
1st AC/Additional Cinematography: Asaturs Keimatlans
2nd AC/Additional Cinematography: Martin Kentish
Sound Recordist: Tam Paul-Worika
Boom Operator: Simon Marett
BTS shooter: Amanda Mcfeat

VFX: We Are Tilt
VFX Supervisor: Ivor Sims
VFX artists: Stig Coldham & Roberto Aguilar
Colourist: Michael Pearce
Sound Design and Mixer: Nick Hinton
5.1 Up Mix: Harry Parsons
Graphics Designer/Info Films: Bailey Graham
Logo graphics: Dominic Thackray

27th Raindance Film Festival 18-29th September 2019
Find us at https://www.raindance.org
Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RaindanceFilmFestival
Follow us on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/raindance
Follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/raindancefilmfestival

Filed under: Festivals, Filmmaking, Raindance Film Festival

12 Times When Films Use Famous Songs Effectively

I haven’t seen Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis’s new film Yesterday, but I am sure already that its music licensing budget must have been through the roof. Songs by The Beatles are the most expensive in the world to use in film/tv/commercials. All great films using famous songs in your film can be extremely effective, but also potentially terrible (*cough* Hallelujah in Watchmen). Here’s a list of some good examples, consciously ignoring biopics about musicians and James Bond title songs because that’s a whole other ball game. 

Mommy – Wonderwall

Any excuse to rewatch this scene. This scene still gives me shivers. In a movie full of trauma and discontent, and a whole lot of yelling, this scene is one of the purest depictions of liberation ever put to film. The aspect ratio trick is an ingenious touch. Wonderwall may have generally been played in the world far too many times, but Dolan seems to breathe new life into it in this scene, and it complements the visuals perfectly. 

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou – Life on Mars

The perfect example of Wes Anderson’s use of music is this scene from his polarising Life Aquatic with Bill Murray and a stop-motion shark. The song quietly builds up a momentous scene between newly met father and son, and then explodes into chorus as Steve travels up the deck alone to compose himself. It’s a powerful moment brought to life by David Bowie. 

Varsity Blues – Thunderstruck 

This Jon Voight sports film has a compelling mid-film scene that shows the team struggle with hangovers on the pitch after a big night out, and get brutally rolled over in glorious slow motion, to AC-DC’s Thunderstruck. This song reportedly cost the filmmakers $500,000, which considering the film’s entire budget was $16m, was a serious chunk of cash. It is an impressively shot scene, though, and hearing the song while watching Jon Voight maddeningly throw a clipboard in slo mo is always a pleasure. 

Dazed and Confused – Sweet Emotion

Richard Linklater’s cult slice of growing up in America opens with this hit Aerosmith song. A montage of high schoolers going about their general day (on the last day of school before summer), the song plays to totally muted dialogue. It instantly provides an incredibly specific and effective atmosphere that perfectly sets up the film’s stoned yet genuine aura. 

Magnolia – Goodbye Stranger 

Paul Thomas Anderson’s monumental mosaic features a particularly memorable scene in which braces (or corrective oral surgery) enthusiast Quiz Kid Donnie Smith (William H. Macy) ponders life and love to the sound of Supertramp’s Goodbye Stranger. He sees an attractive bartender, Brad, who has the braces that Donnie so badly wants himself. Brad seems to be an easy embodiment of everything Donnie wants at that moment in time – a material goal, a physical goal, but actually a goal of finding love and deep connection. It’s before Donnie fights for Brad’s attention with a brilliant Henry Gibson, who has the one thing Donnie doesn’t – money. The two intellectuals quote greats at each other, and yet while their academic abilities are clear, the sad truth is they are both emotionally stunted and lonely to the point of despair. Unfortunately the only video online is dubbed in French, but it’s easy to see the power that the song brings to the scene.

Mad Men – Tomorrow Never Knows

Ok, this isn’t a film, but Mad Men is better than most films, and its use of music is so incredibly astute that it would be unfair to not include it on this list. At the end of Season 5’s “Lady Lazarus”, Megan Draper pesters Don into listening to a new Beatles album Revolver, starting with Tomorrow Never Knows. She wants to bring an old fashioned Don into a new and incomprehensible world of hippies and modernisation, one that Don has until now refused to join. Now that he has a young new wife, he is thrown into this world, from a home with a housewife and kids in the suburbs to a Manhattan penthouse apartment. A classic Mad Men ending, it manages to bring together the concerns of different characters into a cohesive montage. But Don turns the song off, indicating his rejection of changing times and perhaps signifying a doomed marriage. AMC spent $250,000 getting the rights to this song, which for one episode of a thirteen episode season, demonstrates just how important it was to the show. 

