Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by Marty Demarest


A few years ago, "former music video director" was about the worst thing that you could say about a feature-film director. And it still comes up as a derogative label, along with phrases like "MTV-style editing" and "pop sensibility."


But anymore, critics who say things like that need to pull their heads out of their screening rooms and take a refresher course in contemporary filmmaking. Not only have major mainstream directors like David Fincher (Fight Club, Panic Room) and Michael Bay (Bad Boys II) come from the world of music videos, but so have some of the most innovative artists working in film today. Most prominent among them is Spike Jonze, who directed the critically lauded Being John Malkovich and Adaptation.


Jonze is the director who had the inspiration to feature Christopher Walken in the music video for Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice." Cast as a bored, aging traveling businessman, Walken hears a song playing on a nearby stereo and begins dancing through an empty hotel lobby. It's deliriously fun, and when he starts flying through the air, Jonze achieves a level of inspiration that most directors never manage to put onscreen once in an entire career.


That video, along with 15 others, is included in a beautiful collection from Palm Pictures, along with a substantial 52-page book. Each video -- from Bjork's "It's Oh So Quiet," to the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" -- is entertaining enough to sustain multiple viewings. And there's a surprising amount of emotional and intellectual material on display here, too. There are also several short films and documentaries. How They Get There is one of the funniest shorts I've ever seen; it's a one-joke movie, so saying anything about it would give it away -- but the joke is astonishing. And Torrance Rises, which is a mockumentary about Jonze's live appearance (as the dancer from Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" video) on the MTV Video Music Award, out-Guffmans the movie Waiting for Guffman, since most of the people onscreen aren't in on the joke.


No, music videos -- when they're done Spike Jonze-style -- are more cinematic than most movies. They do away with plot and dialogue, which are remnants from novels and theater, and concentrate on motion, technology and mood. That's not enough to sustain a feature film. But Jonze shows that, by perfecting those components, a director can bring something to movies that most directors overlook. Not to mention the critics.





Publication date: 10/30/03

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Crash > Click > Cash
  • Crash > Click > Cash

    Lawyers and chiropractors already have your name, your address and the police report from your car accident — and they want you to hire them
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Starting Small
  • Starting Small

    A village of tiny houses in Spokane Valley could serve as a model for fighting homelessness in the region
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Drastic Action
  • Drastic Action

    Spokane among seven school districts sued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction; plus, trio of police-chief finalists are in town
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion

Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion @ Mobius Science Center

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Lane Ends Ahead

    Spokane wants to improve a mile-long section of Monroe — but that means taking away two lanes
    • Jul 7, 2016
  • Too Smart for School

    What happens when a 12-year-old prodigy tries to go to college in Spokane?
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

green zone


marijuana


Briefs


Election 2016


trail mix


Readers also liked…

  • Patrolling While Black
  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • Grazed and Confused
  • Grazed and Confused

    Washington regulators won a case confirming their authority over ranchers, but advocates say the state has been cowed
    • Dec 23, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation