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Entries in music videos (39)

Wednesday
Oct222014

'Running for your life from Shia Labeouf'

Love this so much.

The world needs more certifiably looney celebrities because they inspire such great great pop culture moments. I can't even pick a favorite moment in this song because every word is awesome.

Tuesday
Oct072014

Familiar Faces: The David Fincher Players

Up until The Social Network (2010), when a version of this article first appeared, David Fincher was, moderately, a creature of habit when it came to casting. Certain character actors would pop up in miniature roles in more than one film though only one star was a recurring lead (Brad Pitt). Since then it's been more of a free for all with (mostly) new faces in his films.

For Gone Girl it's all new faces but for three men who you'll miss if you blink:

Darin Cooper, Brett Leigh, and Lee Norris

Brett Leigh appears as a nervous intern (he was previously a Phoenix Club hazer in The Social Network); Lee Norris, best known for "One Tree Hill" and "Boy Meets World," shows up as "Officer Washington" after a gig in Zodiac; and Darin Cooper, who played one of Facebook's lawyers in The Social Network, returns as  "Moustached Man"

We hope next time Fincher finds a way to reuse these three and pulls more performers from his past, too. Why? When directors apply previous actors like favorite daubs of paint from their auteurial palettes, it adds a little magic, don't you think? It's like the films are all part of the same universe no matter how different they are. Let's investigate further with...

The David Fincher Acting Hierarchy
(Quantitatively Speaking)


4 Films. 
There's a three way tie for the top honor, each beating Brad Pitt by one film, albeit with much much smaller roles...

• Richmond Arquette 
Yes, that's the least famous member of the Arquette clan (brother to Alexis, David, Rosanna & Patricia). Fincher gives him tiny roles but some are key: he makes the dread box delivery at the end of Se7en, makes the first two kills in Zodiac and he's also in Fight Club and Benjamin Button. He recently had a fine co-leading showcase in Chad Hartigan's This is Martin Bonner.

• Christopher John Fields 
He stretches the furthest back with the director, all the way to Fincher's debut feature Alien³ (1992) where he played "Rains" one of the first victims of the acid-blooded beastie (pictured left), poor guy. He's also The Game's Detective Boyle, Fight Club's dry cleaning man and a copy editor in Zodiac. He appears to no longer be working, though.

• Bob Stephenson 
You might recognize this actor from series regular gigs on TV's Jericho or The Forgotten. He's part of the SWAT team in Se7en (pictured left), a security officer in Fight Club and a killer in both The Game and Zodiac. He recently appeared on an episode of both Agents of SHIELD and Mom.

3 Films
Much more and this man that needs no introduction...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug252014

The Best Film of 1989 That Wasn't

Glenn here to discuss a lil something from 1989, but first a divergence to the modern day.

Last night’s MTV Video Music Awards were like stepping into a pop culture gulag. It’s easy to get misty-eyed thinking about VMA ceremonies of years past, when the network actually showed music videos and the form felt truly like art. Despite being aware of last night’s winner, “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus the icky Terry Richardson, I don’t claim to have near enough knowledge of modern music videos to truly complain. It does seem harder to imagine Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, or Pearl Jam winning these days though, doesn’t it? Are there brilliant works that just aren’t being recognized?

It’s been some time since videos were genuine pop culture moments and the internet certainly doesn’t help. Beyoncé appears to be the only one who’s been able to recreate the buzz of sitting around to watch the premiere of a new Michael Jackson or Madonna video. Most importantly, however, formative years are no longer spent watching music videos hoping to find our new favorite song and reveling in visual genius, rather we leave that to YouTube, iTunes and Spotify while we binge-watch sitcoms on Netflix instead.

Which brings me to 1989. If it weren’t for 1989 we wouldn’t have David Fincher. The future Oscar-nominated director had successes before ’89, but his two collaborations with Madonna that year – “Oh Father” and “Express Yourself” – as well as “Vogue” a year later feel like true moments of breakthrough genius. Whenever I tell fans of David Fincher that they should thank Madonna they balk, but isn’t it kind of true?

“Express Yourself” lost the video of the year award to Neil Young’s “This Note’s For You”, but much like a lot of Madonna’s music career, time has proven that she wasn’t just a momentary flash in the pan spurred on by a public wanting what’s new and shiny. Fincher’s video took liberal inspiration from Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent sci-fi classic Metropolis and gave it a slick and sexualized make-over (before blue filters were over-used). For mine, it remains the best thing David Fincher has ever directed – although, ever the contrarian, I don’t quite know if his maturing directorial instincts are for the better. Rather I find myself getting less excited for each new Fincher film and the very insular heterosexual male worlds they appear to inhabit. Will Gone Girl will change that?

Madonna has always been obsessed with cinema, old and new. She and Fincher would prove that again most famously one year later with “Vogue” with its recreations of the Golden Age of Hollywood as well as Isaac Julien's Looking for Langston. Every cent of Express Yourself's then record-breaking $5mil budget is on screen and it’s heightened, boldly stylized aesthetic is the exact kind that Baz Luhrmann was recreating with Moulin Rouge! over a decade later. From the rain-soaked underclass below to the sensual art-deco with modern twist of Madge’s world up top, “Express Yourself” surpasses even some of the work nominated for art direction and cinematography Oscars that year. Who remembers the sets of Driving Miss Daisy, you know? In a neat twist, Tim Burton’s Batman won the former category, itself also inspired by Metropolis. And remember when they went via satellite to present awards in England? Yikes!

