The secret of life is butter. - Chef Didier, Last Holiday
Question #92343 posted on 06/14/2019 11:48 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board friends,

When I say "artistically perfect music video," what is the first one that comes to your mind?

I nominate"Gosh" by Jamie xx for its use of crowds, talented albino actors, a desolate Chinese ghost city, color theory, aerial shots, and a real-life abandoned alternate Eiffel tower.

Also, thank you for this week. I've missed you so much--while it's nice to be able to ask Cool Internet Friends questions sometimes, it's also cool to see what's happening in your lives.

I'm glad you stopped by.

--Ardilla Feroz

A:

Dear Ardilla, 

Up & Up by Coldplay. 

It's imaginative, magical, mind-bending, beautiful, nostalgic, inspiring, relaxing... and has received many comments claiming it has the best video editing known to mankind. It appears on nearly every list of "best music videos," and rightfully deserves that title. Plus, the music is amazing. Could you expect any less? 

I also suggest many of the videos by OK Go. (seriously, I get sucked into them.) They've made a song by driving on a track and hitting random objects (just watch the video... it's complicated), choreographed a synchronized Segway-chair 'dance' video, wasted a lot of paper (kidding, it was recycled) , filmed in zero gravity, filmed a slow-mo video perfectly timed to beats in a song, and done many Rube Goldberg machines timed to their music. I don't know what their budget is, but they never seem to run out of ideas. 

Cheers, 

Guesthouse

A:

Dear Ardilla,

Obviously this is the only one that matters. True masterpiece.

-Ms.O'Malley

A:

Dear Ardilla Feroz,

My idea of artistic might be different than everyone else, but the video that immediately came to my mind is You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift. It is one of the greatest music videos of all time and forever will be, no matter what Kanye says!

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Ardilla Feroz,

First of all, seconding Guesthouse's recommendation for OK Go and Uffish Thought's recommendation for "Genghis Khan" as both are top-notch. I really want someone to write a book similar to the storyline of "Genghis Khan" because oh man, it's perfect. As for additional recommendations:

  • "Best of the Best of Times" (Darlingside): Oh man, if you haven't watched this yet, you are in for some real art. I love Chris Fleming so much and still laugh every time I watch it.
  • "Can't Deny My Love" (Brandon Flowers): One of the most well-made music videos I've ever seen. Also based on "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, so you've got some good spooky Puritan vibes going on
  • "Waiting for Love" (Avicii): Avicii's music had so much heart, and this music video is no exception. If you've ever wanted to see an sweet old British dude go on an adventure across the countryside to rescue his wife, this is the one for you.
  • "My Blood" (twenty one pilots): A sad music video, but a tender one too. It hits hard.
  • "Critical Mistakes" (888): Want some more tears about how hard but also beautiful life can be with your music video? Well, here ya go.
Also on a more serious note, "Elastic Heart" by Sia has strong personal meaning for me. We watched it in a Humanities course I took in college as an example of contemporary art (long story) and the teacher interpreted it as the conflict between your current self vs your wilder, past self and your regrets in life. Because the current self is a man and the past self is a little girl, I've found a lot of significance in the sheer emotion of it as a transgender man. It still makes me tear up a bit as it really does mirror the way I think about my past. Especially the way that he's trying to let go but just can't at the end. I don't miss who I used to be but life has been so hard for me at times and I miss when things were simpler.

-Van Goff

A:

Dear Ardilla

Johnny Cash's "Hurt" is what came to mind immediately, so I'll just stick with that.

-Humble Master

A:

Dear,

Uh, watch out for swears and sweet gay relationships and innuendo of all orientations and violence, if you're not into those things. Mercer is probably mostly safe. 

"Many Moons" by Janelle Monae is one of my favorites, as is Q.U.E.E.N., and Django Jane, and Yoga. I enjoy "Pink" too because I'm a dirty ol' English teacher and it's fun, but I won't link it because there's just so much yonic imagery and language that I can't even pretend innocence to the double meanings. 

If you'd rather go the James Mercer route, I love Simple Song by the Shins, as well as Holding on for Life (I really want to know an official version of this story, and yet I'm charmed that it remains just out of reach) and After The Disco (just cool and meditative and how many practice runs did it take them to get it right?) by the Broken Bells.

For non-sci-fi/sci-fi-adjacent music videos that I thought of, Genghis Khan by Miike Snow (okay, still kind of sci-fi, oops), In Hell I'll Be in Good Company by the Dead South, let's just go ahead and add This Is America by Childish Gambino because it's excellent even if everyone already knows it, Downtown by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Glorious also by Macklemore (so sweet!), Good Intent (it's not quite what I want it to be, but it's close enough) or Settle Down (hits all those quirky-creepy elements I tend to enjoy) by Kimbra, I Need Never Get Old by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (also S.O.B., but I'll save you the swears today), it's more a filmed concert, but The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly covered by the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain is great anyway, Pomplamoose's cover of September, Harvard's THUD covering Africa (with boomwhackers! it's surprisingly delightful!) Blue Song by Mint Royale (the seed that was eventually fleshed out into the movie Baby Driver), Romeo & Juliet by Dire Straits for possibly-unintentionally hilarious literalism and You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon for definitely-intentional hilarity, and for my Bollywood friends who are still with me, let's do some from a movie I've never seen (Ram-Leela, an adaptation of Romeo & Juliet): Nagada Sang Dhol for drama and intensity and coordination and those huge awesome drums, and Tattad Tattad for some silly female gaze to answer the overt male gaze in so many item numbers (generally sexy sexy lady songs only tangentially connected to the plot, and don't ask me about the hair-brushing motion because I have no idea what its significance is, either). 

Oh, did you say first, as in singular? Oops. But I am chronically unable to rank things and pick favorites, so whatevs.

-Uffish Thought