Video Killed the Video Star

Given the dependence on music video to mold and shape pop stars over the past two decades, it's screamingly ironic that when one turns on MTV these days, chances are that 90 percent of the time you're going to get TRL, The Real World 49 or whatever they're up to, or some other such crap. It wasn't always this dire—anyone remember when Remote Control and Kevin Seal: Sporting Foolused to co-exist in harmony with videos aplenty? Anyway, I digress . . .

There are venues where music videos are still properly showcased and appreciated. VH1 Classic continues to be a haven for two decades plus of video in its purest form. And bless you, Palm Pictures, for the Director's Label series—an indispensable DVD cycle celebrating the filmmakers at the forefront of the medium, many of whom have already graduated to feature films with huge success (Volume 1 featured excellent collections by both Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry; nightmarishly gifted wunderkind Chris Cunningham hasn't made the leap yet, but when he does, prepare to be assaulted. And love it.)

Volume 2 of the series recently hit shelves with four releases; the slimmest entry, but perhaps the most exciting, spotlights the videos of Sexy Beast director Jonathan Glazer. (His stunningly surreal promo for UNKLE's “Rabbit in Your Headlights” alone makes this a must-buy, not to mention that Jamiroquai video.) Also released are collections from Anton Corbijn (best known for his work with U2 and Depeche Mode, but get a load of that Rollins Band clip—brilliant!); Mark Romanek (all those “Scene Missing” edits in Nine Inch Nails' “Closer” are restored at last), and Stephane Sednoui. All volumes include bonuses in the forms of interviews, commercial work and more. Collect 'em all! Trade with friends! Scoff at that Road Rules box set!


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