Amazing Music Videos : Around the World by Daft Punk

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.


Amazing Music Videos: the Genius of Björk and Michel Gondry

Michel Gondry is a French video and movie director (Human Nature, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, etc.) who collaborated with Björk since her “Debut” album. The two of them have a fruitful partnership, which resulted in several amazing videos. I read somewhere that Gondry found Björk especially inspiring, leading him to trust his creative instinct more. Björk found an interesting interpretor in Gondry (they have a tight collaboration, however, and it seems Björk is very much involved in the process). I want to underline here the interest Gondy had in expressing Björk’s singularity through his concepts and visuals.

You will find below links to the beautiful and moving “Bachelorette”, with its incredible narrative illustrated by several “mises en abîmes”, frames within frames, stories within stories, that eventually come fill circle, when the first story finally reclaims the narrative. Indeed, as shown in his directing works, Gondry often seems more interested in promoting a narrative rather that promoting the artist per se, by putting him/her upfront and center. A certain balance needs to be found.

I invite you to also watch the visually stunning “Isobel”, and of course, the slightly bizarre yet very enjoyable “Human behaviour”, the video that started it all.