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

  • Reunited We Stand
  • Reunited We Stand

    With major provisions of Trump's executive order put on temporary hold, 11 Iraqi refugees reunite with their families in Spokane
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • Working Blue
  • Working Blue

    Spokane police officer under fire for profanity; plus, Tomi Lahren — and her opinions — are coming to town
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • 'Cautiously Optimistic'
  • 'Cautiously Optimistic'

    Spokane Public Schools has seen improvement since committing to reducing suspensions, but the hardest part is yet to come
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • More »

Comments


Comments are closed.

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Mammoths & Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age

Mammoths & Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 7

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

  • We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight

    Why we're filling the streets to protest Trump's inhumane, dangerous policies
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • Obscene Gestures

    Spokane political party leaders hope to harness post-election passion into civil discourse. But so far, there's only been more strife
    • Feb 9, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


Comment


do something


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
  • Urgency of Change
  • Urgency of Change

    One Spokane County commissioner is facing a challenge from an attorney pushing for quicker criminal justice reform
    • Sep 29, 2016

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation