A great music video usually builds on the strenght(s) of the song – powerful lyrics, intense vocal/musical performance, overall atmosphere, … – to enhance it and convey emotions. That may be why so many successful music video directors are also movie directors. It’s the same idea in film, where directors enhance a script by creatively building on its strenghts.
But one might wonder how a music video director can succeed in enhancing, say, something like “club” music?… I usually listen to singer/songwriters, so to me, getting inspired by beats and a few repetitive lyrics, however catchy they are, poses somewhat of a challenge… Yet, this Amazing Music Videos list already featured two success stories: Weapon of Choice and Praise you by Fatboy Slim, both directed by Spike Jonze. The video for “Around the World”, by French electronic band Daft Punk, is another great example.
The creative mind of French director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Human Nature, several wonderful Bjork videos) came up with a world where squeletons, mommies, synchronized swimmers, robots, and giant though small-headed athletes dance around together on a vinyl record in a disco-style setting. The idea is quite simple: each group of dancers represent a specific sound/rythm. It’s a visual representation of the song itself. Clever indeed.
With the artistic direction Gondry and his team had taken, the thing they absolutely couldn’t afford to miss was the dancing. And they didn’t, it is very well-executed. The jerky moves fit really well with both the song and the characters portrayed (athough the mommies’ smooth moves at 1:28 is a memorable part of the choreography).
The overall result is a completely hypnotic video, which will make you “see” the song in a new light, so to speak.