Well, it's called "Cocoon," and what you hear is what you get. Bjork, in a faintly Japanese geisha-do and sort of a nude bodysuit, syncs the song on a bare set as red, licorice-like CG tendrils emerge from her nipples. No kidding. Over the course of several minutes, the tendrils dance in the air with her, as she makes elaborate hand gestures, till they've completely enveloped her - at which point she begins to levitate. We're sure there's some deep meaning attached to all this, but who has time to worry about it, you know? The song, moreover, is on the earnestly plodding side, but the video concept is brilliant, as Bjork's always are, and brilliantly executed - we were compelled to watch just to see if there was going to be a Twizzlers tie-in at the end.
Director: Eiko Ishioka, Radical Media
Editor: Emily Dennis, Mad River Post
Visual Effects: James Mann, Sally Mattison, Glassworks
Cake: "Short Skirt/Long
Is this the clip "campaign" of the year or what? John McCrea, the lead singer of Cake, is having his video and eating it too. It's his concept and he directed it - the guy must be some sort of vidiot-savant. No band, no lip sync, just the song played ostensibly through headphones as ordinary people in the street listen to it and comment, shot on what looks like a camcorder as if this was a student doc project. What makes this work are the continuously interesting and often hilarious cast of characters they found to play music critic, and the great editing - one of the last jobs out of the dearly departed Western Images. The multiple versions, including a New York, a California and a Mexican expedition with subtitles, are not in the least overkill. They all work. This stuff is so good it could be a series on HBO.
Director: John McCrea, Freelance
Editor: Alan Chimenti, Western Images
Slipknot: "Left Behind"
There's been some speculation in the rock press that the prepackaged angst of bands like Slipknot won't fly in the post-9/11 pop universe, but we say we need these guys more than ever - they're the brooding man's Kiss. In this clip there's a kid who looks to be about 11, but he's got an after-school job at Pete's Meats, where he wields a cleaver that would put Leatherface to shame. In fact, when the kid suits up for some filet work, he scares the hell out of big, fat Pete. We know this tyke is bad news 'cause he has Froot Loops with rusty tap water for breakfast. There's also a symbolic black goat that gets butchered and sold, though it could be a dream or just a hearty lunch. There's a very nice moment when one of the Knots - sorry, we don't know their numbers - reaches into his head wound to scratch an itch or something.
Director: Dave Meyers, FM Rocks
Editor: Richard Cooperman, Avenue Edit
Visual Effects: Alex Brodie, Christine Carr, 525 Studios
Remy Zero: "Save Me"
Hairless lead singer Cinjun Tate, in a natty suit and shades, walks forward while everyone else in the world walks backward. This doesn't appear to be any filmic trick; they really seem to be walking backward, which looks like a nice piece of low-tech, even if it's not. This is intercut with the band playing before elaborate rear projections, featuring all kinds of rock concert light show fun mixed with backward stock footage of animals fighting, buildings falling, or should we say rising, and so on. At the end, Tate starts walking backward, too. A message of conformity? In rock? Get outta here. Whatever it is, it all looks very good, and it might even start a new dance craze called the Remy Reverse.
Director: Phil Harder, A Band Apart
Editor: Bret Astor, Fischer Edit
Effects: Kurt Angell, Pixel Farm
Ozzy Osbourne: "Gets Me Through"
Ozzy continues to rock our world. Here he's doing a sort of old queen/vampire number - wait, he's always doing that, isn't he? - with a bunch of wonderful Dracula-out-of the-coffin pop-ups and a lot of processional slow-walking, dragging a cape behind him like he won the Miss Beelzebub crown. He's got dead, bloody birds, money with his face on it, burning crucifixes and really seedy implant-bustin' groupies in "Ozzy" panties. Great song, great atmosphere, a quick-cutty but strangely unobtrusive edit . . . get us a case of Old Milwaukee, 'cause it just doesn't get any better than this.
Director/Editor: Jonas Akerlund, HSI Productions/P.A.R.
Effects: John Hartigan, Ultimate Effects
Michael Jackson: "You Rock My World"
Jacko's still too big to make just a vid, so he's got a film long enough to have an intermission, co-starring Chris Tucker, Michael Madsen and Marlon Brando. Yes, Brando was forklifted in for this event, but we're relieved to note he doesn't dance. Production values are of course excellent, and the supporting cast of heavies looks so threatening we were genuinely worried that something might happen to Jacko's nose. He really turns on the testosterone here, not only feigning an interest in girls but actually breaking glass and hurting people while he's dancing. The costumes seriously rock, it's a veritable fedora festival. In fact, this clip could win Best Supporting Role by a Hat at the next MTV awards show.
Director: Paul Hunter, HSI Productions
Editor: Harvey White, Freelance