Home > blogging for Britain > Return of the pop video

Return of the pop video

When I were a lad, the pop video was the medium of choice for those at the vanguard of visual creativity. The best directors showed a level of inspiration and flair that put their counterparts in cinema to shame, and, free from the stifling focus-group led restraints of major studios (or advertisers) produced some truly brilliant work. Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Chris Cunningham, Walter Stern and Hammer & Tongs quickly became the go-to guys for agency creatives who wanted to appropriate some of that magic. To check the “Let Forever Be” video out you’ll have to cick this link as EMI don’t permit embedding and it was flagged immediately when we tried to upload it.

Then, as file sharing took hold and record company revenues declined faster than Gordon Brown’s reputation, budgets were slashed and the medium’s influence declined accordingly. Gondry and Spike Jonze decamped to Hollywood, Garth Jennings from Hammer & Tongs also turned to cinema, and as MTV’s cultural relevance disappeared up a You Tube, it was left to the likes of OK Go to demonstrate that the medium was not entirely moribund.

So it was with some excitement and a sense of nostalgia that I viewed this 9 minute spot from M.I.A. After the success of Paper Planes – her amazing appropriation of Straight to Hell (one of my favourite Clash songs) – she could have embraced the mainstream and struck out for global fame. Instead, she opted to go with director Romain Gavras, and this NSFW epic (I’m glad I don’t work in a ‘normal’ office). It’s not in the same league as those videos I’ve posted above, but at least she’s trying.

WARNING: Apparently this is violent and explicit, but it’s far less offensive than the Daily Mail and millions of people shamelessly read that every day… watch it at your own risk.

Categories: blogging for Britain
  1. boingster
    May 4, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    your choices are fairly normal – check these out


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