Tonight at 8 at The Triangle, the Newport Beach Film Festival debuts its Music Videos program, which is part of the three-year-old Music Series of features and documentaries that focus on musicians. Confession time: I had my doubts about the video program when I first heard about it. Who wants to see something shot for the small screen on the big screen, right? But after viewing a DVD screener graciously supplied by the festival's Bojana Sandic, I can honestly state my thinking was whack.
First, all 18 videos in the 68-minute program are presented in wide, movie screen format. More importantly, each is also cinematic; many could have run in the festival's short film programs.
Included is director Sophie Muller's driving "Settle Down" video for No Doubt, the Best Video winner at March's 2013 Orange County Music Awards, which co-sponsors the film festival's Music Series. But that one actually worked the least for me; it seemed as bloated and over-produced as the music accompanying it. But we here at OC Weekly are nothing if not all about the positive, so what follows are five videos from the NBFF program that I found brilliant, based solely on seeing them on my laptop, which means they'll surely play even greater on the big screen (and there won't be any ads to skip).
Acrobatic street trials rider Danny Macaskill amazingly bikes in, on and over an abandoned industrial building that resembles the one in Georgia where The Walking Dead's Governor played cat-and-mouse with Andrea this season past. Featuring Ben Howard's haunting "The Wolves" as its soundtrack, the sequence was directed by Stu Thompson and shot in the Scottish countryside for Channel 4 's 2011 documentary Concrete Circus.
Sure, we all knew RZA and the Black Keys would eventually get together, but who saw it also coming in a Grindhouse-worthy showdown that was directed by neither Tarantino nor Rodriguez but Chris Marrs Piliero? Smacked by a fish? Come on, man, that's just rude!
Tartar Control – "Jesus Is Love" TC Music by BlankTV
OK, truth be told, this one is a sentimental pick because of the setting: the Doll Hut in Anaheim. What better place to have Tartar Control mock its Salt Lake City roots and cesspools of enjoyment where one can hear hard chords over punky yelps of "Jesusislove! Jesusislove! Jesusislove!" By the way, apologies to directors Sean Hart, Robert Selander and Mark Schwartz for the smaller screen width here; the Google informs me I am too young to view this content so I could not get the YouTube embed code.
This bizarre, instant cloning extravaganza from director Carlos López Estrada, set to Passion Pit's "Carried Away (Tiësto Remix)," goes beyond having you wonder about the brand of Jell-o powder being ingested to what the blazes the creators were smoking to think this up. In yer face D.A.R.E. program!
Yoann Lemoine, the Frenchman who performs neofolk music as Woodkid, has created a true piece of video art that has received 2.6 million YouTube views, so you've probably seen it before. But just think about it up there on the big screen, with those orcas dancing between the sinking man near the end, and the speakers blasting out that Smiths-like song. Known also for directing music videos for Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Lana del Rey, the 30-year-old wunderkind simply must shoot a feature-length film. Who's ready to sign the petition?
Other videos screening tonight: Breezeblocks; Caution (Varúð); A House, A Home; I Am Still The Same; Man on Fire-Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros; Miss Me; Ronald Raygun; San Francisco; Take Me Over; Tinamv 1; To Arrive By Your Side (Pa' Llegar a tu Lado); Waking World (also by Estrada).Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.