Mad Men – You Only Live Twice

I know, no Bond songs, but this Mad Men scene uses Nancy Sinatra’s You Only Live Twice to one of the greatest shots in the entire series. The camera dollies back as Don walks away from Megan on a soap set, away from the fantasy. It’s super meta, and the overly glamorous James Bond song shows that it really is fantasy. The double entendre of “Are you alone?” is such a sharp question that shows the whole illusion of glamour around that world. 

Chungking Express – California Dreaming

Wong Kar-Wai is one of the greatest when it comes to using music – imagine In The Mood For Love with a Hans Zimmer soundtrack. No thank you. California Dreaming is embedded into the narrative of the film – it links to the two separate stories together, it links two characters together. It shows “the grass is greener on the other side” feeling as universal yet illusory. Don’t watch past 8 minutes if you haven’t seen the film. 

Apocalypse Now – The End 

Arguably the most evocative opening few minutes in the history of cinema. A zoomed in view of a jungle canopy. The Doors’ The End plays, and in an instant, the jungle lights up in a terrifying blaze. It’s the ultimate use of music for ultimate intensity. No blood, no guts, just the sheer consuming power of napalm.  

McCabe and Mrs Miller – The Stranger Song 

Robert Altman’s revisionist Western opens to the haunting beauty of Leonard Cohen. Using modern music anachronistically in period films is always a risky business, but Altman’s pensive and starkly beautiful opening of a snowy mountain town on the American Frontier is made immortal by Cohen’s calmly mournful song.  

The Graduate – The Sound of Silence 

In 1967 Roger Ebert said that the music Mike Nichols chose to use in his film was “instantly forgettable”. Thirty years later he re-reviewed the film and conceded defeat. The Simon & Garfunkel music in this film is perhaps its most memorable feature, a brilliant soundtrack that bring together a suburban classiness somehow with youthful angst. The brilliant shot of Benjamin sliding along the moving walkway in the airport to The Sound of Silence is an amazing opening sequence, but watch the second clip for the eternally famous cuts that Mike Nichols uses to link the compartmentalised parts of Benjamin’s life. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Father and Son

Filling an overload of VFX with 70s nostalgia is welcome juxtaposition, and it made the original Guardians film one of the most refreshing in the extremely-extremely-well-trodden Marvel universe. In Vol. 2, James Gunn uses this Cat Stevens song to play over Yondu’s space funeral in this Marvel sequel. Apart from being a great song, it adds a level of poignancy and keeps up the 70s charm to go with this rather sad moment as a villain achieves catharsis. Its relevance also works on a number of levels, both centrally with Kurt Russell and Chris Pratt as the fighting father and son, but also a number of family relationships throughout the Guardians’ universe. 

Filed under: Directing, Film History, Filmmaking, In Our OpinionTagged with: , , , ,

Great Short Films from the 90s

Before you write your next short, check out this list of great short films that were made in the 90s. This era is interesting right now because some of the best filmmakers today got their start making shorts in the 90s. A couple of these shorts even became features in their own right, kickstarting some seriously big careers. 

Bottle Rocket (1992) – Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket was the screen debut of little-known brothers Owen and Luke Wilson. Filmed in stylish black and white, Wes Anderson finds comedy and yet also deep human empathy in two clueless young men trying to find excitement in life by attempting to be high flying criminals. Its sarcastic humour and offbeat style doesn’t represent the modern Wes Anderson we know and love, but it demonstrates the same interest in whimsy and incongruous action that work so well in his more famous films. It finally screened at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival. Its juxtaposition of stylish crime and deprecating comedy wowed James L. Brooks, big-time producer as well as developer of The Simpsons, which led to a feature film. Although unsuccessful at the box office, Anderson’s debut Bottle Rocket remains his most criminally underrated work, although Martin Scorsese listed it as one of his favourite films of the 1990s. 

