Saman Kesh & Shabana Mansuri











D. VS. P. – The May Edition

This month we have the unique Saman Kesh in the director’s chair going up with friend of HSI, Riff Raff and Caviar among others, producer Shabana Mansuri. Check out the six most talked about videos of May below:

Saman Kesh:

– Looks like Taylor Swift just saw the Power Rangers viral & had Kahn give her that treatment.

– This is a good example of a “because we can” music video. The set design, the vfx, the cameos — it’s Masturbation of $$$ to the max.

– It’s a fanboy orgy of imagery borrowed from every big sci-fi action film ever made.

– Did I spot an obvious fifth element homage with wardrobe, and then a red haired girl with a blue version of the outfit?

– Now, do i like it? In another life maybe — I’m not cool enough to enjoy this kind of pop-corn stuff.

– I wish there were more sound design — the song isn’t as interesting as the imagery.

– However, Kahn did a great job with never having it make sense…it could have easily had a more concrete narrative — which would have really made me throw my laptop out the window (followed by me scooping it off the ground crying to myself). Also, props with dealing with all those self-inflated personalities.

– Overall: If popcorn could kill — this is what it would look like.

Shabana Mansuri: It’s not everyday a video breaks records such as 20.1 million views in the first 24 hours – this is certainly an impressive statistic. In pop world Taylor Swift can do no wrong at the moment and she’s aligned herself with Joseph Kahn, who is a master of directing epic music videos. Together they’ve created this mini-Hollywood-esque action-packed film – think neo-futuristic ‘Kill Bill’ meets ‘Sin City’ – with some serious A-List cameos – Taylor sure can pull them in. It’s not my thing – but, it’s good cheese :). I just want to know what the production budget was…

SM: It was quite an unexpected follow-on from the opening narrative, of 2 rather endearing girls quite harshly beating each other up! After the first neck strangle-hold, I was squirming throughout, it all felt a bit too real! Great casting, both actors were highly convincing with their fight skills– good directing here, as it is tough to get this right. The dialogue and sound FX mixed in with the audio track work well to give the video an extra edge. The visuals were refreshingly original for a house music track.

SK: – I saw this earlier…

– I loved this video when i was presented the editor’s reel.

– The video does last a little long after the twist (which should have happened midpoint imo)…but it’s a really provocative and surreal story. However, the story is limited to the song’s musical progression.

– Timeless, relevant, twisted, sweet, and plane old fucked up.

SK: – Playful and glam rock vibes make me happy.

– It’s provocative and gross at the same time.

– It feels like a dream — imagery that shouldn’t go together, but they somehow work.

– Song isn’t my thing, but i came for the video so who cares.

– Am i the only one that feels MJ post surgery vibes? ewwwww.

SM: I liked this video it works well with the track which sounds like something straight out of the 80s new romantic era. It is simple but visually striking, with a mix of sexy, strong and peculiar characters, stylish art direction and 3 great one-shot sequences.

SM: Ian always pushes boundaries with his films – he offers up yet another thought-provoking piece with a dark twist at the end that leaves you feeling quite disturbed. He’s cleverly shot it in black and white, this further heightens your emotions towards this bleak melting pot of people that have been marginalized by society. Awesome casting, location and wardrobe – all makes for a very powerful video. I liked that the artist gave a stripped back performance amongst the same set-up – it felt genuine and real.

SK: – Surreal as fuck,

– Also a dreamlike nightmare of imagery that is both hypnotizing yet electric in its message.

– I love the simplest elements of the videos are the best (the plexi-glass faces = the best!)

– The ending is amazing…Vince Staples is coming for you upper class bitches (and anybody blonde apparently).

– Jewell (a dear friend of mine) floats my boat…that’s all I’m gonna end with.

NOTE: my favorite video of the bunch.

SK: – Fun concept…makes me want to bob my head

– tasteful one shot transitions

– playful and sweet refreshment in a world of cynical filmmaking (Carlos always has that sweet vibe even in his most twisted stuff).

– music made me want to walk around Uruguay (where I am now) with a boom box.

– Lesson: hot box a bus for maximum effects.


This is a fun video – really well executed and entertaining, the lip sync guy probably had a lot of fun learning the lyrics 🙂 Great job on shooting this, as can imagine it must have been a tight squeeze in the school bus with all those cast :/

SM: Such a deliciously surreal and deviant narrative of suburban life – beautifully directed, shot, produced, art directed, acted, edited, graded, and, and, and. I just loved everything about it! Well thought through set design detail in every scene – you notice more every time you watch it – I have about 3 times now! Brilliant casting love all the protagonists they have this wonderfully wicked glint in their eyes.

SK: – Ummm…what just happened?

– Def, polarizing for sure — i wanted to make sense of it the whole time but it’s clearly a video that doesn’t want you to. Pretty brilliant imagery…though it made me want to throw up all the time…probably intentional.

– Lesson: don’t let a crazy bitch give you a BJ while u drive through a David Lynch meets Tim Burton neighborhood.

Word Is Cheap

word is cheap is the site to go to for all your music video needs. A site so visually stimulating it's already banned in North Korea. You can dance if you want to. -
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