Lately, I’ve been thinking about MTV. Remember when they played music videos? Did you ever think that some of those directors would go on to bigger and better things in the late 90’s and 2000’s?
MTV created a generation of filmmakers who made efficiency a priority. When you direct a video, you only had three to five minutes to put a song into visuals… to communicate to the audience what the band was about. And mainly about communicating how cool the band is. Early music videos were disparaged for being glorified commercials. While the videos evolved into incorporating more artistry, the commercial instincts are still there.
Tarsem Singh, the director of REM’s “Losing My Religion” would use his talents in creating eye-catching visuals with movies like The Fall (pictures above), The Cell, and Mirror, Mirror. Other directors known for their visual touches are Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind) and Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich). It’s inseparable. You feel cheated if you watch a Tarsem Singh movie and no one is wearing a wicker basket helmet.
But visuals aren’t the only approach. Sometimes it’s like Michael Bay, Brett Ratner (Rush Hour), McG (Charlie’s Angels), or Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean), who used their skills at visual shorthand to fit as many action scenes in a movie as possible. The bombast of Meat Loaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love” … transforms …. into Transformers: Dark of the Moon. This is probably the most maligned bunch, but they have a reputation for delivering big set pieces and working quickly. It’s rather stunning when you realize that Bay directed 5 Transformers movies in 10 years. That’s a Transformer movie every two years!
Then there are the likes of David Fincher or Antoine Fuqua, directors who specialize in the psychological. It’s been said that Fincher’s videos are the best at selling the artist themselves. His “Vogue” video, for example, does a lot of close-ups on Madonna, as if he’s bringing the viewer into her aura. Like, you are all up in her face. Does he use the same technique in movies, such as the Social Network, to create an intimacy between his characters and the audience?
Today’s prompt: What is you favorite movie directed by a someone who got their start in music videos?
Bonus bonus prompt: What is your favorite video from that director?
Avocado Movie Review Round-up:
Building Entertainment: The Animated Films of the Walt Disney Studio. Live-action Edition. The Shaggy Dog
LGBT Movies: Zero Patience (1993)
Bagel Over the White House: The Siege (1998)
Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three Rewatch: Ant-man and the Wasp
Millennial Malaise 13: The Thirteenth Floor
Made Overseas: Let the Corpses Tan (2017)
WTF ASIA 50: The Last Supper (2012)