Music Video

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Britney Spears: "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman"

We're a slave 4 this. The best Britney vid we've seen in years, mainly because the song's a ballad. Which means the clip hasn't got the usual dance moves stolen from the late Bob Fosse and reinterpreted by an aerobics instructor with Tourette's. So it's just Britney and the loving camera in the Grand Canyon or someplace - nice helicopter shots, great cinematography, very relaxed editing and a pair of spectacular buttes. The background scenery isn't bad either. We don't know about this girl/woman deal, but if Britney's at a Crossroads, that's her problem. Anyone big enough to wear a boa constrictor is past the age of consent in our book. One thing's for sure: if she wore her superlows any lower she'd get zipper chafe on her knees.

Director: Wayne Isham, A Band Apart

Editor: Jeff Richter, Earthquake Editorial

Elton John: "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore"

Totally, like, awesome. Elton got hung up at the Beverly Hills Pearle Vision Center or something and asked Justin Timberlake from N'Backstreet to play him - in Elton drag. As if that weren't sufficiently compelling, Paul Reubens plays Elton's viciously officious handler in what seems like a silent reprise of his brilliant gay hairdresser turn in Blow. The whole thing is always moving, shot with very few cuts and a gentle trace of slo-mo, like a laid-back homage to the dazzling Copa-walk sequence in Goodfellas. Even the song is good. This train can stop here anytime. Mr. LaChapelle, keep making videos, please, the industry needs you.

Director: David LaChapelle, HSI

Editor: Spencer Susser

Marilyn Manson: "Tainted Love"

Marilyn still rocks. Are the silver uppers new? We can't recall, we're always distracted by the one albino contact lens. Whatever, they're way cute. This is from Not Another Teen Movie, which means it's intercut with footage of delicious hardbod Jaime Pressley running around at a party doing cheerleader shtick, ostensibly trying to catch up to Marilyn's roving coterie of overmade decadents. She never meets them, of course, and if she did it would've been nice if she kicked Marilyn's tainted, painted, scrawny ass. But he and his goth groupies manage to make a movie promo into an art video, which is no mean feat. The chicks with the big bunny heads are fantastic, and it's not even Easter.

Director: Philip G. Atwell, Geronimo Film Productions

Editor: Chip Eddy, Brass Knuckles

Dave Matthews: "Everyday"

Chuck McBride of TBWA/Chiat/Day in San Francisco has made his video debut, and there's nothing everyday about it. There's this grubby guy who goes around asking everybody in the street for hugs, and he perseveres in the face of understandable hostility. He not only starts getting hugs, he eventually gets his 15 minutes of fame, appearing on the news as the Hug Guy or something. He even gets to hug Dave Matthews and band, who are singing the song at the time, but at least they don't appear till near the end. Excellently shot and cut visual narrative that's strangely compelling, considering we'd never hug this Hug Guy in a million years - not even one of those faux-kissy, no-touchy pseudo hugs from Elton's video.

Director: Chuck McBride, Cyclops

Editor: Alan Chimenti

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