The Waiters (1993) – Ken Webb

Ken Webb, a student at NYU Tisch School of the Arts made this film as part of his film school thesis. He collaborated with members of a comedy troupe called the New Group, which later became the State, which later had its own MTV series. Written by Thomas Lennon and starring Joe Lo Truglio, this film represents everything good about student film, wonderfully bending structure and narrative into a weird, hilarious and artful film that was a finalist at the Student Academy Awards. It’s a film that is literally about waiting, and this universal human experience is presented in many different paradigms, to humourous and yet touching effect. Ken Webb is the only director on this list that hasn’t had a hugely successful directorial career (to be honest, the only non-auteur), having become a lecturer, although it seems he has delved back into directing more recently. 

Cigarettes & Coffee (1993) – Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson already made The Dirk Diggler Story (the basis for Boogie Nights) as a 17-year-old in 1988, because life is unfair, but after dropping out of film school, he made Cigarettes & Coffee (busted, Jim Jarmusch), starring future PTA-regular and Seinfeld alumnus Philip Baker Hall. A Robert Altman style story of how many characters are connected by a $20 bill, the film screened at Sundance and formed the basis of Anderson’s debut feature Hard Eight (1996), starring Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson. The film already demonstrates PTA’s signature visual style, with a steady but fast moving camera, large cast and substitute father figures. He apparently financed the film mostly on his film school money as well as gambling winnings. Unfortunately Youtube only has a low res VHS rip.

Small Deaths (1996) – Lynne Ramsey

Lynne Ramsey’s graduation project from the National Film & Television School was Small Deaths, a series of vignettes demonstrating the staggered corrosion of innocence of a Scottish girl. It’s a quiet, nuanced film, with Ramsey’s own niece playing the little girl. Like The Waiters, it’s a film that structurally works well in short form, in this case providing a moving portrayal of external occurrences shaping the mind of a girl. It was screened at Cannes and widely acclaimed, helping to kickstart Ramsey’s career as a unique directing force. 

Doodlebug (1997) – Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan made a number of short films for the film society at UCL, before making his no-budget feature breakthrough Following in 1998, regularly cited as an example of high quality films made on extremely low budgets. Like that feature, Nolan shoots Doodlebug on 16mm in high contrast black and white, with Following’s Jeremy Theobald starring as a man whose sanity is slowly crumbling before his eyes as he tries to squash an elusive bug. Doodlebug is a perfect example of Nolan’s preoccupation with mind bending mystery and twists, as well as his unique practical ability to create remarkable, believable scenes on a low budget. 

Filed under: Film History, Filmmaking, In Our OpinionTagged with: , , , , ,

Films from Cannes to Look out for When They’re Released

Cannes had some excellent films both in and out of the main competition this year, and while films like The Dead Don’t Die have already had a wide release, many films aren’t being released (or at least released worldwide) for many months. Here are the ones to keep an eye on for when they do finally make it to cinemas.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Celine Sciamma’s 18th century gothic romance was one of the very, very best films of Cannes 2019. Based on the common upper class ritual of a young aristocratic woman having a portrait painted of her to entice rich prospective husbands, it follows a female painter who has been tasked with covertly painting a mysterious young lady who won’t sit for a portrait. It uses the framework of a spooky fairy tale woven around a love story perhaps even more effectively than Phantom Thread. Sciamma and her cinematographer Claire Mathon somehow create a softness that makes the characters themselves look like 18th century paintings. The film blossoms into a beautiful and heart-wrenching story that leaves us gasping for breath by the end. The final few seconds of the film are, in this writer’s opinion, some of the best in world cinema this century. Released in France on 18 September with a limited release in the US on 6 December, there’s no UK release date yet, although the distribution rights have been snapped up by Curzon Artificial Eye. 

Parasite

Parasite won the Palme D’Or at Cannes, the first Korean film to do so. The first half of the film appears to be genuinely a laugh-out-loud comedy, and yet pierces issues of class and inequality as successfully as the more blood-soaked second half. It is biting satire, with all the wit and depth of Luis Bunuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. This film, though, focuses on a poor family, down on their luck in a basement apartment, as they systematically infiltrate a hugely wealthy upper class family by each becoming hired help within the home. Bong Joon-Ho deftly balances the comedy and violence so that it says more about society than Snowpiercer and Okja combined. Parasite has already been hugely successful in the domestic box office, but will be released in the US on 19 October. 

