Indie-eye is the first Italian magazine with a web portal entirely dedicated to music videos. Active since 2005, it deals with cinema and music videos on the side of videomakers and creativity. This is our top ten selection regarding the most beautiful and innovative music videos of 2019.
#1 Best Music Videos of 2019: Sebastian – Thirst – Directed by Gaspar Noé
Set at the Bourbon Hotel, a Parisian club located at 39 Rue des Petites Écuries, the clip shows the ritual and bestial dynamics described by the global news. A man annoys a woman until she hits her violently. The hell is around the corner. Photographed by talented Benoît Debie, the music video directed by Gaspar Noé is a violent and extreme planesequence. Is very interesting the the way in which sound and image interact. The noises, the broken bottles, the sound design, are confused with Sebastian’s glitches and distorted saturations, as if it were a jam between en directe sound and synthetic music.
#2 Best Music Videos of 2019: Madonna – God Control – Directed by Jonas Åkerlund
New York. An hotel room and an unmade bed. It is 3 in the morning. Madame X inserts a sheet of paper into the typewriter and taps on the keys. On the wall Frida Kahlo, Simone de Beauvoir and Angela Davis portraits. Time begins to flow backwards and the first images of a violent massacre interfere with writing. The colors are those of a late seventies club, the Danceteria or the Studio 54, but the bodies no longer dance, riddled with a ruthless killer who could have the face of David Mark Chapman or simply that of an ordinary man. Jonas Åkerlund returns to collaborate with Madonna and brings together with his visionary fury, forty years of creative history in the light of the destructive drift that has replaced fun with death.
#3 Best Music Videos of 2019: The Jungle Giants “Heavy Hearted”, Directed by: Schall & Schnabel
The amazing Schall & Schnabel have applied this new After Effects feature called Content Aware Fill into the new video realized for The Jungle Giants. “Heavy Hearted” is a surprising example of video painting that brings us back to that “virginity” linked to John Sanborn’s experiments with the Paintbox. Here the relationship between dancing bodies and the environment merges, because the German duo exploits the defects of the image to invent a new fusion between portions of the digital space, effectively controlling and exploiting creatively what in other contexts we would have perceived as a “Corruption” of the current image. The movement of the dancers really paints the space, deletes it, merges it and recreates it, bringing us back to the origins of something that finds contact with music again, between form and color. The bodies take on the essence of the environment, of street art, of an architecture that is already an integral part of their movements. Bodies create and erase.
#4 Best Music Videos 0f 2019: Kim Gordon – Air BnB – Directed By Kim Gordon
“What happens to a an unreleased movie?” The question was asked by Bertrand Bonello to launch his radio collaboration with France Culture. The series of “Films fantômes” was programmed in a darkened room for a real audience and then later broadcast on the radio. Sounds were at the center and images could only be dreamed of, produced as a remnant of a threatening nightmare that suggested what they could have been. Film of the imagination without the industrial device, towards a feeling of loss that removes the ghosts of the screen, reflections already dead and sent to death during each projection. This post-image goes through a moment in the cinema of Marguerite Duras (L’homme atlantique), contaminates the “Blue” color of Derek Jarman, emerges like dust between words and bodies in Alain Resnais’ “L’amour A Mort” and occupies at least 75 minutes of “Branca De Neve”, the most extreme film and “at the limit ”By João César Monteiro, from which I had the opportunity to be absorbed during the Venice festival in 2000. With the dominion of the word, the image finds its most intimate essence. Who knows if Kim Gordon thought of this concept when she decided to support the new single from “No home record” with an operation very close to the intuitions mentioned. In “Air BnB” there are more layers. While the lyrics play with one of the most recent “icons” of global habitability, with that rhythmic abstraction that we know well: “Air bnb / Air bnb / Air bnb / Could set me free”; the sentences that follow one another on the black screen build different images, stimulating the roots and seeds of the narration itself: the words.
#5 Best Music Videos of 2019: Lana Del Rey – Doin’ Time – Directed by Rich Lee
Rich Lee is one of the most talented directors of the new millennium and deserves a detailed study. With Lana Del Rey he established a partnership starting from 2017, shooting the beautiful video of “Love”, perfectly cut out on the iconic mythology of the New York singer and at the same time, small essay on the digital image, between found footage true, reconstructed, presumed and incredible perceptive leaps in the memory of images. “Doin ‘Time” is more fixed in its temporal patina and plays with the vintage frame in an explicit way, recovering a science fiction b-movie classic such as “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman”, reinterpreted through the parodic spirit of Fred Olen Ray, who in the 1990s directed a much more sexualized remake, entitled “Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold”. Del Rey comes to terms with her ego and makes fun of herself, in her indolent wander around Los Angeles, while pointing towards Venice Beach, then escaping from the screen of a drive-in and scaring another Lana dressed in common clothes . Playful metavisual fantasy, disengaged, but no less aware, moves in the “fetish” path that has helped to build the whole imagination of the American performer, based on the exaltation of a strongly sexualized model in heterosexual terms, where the submission deduced from the female passivity of the fifties, it is relaunched according to glamor coordinates. “You’re not good for me – Lana sang in “Diet Mountain Dew” – but baby, i want you”. From abuse that is elevated to a consumable item to Macrophilia as an inverted extreme of that same model. The “Giantesses” in the male fantasy of submission, dominate, crush and devour. Lana once again takes their desires and tramples them, allowing Elizabeth Woolridge Grant to live beyond that reflection.