The overt homoeroticism. The power of the pussy. The rally cry of the woman. It’s certainly a video that informed my early years a lot, and would go on to inspire my predilection for excessively stylish cinema as well as bold interpretations of eras. The “Express Yourself” video holds up better than most films of 1989, but perhaps works best of all as a beacon not only for Fincher’s career, but as an encapsulation of where cinema could and eventually would go in the following decades from Quentin Tarantino to endless remakes and reboots. By repurposing Metropolis, everything old was new again. Something we still see the effects of today.

Monday
Aug042014

Linkbusters

HitFix Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) may well remake Ghostbusters with a female cast. I'm normally against do-overs unless you significantly reinvent so best wishes to all
Roger Ebert the Jacques Demy collectio. WANT
MNPP Lee Pace & Matt Bomer went to high school together. Awwww
MNPP which is hotter, Dick (1999) anniversary!
Guardian Christina Hendricks interviewed about Mad Men and more. Her original agency dropped her when she took the Joan Harris part. D'oh!
Gothamist funny Julie Klausner on Jonathan Demme's Stop Making Sense
Shortpacked! a webcomic for everyone like me who feels totally alone in not liking Guardians of the Galaxy very much 
Coming Soon a boring onset shot of Daredevil's altar ego Matt Murdock in his lawyer drag from the new Netflix series
AV Club talks to Brendan Gleeson abouv Calvary, Harry Potter and more
Cinema Blend they're making Richard Linklater's School of Rock into a TV series
Nick's Flick Picks Nick and Joe have completed their choices for the "best of" the year's first half with leading performances and Best Picture. Good smart read with lots of love for Blue Ruin, Only Lovers Left Alive, Edge of Tomorrow
Coming Soon James Gunn teases work on Guardians of the Galaxy sequel. Whew, already?
Comics Alliance Comparing Guardians to The Last Starfighter, an 80s sci-fi flick
Boy Culture reviews Oscar winner Lee Grant's autobiography "I'd Still Say Yes" 
Slant Magazine reviews a biography on Joss Whedon 

Cast This! It appears that there's going to be a movie called Russ & Roger Go Beyond about the making of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970). Who should play that infamous movie's celebrated writer Roger Ebert?

Finally...
Why did no one tell me about Vance Joy's "Riptide" which is now as far as I can tell like a year old. Love the emphatic fantasy of this lyric, duh!

 

I just gotta, I just gotta know
I can't have it, I can't have it any other way
I swear she's destined for the screen
Closest thing to Michelle Pfeiffer that you've ever seen, oh 

Wednesday
Jul162014

These Actresses Are Just One of the Guys

abstew here. This year marks the 25th anniversary of one of the my favorite movies growing up, Troop Beverly Hills. (I mistakenly thought the woman with curly red hair on the VHS cover was my beloved Bette Midler, but when I realized it wasn't, I loved the movie too much to care and made my parents rent it at least once a month.) But all those times I watched those Wilderness Girls singing about the virtues of Cookie Time, I never thought that the actress playing Shelley Long's daughter, Hannah Nefler, would grow up to be my absolute favorite singer/songwriter Jenny Lewis. She writes the songs that make me remember that I have feelings. If you opened my chest it would be in the shape of Jenny Lewis.

KStew, singer Jenny Lewis, Brie Larson, and Annie Hathaway

After a brief stint as a child star (even appearing on an episode of The Golden Girls and, more importantly, in the film that introduced the world to Super Mario Brothers 3), she later became the lead singer of the indie band Rilo Kiley. Even though the band broke up in 2011, she hasn't stopped making music and her new album "The Voyager" comes out on July 29th. For the first single, Just One of the Guys, she even enlisted some famous actresses to appear alongside her in the video, which she also directed.

Kristen Stewart, Anne Hathaway, and Brie Larson appear as themselves as her all-in-white back-up band, but then also hilariously take on the personas of some track suit-sporting bros. Annie plays a sensitive, rat-tailed break dancer. Brie actually kinda looks like a cute boy that every girl in middle school would have a crush on because of his non-threatening, vaguely feminine demeanor. And the MVP of the video has to be KStew who seems to be enjoying herself more here than I think I've ever seen her before. I hope some studio executive is watching this video and already casting her as a young rapper in Michigan living on 8 Mile. Or the Justin Beiber story. Cause I've never seen her so free and loose. It's fun to see.

Question #1 These three ladies in drag: Do, Dump, or Marry?

 

 

Lewis probably enlisted Hathaway to appear in the video as she, along with her boyfriend Johnathan Rice (who appeared as Roy Orbison in Walk the Line), composed the music for the indie musical film starring the Oscar-winner, Song Onethat debuted at Sundance earlier in the year. Lewis can also be heard at the movies this summer as she wrote the music for the coming-of-age indie Very Good Girls starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen, available now on VOD and in limited release later this month.

Question #2: Which 3 actresses would you cast in your own music video (cross-dressing optional)? 

Wednesday
May212014

Sashay Away? Bianca, Adore, Courtney

Another May, another round of goodbyes to RuPaul's Drag Race finalists. Bianca Del Rio, one of the best and certainly funniest contestants in the history of RPDR took the crown on Monday night and the onehundredthou$anddolla. Now all three will sashay away...

Or will they?

Click to read more ...

Friday
May162014

We Exist

Always up for movie stars headlining music videos. Here's Andrew Garfield in Arcade Fire's "We Exist"