Dave Grohl and guest lunatic Jack Black play a pair of good ol' boys who take a motel room together, get drunk and proceed to explore their suddenly uncloseted love of transvestism, thanks to the suitcases full of girlie gear they brought with them. Shot in a staggering, wide-angle home video style that perfectly complements the action, this is not the first time that Grohl has indulged his penchant for cross-dressing, but this joyously lip sync-free clip is a departure, even for him. Its homoerotic undercurrents are more like overcurrents. Whence the concept? "This is what Dave and I came up with at dinner one night, just kickin' around ideas about how guys really play with each other," says director Jesse Peretz. "People can make their own interpretations. All I'll say is we had a really good time making it, and we didn't second-guess anything." Fine. So when is Dave's sex change?
Director: Jesse Peretz, X-Ray Editor: Bill Yukich, Gotham Editorial
Mogwai "Hunted By a Freak"
Mogwai has apparently toned down its noise rep to become something like the Scottish version of Sigur Ros. Whatever the case, the animated vid for this Pink Floydish instrumental is chillingly awesome: In brief, a fat psychotic throws animals off a building. We get to watch them drop slowly and mournfully - birds with their wings taped to their bodies, bunnies, turtles, crying mice . . . what the hell does it all mean? "The concept came from a graffiti piece/act of vandalism one of our artists did several years ago," says Plates Animation producer Michael Macmillan. "As far as symbolism goes, we're kind of limited, since Mogwai insisted 'No symbolism!' Throwing animals off of a building seemed like the sort of thing a disturbed man would do, but how the animals feel about all of this is the focus. We worked with comic book print-style textures, giving it that Lichtenstein look." This is sure to be a hit at Anna Wintour's parties.
Director/Animator/Editor: Plates Animation, Toronto
Marilyn Manson "MOBSCENE"
We have the deepest reverence for Marilyn, since he's apparently as strange as he looks, if we can believe the hype that he has 300 scars and he snorts human bone powder. He's also one of a select few rockers whose videos are always worth sitting through, because you never know when something visually intriguing will happen. He even co-directed this clip, which is apparently inspired by Weimar-era cabarets. The vid boasts a louche kickline of paramilitary cheerleaders with hideous Marilyn mouths painted on the sides of their faces, and various freakshowy snippets of women in antique undergarments. There's way too much Marilyn himself for our taste, but it's still a very respectable piece of subversive, kiddie-polluting filth.
Director: Thomas Kloss, F.M. Rocks/Marilyn Manson
Editor: Dustin Robertson, Avid Diva
Audioslave "Show Me How to Live"
Here's something refreshingly different: the retro product placement! Johannes Gamble and Bucky Fukumoto, a directing team known as AV Club, have whipped up an homage to the 1971 film Vanishing Point, weaving in scenes from the movie, in which a cranked-up Barry Newman drove his Dodge Challenger across the existential deserts of your mind. But why revive it now? We're informed that Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell has been a big fan of the film since he was a kid, so he gets to be the driver, while the rest of the band, thankfully, just sit and look grim. These ex-Ragers are best heard and not seen. Tom Morello looks like a Maoist insurance salesman and the bass player has an embarrassing green trompe l'oeil T-shirt for a tattoo, no doubt applied as a nasty prank while he was in a coma. But any clip that references a 33-year-old cult film is OK in our book, especially when it ends in a fiery mass suicide.
Director/Editor: AV Club, The Directors Bureau
The combo of Maddy and Mondino is hard to beat, and the Truly Divine Miss M continues to put all the teenypop girls half her age to shame. Here, she has about nine different looks, and they're mostly shot in a sort of semi-amateur sleaze style that suits Maddy to a wet tee. The web hype tells us the vid is an homage to legendary screen sirens; we never would've guessed, we thought it was just the usual diva-load of costume changes. Maddy can't really play anyone but herself, as she's proved in so many of her movies. Outside of quick shots of her getting Botox and collagen injections, sapphically caressing the cheek of a naughty French maid, and a lot of bouncing on a big blue ball, not much happens besides the usual making love to the lens. But that's plenty. As with the Divine Mr. M, a Madonna vid always holds out the promise that something genuinely interesting is about to happen, which is enough to get us all the way to the end of it - in Maddy's case, more than once. OK, so we had the sound off, so what?
Director: Jean-Baptiste Mondino, DNA
Editor: Dustin Robertson, Avid Diva