Music Video

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Earshot

"Not Afraid"

This SoCal band's video debut is a pretty strong song and an even better clip, superbly edited. There seems to be some sort of surveillance-camera paranoia going on, but what makes the vid rock are subtle but remarkably evocative effects, particularly the peak-meter graphics that rise out of cables strewn across the floor as the band plays, sort of like life as a graphic equalizer. The guy who gets the instant tat on his arm is pretty cool, too. The band scenes are intercut with shots of disaffected humanity, and throughout there are quick, visually fascinating bursts of what are intended to be ghostlike flashes of organic animated designs breaking through the Big Brother sensibility, according to a press release. If only John Ashcroft was afflicted with a similar retinal condition.

Director:: Noble Jones, Revolver Film Co. Editor: Mark Morton, School Effects: Guava Design: Freestyle Collective

Kylie Minogue

"Come Into My World"

Michel Gondry is so good he could be the Orson Welles of music video. We can only hope he doesn't eventually weigh 400 pounds and hawk cheap wine. Anyway, fluffy pop tart Minogue's latest piece of elevator music has been given a treatment she hardly deserves, one that by vid standards is nothing short of a sublime intellectual exercise. In a seemingly one-take execution, styly Kylie walks in what appears to be a circle around a Paris intersection, various bits of street drama unfolding behind her. She makes several lip-syncing revolutions, the background narratives progressing, and on each circle she's joined by a clone of herself until there are four of her. The clones even interact with each other to some degree. It's all quite fascinating; too bad it was wasted on this lame song.

Director: Michel Gondry, Partizan Editor: Olivier Gondry

Effects: Twisted Laboratories

The Wallflowers

"When You're On Top"

How could any son of Bob Dylan be so cute? Well, Jakob's punim is apparently not a digital effect, but fabulous jigsaw-puzzling dissolves and transitions, compliments of The Syndicate, make this clip stand out, as the band stands out in the Sepulveda Dam, which, without the effects, would be about as exciting as Dylan senior's born-again phase. "The concept was inspired by the lyric, 'Maybe now we don't fit together . . .,' " says director Marc Webb. "The song is a jumble of imagery. I wanted to reflect that chaos in the clip while underlining that really thumping beat. It's a fusion of the utterly random and the fiercely precise." The best effects always are, no?

Director: Marc Webb, DNA Editor: Mario Mares, Sunset Editorial Effects: The Syndicate

Cassius

"Sound of Violence"

Despite the title, this is fairly pacific French house music with a vocal, but no lip syncing and not even a band. Just unrelenting forward motion like the POV in a videogame, first with what looks like accelerated chopper footage of CG-enhanced landscapes, then just full-on CG fantasy, with geometric shapes and a Miro-esque candyland. According to Partizan, the video is a combination of 4,800 still photograms shot by the French directing team over a 20-day trek in California, where they took a picture every 100 meters with a hi-res digital camera. The images were then fluidly fused and finessed in a 40-day Flame/editing freakout. This is so good, we're going to have to reconsider our opinion of Jerry Lewis.

Director: Alex & Martin, Partizan Editor: Walter Morio Effects: Mikros Images

Satyricon

"Fuel for Hatred"

We don't know if anyone in this band has read Petronius, but they're a bunch of Norwegian metalheads and they're very angry about something - probably the failure of the Oslo Accords. Anyway, the great Jonas "Smack My Bitch Up" Akerlund strikes again. The clip is humming along in typical metal style, a lot of frantic cutting, frantic growling and frantic guitar and drum thrashing, with what seem to be feathers blowing around everywhere in a vague Texas Chainsaw Massacre homage, when, lo and behold, out of nowhere there's a topless implanty blonde with bloody bandages on her wrists and ankles playing with a big fat python. No, it's not Britney, though it could be her mother. After that nothing much happens except the singer is drenched in red and some nice raw meat is hanging on hooks from the ceiling. But that boob action will get this banned just about everywhere, and we simply adore banned vids.

Director/Editor: Jonas Akerlund, P.A.R.

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