D. VS. P. – The February Edition
This month we have Sonny’s Mister Whitmore in the director’s chair going up with Forever Pictures’ executive producer Sasha Nixon.
Mister Whitmore: Agggh this was so good. It’s the kind of piece that kept popping into my head days later. The amount of emotion being expressed through all of the visuals, dancing, and performances felt so intense and inspired. In my eyes it perfectly captured the whirlwind of emotions a relationship can stir up, and how strange and surreal it can feel at times. I just loved how the piece ended on the shot of Florence slowly emerging and crawling away from the wreck. I’m always in hog heaven anytime a film can leave you with a single image that sparks a series of reflective tangents, and this one did it big time for me.
Sasha Nixon: Florence’s acting skills are on display in the intro, but do they have a script or is this a huge budget improv? She’s ditched her previous folky magic, also with Vincent Haycock’s help, in favour here of a sort of seedy cityscape. It looks beautiful but like a montage of several different videos, and while there’s a lot of good stuff there, it also felt like too much to wade through.
SN: OHP has made an interesting series of choreography-based videos for Jungle, vastly elevating the – IMO – rather bland and same-y sounding songs and production into something much more exciting and artful. ‘Julia’ is definitely my favourite, the casting, lighting and costume are extremely pleasing; it’s a simple premise executed with elegance.
MW: I love how Jungle’s managed to build this entire brand and image with dance, and this video feels like a real culmination of their trajectory. The dancing in this one is just absolutely beautiful, it’s almost hypnotizing at times. The styling was also wonderful, it had a Mad Max meets the Ballet vibe to it all. And that ending, I mean come on, that just left me excited to see what these guys do next with this wonderful world of dancing characters they’ve managed to birth.
MW: What bloody fun! I loved all the little twists and creative ways the cast of alien characters managed to off an army of secret agents, especially the blast of frozen yogurt that managed to rip a man to pieces!!! The combination of animation and live action was interesting as well, I was a bit surprised by how well the two molded together. Also, I have to give a big kudos on the epic Michael Mann-esque 360 dolly track shot on the bunny, fun times.
SN: This is one for the geekier teenage boy so I don’t feel massively qualified to comment, but I always enjoy the energy and vibe of David’s videos. The animation style is tried and tested but it’s still a pleasure to watch.
SN: I loved this video. Its Argento-esque look and feel are right up my street; those slow paced dolly shots and tableaux are always a winner. I would have been skeptical that the rich aesthetic and atmosphere could be achieved with what I assume wasn’t a big budget, but it looks successfully lush. The video is also genuinely chilling. It’s a breath of fresh air to watch something so highly stylised these days, which is of course a reflection of where budgets are and how naturalism is a safer bet most of the time.
MW: I LOVE GOOD ZOOMS. I’m a sucker for em, so I was immediately drawn into this one. It also helps that there was some fun set ups within it all, however those samurai get ups definitely stole the show in my book. Overall this felt like a distant relative to the Gesaffelstein’s “Pursuit” by Fleur y Manu, which is great company to be in.
MW: There’s just so much to take in with this one, right from the gate there’s a surge of energy coming at you. The scope of the entire piece is so impressive, but at its core was something so wonderfully simple. I loved how Aoife took a classic love story and set it amidst an entirely new backdrop, creating a sentiment that felt both familiar and entirely fresh at the same time. I also really enjoyed the performances, wonderful, powerfully contained work by the actors.
SN: A U2 video calls for ‘epic’ and Aoife does not disappoint. Actually she has made me enjoy a U2 song, which is no easy feat, especially as it sounds like Coldplay. Strong casting, art direction, styling, cinematography, and a West Side Story-esque narrative set in late 70’s Belfast (?) that feels so obvious that you can’t believe it hasn’t been done before. Beautifully made, it feels like a precursor to a feature.