#6 Best Music Videos of 2019: Foals – Exits – Directed Albert Moya
Apparently the video of “Exits” contains dozens of films, as many as memory can recombine in the relationship with the experience, in a third space of a virtual nature. Moya shows the continuous “exits” from the three worlds (memory, life, virtuality) when the gesture is about to meet or on the contrary, has just overcome the effect of visual representation. The result is that of the explosion of one climax inside the other, a procedure that could mistakenly be assimilated to that of a trailer, but which is the result of a very precise “post-modern” strategy of destructuring the story, where the link it is maintained rhythmically through the frequency of repeated gestures. Filmed in Budapest and played by the two young Christa Théret (already in Assayas’ latest “Non-Fiction”) and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark in the HBO “Game of Thrones” series) in the role of two lovers, both athletes in a strange fencing academy from almost clandestine characteristics, he uses a cross-media imagery that combines all Moya’s experiences, from visuals to fashion movies, from attention to architectural volumes to the skilful use of artificial lights, just think of the wonderful sequence in which Théret is crossed by a bundle of LED lights, as if it were remapped starting from the projection of a virtual simulacrum. The references to psychic control and to the link with a simulated world through the consensual sharing of a digitally recreated reality are explicit and reach a remarkable poetic level when the faces of the two lovers overlap through the reflection on the glass wall that separates them; room where everything seems to originate.
#7 Best Music Videos of 2019: Kaho Nakamura – Kittone! – Directed by Sivan Kidron
Sivan Kidron is an extraordinary 2D animator who studied between Tel Aviv and London and who currently lives and works mainly in the British city. His projects lie halfway between the various forms of illustration and the world of animation.Made with the black and white halftone technique, “Kittone!” Is an extraordinary journey into the infinite possibilities of form. Windows that open others, boxes that open inside new ones, like mirrors that reflect themselves, opening the way to an infinite horizon, where the movement and the processing of color, when suddenly erupts, bring us back to the intimate and original sense of animated cinema. Try to see Kittone in the frame of this article, to understand how the incorporation effect breaks the boundaries destined for the content, opening other spaces between the black of the stroke and the white of the page.
#8 Best Music Videos of 2019: Clipping – Blood on the fang– Directed by Lars Jan
British director Lars Jan, the son of emigrants from Poland and Afghanistan, but naturalized in Los Angeles, is also director of Early Morning Opera, a multidisciplinary laboratory specializing in live experiences. Like many of the best directors around, he moves between video art, installations, visuals and other forms that flow into his video clips. He presented his works almost everywhere from Canada to the United States, up to Istanbul. The first inspiration for “Blood on the fang” comes from a photograph of Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther, while handcuffed in a hospital, he was being treated for a wound in the abdomen caused by a firearm, after a clash with the Oakland police in October of 1967. The song of “Clipping” is built on a sample of the soundtrack written by Sam Waymon for the film “Ganja & Hess”, directed in 1973 by Bill Gunn, a true cult movie in the field of black culture and of which there is a recent remake directed by Spike Lee with the title of “The Blood of Christ” (From Sweet Blood of Jesus). Daveed Diggs’ fantasy builds a lyrical medium that allows him to re-imagine the history of the movements of the black political activism of the seventies, reinterpreted through a pulp-horror lens. Lars Jan points backwards on two elements, while pushing extreme gore to the maximum. The first of the two is linked to the visual patterns created by the lighting equipment. What might appear to be a hospital like a morgue is illuminated by a series of devices that Jan films with the optical suggestions of the avant-garde in his head, and then replaces that scopic dimension with the violence of a really effective and disturbing Cronenberghian body horror movie. Mechanical devices that dialogue with the organic world, merging thanks to a mix between CGI and prosthetics.
#9 Best Music Videos of 2019: The Killers – Land of the Free – Directed by Spike Lee
Absent from the scenes since 2017, the Brandon Flowers’ band returns with a new song that was in the drawer since 2012, when the Sandy Hook primary school massacre is shown by all the media in the country. A feeling of revolt, that of “The Killers”, which grows and develops during the last years of Trump administration and with the vision of “13”, the documentary by Ava DuVernay on the aforementioned slaughter. Feelings and political vision that converge in “Land of the free” and in the engagement of Spike Lee for the realization of the music video, chosen by Flowers himself after the vision of BlacKkKlansman. The African American director adopts a purely documentary style and personally goes to the border during the last months of 2018, filming the caravans of migrants, the tent cities of asylum seekers and the clashes of San Ysidro, where the American army fired tear gas and bullets of gum against the civilian population. The sea, a kite flying over the barbed wire border between Tijuana and Imperial Beach, the faces and portraits of an entire people on the march, decline an otherwise raw work, from a highly lyrical-poetic perspective, so as to infuse the strength of a choral elevation that only with images approaches the form of gospel singing.
#10 Best Music Videos of 2019: Smoky Mo – Moziarty – Directed by Andrey Trevgoda
Muscovite Andrey Trevgoda lives in New York and has made a good number of commercials, two narrative short films and a handful of video clips mostly for Russian artists. As far as we are concerned, he is a real talent. “Moziarty” is the new video he has made for the Russian rapper Smoky Mo and is an excellent summary of the work done by ours so far. Internet art, cut-ups between 3D modeling and Vfx, original live action, digital aesthetics that contaminate everything from hypertrophic rhythms of editing to the continuous reconfiguration of the reference frames. For suggestions and analogies BRTHR comes to mind, but with a vision and an ability to create truly surprising sense. Add to this the fact that Trevogda has shot in 16mm, recombining his work with the creative strenght of new technologies.