Matthias et Maxime

Dolan’s return to Cannes isn’t his best ever, but it’s nonetheless a lovely film. It does something I have rarely seen an art film do – it takes high school comedies like American Pie and blends them with art house cinema. It has some classic Dolan melodrama, but also some of his best comedy. Supporting characters like their friend’s pretentious Anglophile sister and a sleazy young American business executive make for laugh-out-loud scenes that somehow also bite deep into the modern ‘OMG’ zeitgeist. There’s no release date yet for Matthias et Maxime internationally, but it does have a Canadian release on October 9th. 

La Femme de mon Frère (A Brother’s Love)

This Quebecois film was screened as part of Un Certain Regard as opposed to the Official Competition. Monia Chokri (longtime collaborator with fellow Canadian Xavier Dolan) directed this wonderfully offbeat comedy with such an assured visual style that it is not unreasonable to think she could not obtain the stylistic heights of someone like the endlessly popular Wes Anderson, or indeed her compatriot Dolan. The visual style is genuinely stunning for large parts of the movie, like the opening shot of Sophia dropping her thesis papers out the front door of a fictional university in Montreal as the camera slowly zooms out in perfect symmetry. It translates the hipster-ness of Montreal onto the screen extremely well, but consequently may not be to the taste of everyone. It’s already been released in Canada, but it remains to be seen whether or not it will get an international release. 

A Hidden Life

Terence Malick’s newest musing on life is often stunningly beautiful and certainly packs an emotional punch, but, almost inevitably with Malick, is about an hour too long. Don’t let this put you off even if you aren’t a die-hard Malick fan. There’s enough there that is stunning to make the meandering worth it. Set in Sankt Radegund, a remote village in Upper Austria, through his wide angle lens Malick tells the true story of Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector who refused to fight for the Nazis, despite the punishment of death. A Hidden Life was picked up by Fox Searchlight for $14m after its Cannes premiere, and will be released on December 13th. 

Il Traditore

“The Traitor” has all the glamour of a crime epic, but Italian New Wave icon Marco Bellocchio’s film is more interested in the legal aspects of the story than the action, although it does have enough of that too. It follows the true story of Tommaso Buscetta, a Sicilian mafia boss who decided to collaborate with Italian authorities to put away several prominent capos, an unprecedented move that proved just as controversial with the Sicilian people as it did inflammatory with the mafia. The film balances mafia style with courtroom drama, and it does so pretty successfully, with a particularly beautiful segment in Rio de Janeiro. It never quite reaches the heights of the the greatest mafia movies, but it does provide a fascinating insight into the first mafia informant in Sicily, and, like Buschetta did himself, paints a comprehensive narrative of the real workings of the infamous Sicilian mafia.

Filed under: Festivals, Filmmaking, In Our Opinion, Promotion, Marketing and DistributionTagged with: , , , ,

Music Videos Directed By Auteurs

Last week, Netflix released a 15 minute IMAX short film/music video Anima, starring Thom Yorke and featuring three songs from his new album of the same name. Directed by none other than Paul Thomas Anderson and shot by the great Darius Khondji, it’s something to behold. It’s also pretty significant that Netflix has commissioned what is essentially a music video by a filmmaker known more for his artistic value than commercial draw. To celebrate the release of Anima, here are some examples (by no means a definitive list) of great music videos directed by auteurs. Music videos, while not bound so much by narrative, are an opportunity for top film directors to experiment visually, and in some cases create incredible images that might never make it to the screen elsewhere. 

Thriller – John Landis

 

The most famous music video of all time. What else? John Landis, director-colossus of the late 70s and 80s, behind Animal House, Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London and Trading Places, directs this zombie-fuelled music video for the King of Pop. A gleefully metafictional comedy horror, Jackson and his girlfriend play out classic horror tropes in layers of movies-within-movies and nightmares, including a werewolf transformation and a zombie awakening. The zombies are pretty good dancers though.*

Bad – Martin Scorsese

Already the director of Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The King of Comedy, Scorsese decided to collaborate with Jackson in 1987 with the longform ‘Bad’. It stars Michael Jackson alongside a young Wesley Snipes. It’s really a short film at 18 minutes long, and has a lot of dialogue with fluid scene cuts and narrative progression enveloping the actual song. Scorsese’s trademark camera movements are at play, initially in a blue washed monochrome, and then suddenly jumps into high saturation colour as Jackson switches from good school boy to “bad” boy.*

Karma Police – Jonathan Glazer

Jonathan Glazer is probably the one director on this list who might not be considered by everyone to be an auteur. But Sexy Beast and Under the Skin form an incredibly important part of British cinema, and have a pretty distinctive style while doing so. Radiohead used Glazer to direct ‘Karma Police’ in 1997, and he chose a desolate road in Middle America to shoot a fidgety yet eyes-glazed-over Thom Yorke to chase a man running in front of the car, only for a gas leak to enable the man to set the car on fire. It has strong imagery and pretty amazing cinematography, almost exclusively with a point-of-view camera in the driver’s seat of the car. 

