Vidiscovery Top 50, Best Of 2009: #10-#1

For the opening speech, go here.
For #50-41, go here.
For #40-31, go here.
For #30-21, go here.
For #20-11, go here.

(I kinda feel like I am working towards an anti-climax here, but here goes…) Along the final stretch of ride down 2009 (the last few hours; can one feel 2010 breathing down the necks?), find out which recently deceased actor still makes an impact on the chart with probably his last directorial work; possibly every kid’s worst nightmare; who outdid Chris Martin and David Cook (and others) in going backwards by going backwards and forward simultaneously; the fact that DCFC has many good songs before the goddamn Twilight, so sorry suckers; Jean-Paul Gaultier drops by; there’s even a balloon sex party; and let’s not forget, the good ol’ #1.

.10

Video: “Kids”
Artiste: MGMT
(featuring Joanna Newsom)
Director: Ray Tintori
Vidiscovery peak position: #1

When a kid’s future is in concern, the video better be good.

This video began with the sight of fire burning, and a quotation wrongly credited to Mark Twain, the author; which supposedly came from Friedrich Nietzsche:

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Featuring Joanna Newsom, a singer/songwriter/American harpist/pianist who played the role of the inattentive mother and the damned cute toddler, the next scene showed the toddler in its cradle, before a pair of monster hands slowly creep up behind him, and grabbed hold of him. Soon the faces of the monsters appeared; savage, saliva-dripping, horrific; and really, probably, scaring the toddler so much that he could have peed in his pants (and he would be saved by that, as diapers work!). Everywhere the toddler and mother went, the monsters continued to appear everywhere; one could question whether it was a slice of reality (as in the real world, there can be so many “monster” human beings out there) or just the trick of the eye of the toddler. For the ending part, it shifted into animation, done by Augenblick Studios.

Now, really, the kid either is gonna grow up to be traumatized by this whole video experience, as per how heavily criticised he was being treated (with the monsters); or there also is a high likelihood that he is going to grow up to be a fine, dandy indie kid. Let’s hope for the better.

.09

Video: “Can’t Stop Feeling”
Artiste: Franz Ferdinand
Director: Russell Weekes
Vidiscovery peak position: #2

Now, as cliche as I may sound, this is really what I call ‘thinking outta the box’. And don’t the lads of Franz Ferdinand (the band) look so fun to hang out with?

Pushing scenes of themselves throughout the entire video, the lads also engaged in fun displays of expressions, sweeping the floor, juggling, pounding, sitting on ladder, combing hair, walking like zombies, hammering, jumping, dancing alone, dancing in a group, having their faces shoved, fake playing the piano, walking, acting like a pervert, catching a teddy bear, fake playing tennis, fake talking on the phone, doing push-ups, posing and the finale of slapping their own faces. I have pretty much covered everything involved, and though it may sound like a serious case of “WTF?”, it really is fun to watch!

.08

Video: “More”
Artiste: Peaches
Director: Frederic D.
Vidiscovery peak position: #1

Also her second appearance on the chart, Peaches released a weird balloon (sex) theme party for her dark and heavy electronic beats filled single, “More”. Fancy how she can always bring up such a different view to something we see as ordinary, and in this case, balloons. Peaches was seen as arriving to the party, with weird formed balloons of different shapes, sizes and characters all fixed up. The crowd was dancing with their balloon partners.

And one is thinking that Lady Gaga is the most daring artiste of all time? Think again, for God’s sake, please. Scenes of women kissing their balloon partners showed; also two men feeling up the skirt of a balloon companion. Not kinky enough, I hear one say? The sight of an erection of a balloon dick, men licking balloon nipples of breasts, a capped twink boy sucking on a dick and how Peaches seemed to be making one… do its climax work.

I am never ever looking at a balloon the same way again.

.07

Video: “Boys & Girls”
Artiste: Martin Solveig featuring Dragonette
(cameo from Jean-Paul Gaultier)
Director: Jean-Paul Gaultier
Vidiscovery peak position: #1

What happened when three great talents meet? Awesome shit – I mean, awesome collaboration!

