When done poorly music videos can just be a way to show off, sit down and have a tedious conversation or have a dance off between people for about three minutes. But at it’s best they can be as conceptual as some of the greatest movies and give abstract film making a run for its money. In this article I’ll try to highlight some music videos that I believe deserve high praise because of their concept cinematography and execution.
Kimbra – “Settle Down”
Directed by Guy Franklin
Guy Franklin presents Arguably one of the most frame conscious and composition pleasing video’s I’ve seen to date. One thing you may notice off the bat is how symmetry is not only a main point in this video but how it is used to illustrate what the story’s message is. Displaying how picture perfect the idea of settling down can be with the struggle of the main character and her attempt to keep everything perfect for not only who she love but also the ideal life that she so longs for. And honestly this description doesn’t give it enough credit.
JoeyBada$$ – “No.99”
Directed by Rik Cordero
With some civil unrest happening in America, JoeyBada$$ takes the opportunity to highlight some anger and frustration in this action packed and hard hitting music video. What I think is a major reason this video is such a success is it’s use of camera movement, filters and synchronicity along with the video itself. And although where most would abuse these effects, Cordero make these things very situtional, only making still camera like transition while the sounds are in play and only using filters when the video and sound have an impact due to those in the film causing destruction. The use of krump dance styles also help for the hard hitting beat, sudden camera movement and filters aswell. The fake news story at the beginning might be a bit cheesy but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded I promise.
J.A.M feat. Jose James “Jazzy Joint”
Off the bat this one seems a bit slow and the characters with the frame don’t really contribute to an overall story or theme. The highlight in this one is not really the storytelling but execution. We are introduced to what seems to be a band in animal costumes. As they play around and have a good time we really get hooked by the moment of them starts to play a piano solo. We get fade in’s and fade out’s from various members of the band as the solo starts to pick up speed and with it we are shown the hands of this master of the piano without the actual piano. Along the way we get a weird fixation with apples and picture frames. A video that doesn’t take itself too seriously and seems to be just masters at there craft just having a good time and showing off.
Erland Øye – “Garota”
Directed by Michael Beech
Director Micheal Beech delivers a love story with a bit of a twist. Instead of having the goals of the two getting together instead it focuses on the two having incompatible lifestyles. Which is ok for these two who are not ready to settle down and are ok with this. The film highlights how their culture, lifestyles work and status does not allow them to be with each other at the moment with lyrics chanting, “our paths will cross another time”. With hopes that one day they will meet again when the time for them is right. The most impressive thing about this video is how it shows the theme of the world being so small and the passing of time. It showcases small interactions and the impact it can have on us and the future we have although it is not decided.
Ween – “Roses are free”
Directed by Rob Schrab
Not one of the weirdest music video’s I’ve seen but definitely a honorable mention. While being fun, silly full of and early 2000s style this video has a lot of symbolism. The main theme is to enjoy yourself but not to trust anything that seems good to be true. What really stands out in this video is it’s style and kooky characters. A couple of the themes can be a bit disturbing to some but nothing really offensive or crazy.