Forget the movies — pop videos are the most exciting and innovative films in the world. That's
has been arguing for the past
three years at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and now the case is being made in a six- ,part TV series. Words: Brian Donaldson
WE'VE COME AN AWFUL LONG WAY SINCE the pseudo-psychedelic rock-operetta imagery which accompanied Queen‘s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody" in 1975. That was the moment when the notion of the ‘pop video' was truly born. Now. some of the world‘s most creative talents with hands on a camera are invading your homes via anything from 24-hour cable coverage to Saturday morning kids telly. Not that you'd know it — band. song and album details are the fullest information you‘ll get with a music video‘s transmission. ignoring the fact that the project is an artistic expression in itself rather than just some flashy images to accompany musicians‘ doodlings.
The six-part Mirror/ml! series is a joint collaboration between Scottish- based production companies L'nco and Blackwatch. having had its genesis at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in I996. The original concept
8 THE LIST 15—29 A3! 1999
was devised by L'nco producer David Smith and the series is directed by Nicola Black. whose work with Blackwatch includes Carry On Darkly — a look at the less than savoury elements in the lives and deaths of Williams. James. Windsor etc — and White Jazz. the film which followed James Ellroy in his search for his mum's killer.
Controversy is never far away from the surface in Mirror/mil. You‘d be pretty hard pushed to find an act who haven‘t had those pesky censors tapping at their door armed with freshly sharpened scissors. Among those who have cheerfully constructed three minutes of infamy are Frankie Goes To Hollywood with ‘Relax'. Duran Duran with ‘Girls on Film’. Prodigy's ‘Smack My Bitch Up‘ and. erm. Belouis Some with ‘Imagination‘. Video may have killed the radio star. but the pop promo has taken the world of the short film into the stratosphere.
Spike Jonze has worked with Beastie Boys, Fatboy Slim, Bjork David Smith: ‘He has this obsession with people walking. dancing or running down the street. I‘m told this is because he
was born with a silver
spoon in his mouth and wants to pretend he‘s from the street.‘ Channe/d, Sat 77Apr, 7. 753m.
Jonas Akeﬂund has worked with Madonna, The Prodigy, Roxette Nicola Black: ‘He's pushing his work to
the edge of the medium in terms of acceptable and unacceptable imagery. He's had his problems with the censors over videos for The
Cardigans and Prodigy.
who actually declined our request to screen the director‘s cut of ‘Smack My Bitch L'p’ because of the heroin injection scene. Channe/ 4, Sat 24 Apr, 7, 75am.
Michel Gondry has worked with Bjérk, Daft Punk
NB: ‘He is the one that the others say is the Godfather. He's still creating very relevant