Try – Paul Thomas Anderson

This Michael Penn music video is one very long take down an even longer (like ridiculously long) corridor. Paul Thomas Anderson utilises the Spike Lee staple “double dolly” shot, seen most recently at the end of BlacKkKlansman. Here the camera is dollying, but Penn himself is also on a dolly, so that it seems he is floating across the floor. What’s cool about this one in particular is that PTA pulls the rug from under us and breaks the fourth wall, actually revealing Penn to be on the dolly. The corridor keeps going on thanks to changes of direction and clever camera movement, and Penn travels through different scenes along different parts of the corridor. It comes together in an impressive one-take music video that in intricacy almost rivals the opening shot of Boogie Nights. Plus it’s got a cameo a pretty good cameo by Philip Seymour Hoffman as a soundie, but unfortunately not as Scotty J.

Across the Universe – Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson has directed some magnificent music videos. Another honourable mention might be Fiona Apple’s ‘Fast As You Can, where PTA seemingly changes the lens multiple times mid-shot as a train comes racing into a subway station. His best one, though, has to be the Fiona Apple cover of ‘Across the Universe’. A stylish black and white single take (or two) follows Fiona as a 50s set diner (from Pleasantville) is ransacked around her. It’s beautifully staged and executed as the camera seems mesmerised by Apple and forgets about the carnage around her. It’s pretty hard to figure out how she’s singing (and spinning) in time while everything being destroyed behind and in front of her is in slow motion, but that’s the cost of watching a master have the freedom of a big budget music video to play with. Spot the cameo from PTA regular John C. Reilly. 

Weapon of Choice – Spike Jonze

Spike Jonze has done a lot of music videos and adverts through his prolific career, and even has a WatchMojo video dedicated to his top ten music videos. Here is one that really shows his directorial skill, and shares similarities in its crazy weirdness to his feature films like Being John Malkovich. It stars Christopher Walken as a bored concierge who decides to dance (and fly) in the middle of the night in the Marriott Hotel in LA. Because, you know, it’s Christopher Walken, and he’s actually a professionally trained dancer. It won 6 MTV awards as well as being ranked ‘Best Video of All Time’ in 2002 by VH1.

Six Days – Wong Kar-wai

One of the most distinctive and idiosyncratic directors alive, and certainly one of the most influential, Wong Kar-wai’s style seems perfect for the music video medium. Parts of Wong’s films, like the Dinah Washington/Toy Airplane scene in Chungking Express, the final scene in Happy Together, and just about the whole of In The Mood For Love, use music as centrepieces of their scenes, almost as key to the story as the characters themselves. What would Chungking Express be without ‘California Dreaming’, or Happy Together without…, well, ‘Happy Together’? Here Wong teams up with regular DoP Christoper Doyle to shoot this video for DJ Prayer in 2002. It’s even filled with references to the number 426, a nod to Wong’s upcoming film at the time, and sort-of-sequel to ITMFL, 2046. It kind of feels like a Wong Kar-wai showreel, as he throws in all his staples; hyper stylish martial arts, people looking in lots of mirrors and a woman lying on a bed sensually (although presumably in a lot of pain as she gets a tattoo). It also features his signature style of quick cuts, fast, off-axis camera movement, step-printed slow-motion and neon-drenched lighting.

Honourable mentions:

‘Vogue’ (Madonna) – David Fincher

‘I Just Don’t Know What To With Myself’ (The White Stripes) – Sofia Coppola

‘Come Into My World’ (Kylie Minogue) – Michel Gondry

‘Paper Bag’ (Fiona Apple) – Paul Thomas Anderson

‘Here With Me’ (The Killers) – Tim Burton

*By including ‘Thriller’ and ‘Bad’ in this list, we’re considering the work of the directors and their cultural impact, and it is not an endorsement of the musician’s proclivities.

Filed under: Directing, Filmmaking Career, In Our Opinion, Technical Craft, Web ContentTagged with: ,