If video killed the radio star, MIRRORBALL turns the wake into a party riot. The Edinburgh Film Festival's strand of cutting edge music videos enters its second year with a deluge of dazzling sound and vision. No longer is the music video just a promo marketing tool — in Mirrorball it becomes the art form for a new millennium. Filmmakers like Stephane Sednaoui (see below) lead the way as style auteurs, while collected programmes (over the page) highlight the distinctive moods of East and West. Words: Alan Morrison
WITH ONE FOOT in the world of fashion photography and the other bang in the middle of rock ’n' roll hedonism, Stephane Sednaoui has an enViable lifestyle. When he’s not snapping babelicious models or mOVIe stars, he's setting the mum of Tricky, U2, Garbage and BJOrk to stunning visuals. Either that, or hanging out With girlfriend Kylie Minogue. So it’s surprising to finally meet the man behind the images and realise there’s not an ounce of ego on him
Sednaoui left Paris for New York in 1991 With covers and Spreads from Rol/ing Stone, Premiere and the hippest style mags in his portfolio It was his sensuous video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' ’Give It Away’ — Silver bodies gyrating in the desert that broke him into the music market, Since then, he’s made some of the truly seminal works of recent years —- Bierk's Joyous 'Big Time Sensuality', Alanis Morissette's four- in-a-car 'lronic', U2's glitterball ’Discotheque' — but still spends time in his photography studio.
'Visually, they’re very similar, but they're really very different media for me,’ says the Frenchman of his parallel career. ’When I want to do something simple, very personal and intimate, it's photography; when I make a video, I know that intimacy Will be hard to get, so it's more Visual But in the end, they're both talking about the same thing, which is emotion and energy'
Perhaps because he (ornes from a photographer’s background, Sednaoui's Videos never lose sight of the human figures at their centre and it’s the performer, not the technical gimmicks, who holds the attention. His work is like a rnowng portrait, capturing the personality of the artist rather than using the music to propel a short narrative Pre-shoot planning involves Creative bfc'llllSIOTlTllllg wrth the artists, but the overall concept tends to be his Which means here is the man who persuaded U2 to dress up as The Village People in ’Discothegue’
’Bono was explaining to me the references they had for that song Donna Summer, disco, The Village People,‘ he remembers 'And I said, "Yeah' You know what, it would be really good if the four of you dressed as The Village People " Arid Bono was, like, “Ehlihhhhhh Yeah, okay," I always knew it would be really cool to do a Village People thing'
Stephane Sednaoui Retrospective (Film Festival) Filmhouse. Edinburgh, 0131 467 8855, 18 Aug, 9.30pm, £6 (£4). Photographs and Video Installation. Edinburgh College of Art, until 30 Aug, 10am—5pm.
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Model Shalom Harlow by Stephane Sednaoui 15—21 Aug 1997 THE US? 29