Published Sep 01, 2001Like watching rock videos? Well then, this may be for you. But before checking out Clip Cult be forewarned: these aren't your typical videos, for the most part anyway. The one you're likely to have seen several times already is Fatboy Slim's "Praise You." Directed by Spike Jonze ("Being John Malkovich"), this one features an interpretational dance troupe performing the song in front of a crowded theatre line-up. Even though I've seen it a few times it still makes me laugh.
The balance of what's in here is a little more obscure, not to mention weird, and director Chris Cunningham's work is well represented here. Starting with Squarepusher's "Come On My Selector," which takes place in the Osaka Mental hospital for children, Cunningham likes to explore dark places. The video details the breakout of a small girl and her dog who can communicate with each other at a human level. She easily outwits her captors and winds up switching the mind of the dog with the mind of one of the guards.
But it's Cunningham's videos for Aphex Twin that really fuck with your head. The one for "Come To Daddy" is a nightmarish little number. With an obvious nod to "Videodrome," this looks like something David Cronenberg dreamed up while he was in a bad mood. "Window Licker" is a disturbingly funny piss take on every bad hip-hop video you've seen in the last few years complete with foul-mouthed tough guys and plenty o' ass shaking, but with an interesting twist. Also disturbing is his work for Leftfield on "Africa Shox." It follows a homeless black man wandering through the streets of New York. When he reaches out for help, a passer-by knocks his arm off at the elbow and it smashes to the ground. His other limbs suffer the same fate until the inevitable end when he is vapourised by a passing car. Even when he's working for Björk, Cunningham still adds his signature weirdness in the video for "All Is Full Of Love." It features two shapely female robots with Björk's face making out in a sterile futuristic lab.
Michael Gondry's video for Cibo Matto's "Sugar Water" also stands out. Featuring a split screen with one side going backward and the other forward. The clips meet in the middle and switch, winding up back at the beginning. And all in one take. Sound confusing? It may be but it's quite the feat anyway. Koji Morimoto's video for Ken Ishi's "Extra" is a hyper-violent piece of anime that may give you a seizure at worse or bad dreams if you're lucky. Filled with images of psychotic robot assassins and "Blade Runner"-esque skylines, this is one of the coolest videos I've seen in a while. Do yourself a favour and bombard MuchMusic with requests for some of the above mentioned videos. Lord knows they need some help in the programming department.