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· Culture Notes: Music Video Art

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Culture Notes: Music Video Art
by The Kindly One

When I cancelled my cable subscription several years ago, I was most upset to have to lose MTV and music videos (this was pre-YouTube). Though there's plenty of drivel out there, music videos can be a great way to see what's next in filmmaking - the ideas, technical innovations, and themes that will be driving the next film and videography movements, as well as cultural conversations. The best among them also serve as lessons in film conception and realization. That said, here's a handful of well-conceived and brilliantly realized videos that have stood out as great examples of music video art.


I love the simplicity of this music video. It's basically a straight shot for three minutes, and yet it tells a complete story. The choreography and cinematography are impeccable, as well, the cinematography particularly. This video is a bit like The Hills, in that the photography and lighting serve as pivotal to the storytelling. Plus, you can't knock the Donnie Darko reference.


This video is an utter heartbreaker and a great example of translating music into a visual medium. The story is visually narrated without obviousness, and I'm impressed with the choice that even the animation should resemble something broken-down and thrown out, like a very bad, poorly preserved late 60s versions of a Hans Christian Anderson tale.


This is probably my favorite music video of all time. It takes a truly creative mind to take this song and make it into the odyssey of a milk carton. I appreciate how the carton is characterized in such a way that it's just cute enough without veering into corniness. And let's face it: Blur and the song itself are almost irrelevant when you have such an endearing, watchable character as this.

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4/11/2009 [3]

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