Martin Solveig is a renowned DJ who was recently in town for the ZoukOut 2009 party happening at Silosa Beach. His music touch seems to bring a little bit of high class to dance music. Dragonette, whom I always declare my love for, consists of bassist/producer Dan Kurtz, guitarist Chris Hugget, drummer Joel Stouffer (all three did not appear in the video), and lead singer Martina Sorbara. Martina is a true performer, and definitely the centre of attraction in the spotlight. Both artistes compliment one another in the music video, and doesn’t suppress any of each other’s talents away. Jean-Paul Gaultier is a French haute couture fashion designer, designing fashion pieces and creating accessories and perfumes ever since 1976. Shot entirely in at the Gaultier mansion, with the singers and dancers obviously dressed in his created outfits, his influence all over this video is hard to omit.

This could be the next best fashion video ever since Madonna’s “Vogue”.

.06

Video: “No One Does It Like You”
Artiste: Department Of Eagles
Director: Patrick Daughters
Vidiscovery peak position: #1

Patrick Daughters returns after appearing at #11 for his directed video of “Wrong” by Depeche Mode. He seems to be a little on his dark side this year with his directing – besides this, his other video for the year is Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks”, which featured the group members sitting in chairs in church singing, before their facial features strangely grow foreign, and soon they began to explode, or so it seemed. For this video, Daughters “employed a battalion of masked, short-skirted, rifle-toting ballet dancers to square off against a troupe of ghost-faced, marching troupe in the battlefield, with blood splattered everywhere, dead bodies resting, and the dead floating into the skies and heavens above to continue on their spiritual dancing.

The output should be eerie, yet it turned out fun. This is not war.

.05

Video: “Too Long”
Artiste: Yael Naim featuring David Donatien
Director: Laurent Seroussi
Vidiscovery peak position: #1

I don’t care; I don’t care the fact that this was more of a 2008’s video; I just have to feature it here.

If one thinks Chris Martin, or David Cook did great wonders memorizing the lyrics of their hit record backwards, Yael Naim does it one up, and beats them flat square to the ground – she memorizes her lyrics both backwards and forward. The video was shot in such a way that when it goes forward in black & white, she sang several parts of her song right and the others weirdly sounding; and when it goes backwards in the later half of the video in colours, with all her previous actions in reverse, her weird sounding first part singing makes complete sense and sync well with the lyrics, while the original parts go wrong.

Do I make any sense in the writing above? Maybe not, because this is best to be watched than to be talked about, so I should just shut the crap up.

Just to add, the other women in this video as well as a cameo by David Donatien add artistic elements to the video.

.04

Video: “Grapevine Fires”
Artiste: Death Cab For Cutie
Director: Walter Robot
Vidiscovery peak position: #1

Tissues ready, folks?

Based on a true story that “recalled the 2007 wildfires in California that destroyed 1,500 homes, burned 500,000 acres of land, killed nine people, and injured 85 others including at least 61 firefighters, the grapevine in the song title refers to the Grapevine freeway in California but still, it is interesting to hear a song by a popular band referencing wine”. Death Cab For Cutie got their wishes come true, with an animated video for this song and themselves getting involved and animated in a short scene, seen packing their musical instruments and luggages of belongings into a van to flee away from the burning flames. The conversations between the various characters were seen in words that lingered, the panic; yet it was the silence unspoken and the people’s actions that were the emotional parts. The brotherly love of the young one who ran back into the burning house to collect the photos for memory; the brother who lost a loved one to the fire running into the worrying arms of his mother; and the ending scene of the rain finally pouring down, hiding away the sad tears of the brother when he was presented with the photos as the lyrics went:

And the firemen worked in double shifts
With prayers for rain on their lips
And they knew it was only a matter of time

The video was shot in such a way that it makes me feel like I was there, zooming into the emotions, the disaster environment. And yes, I teared.

.03

Video: “日々の音色 (Hibi No Neiro)”
Artiste: Sour
Director: Masashi Kawamura, Hal Kirkland, Magico & Masayoshi Nakamura
Vidiscovery peak position: #1

It’s a pity how some videos end up, isn’t it? This cleverly innovative video, recruiting fans of Sour from all over the world or any fame whore who just wants a quick 15 seconds of fame (or more) in the spotlight, or anyone creative who wants to participate in the making of this video. It soon became an overabused trend – people began using it as a Facebook trending topic; and its idea was duplicated in commercials seen regionally – that was the period I really hated this video. It is a good video, no doubt; but seeing how people run to it like flocks of bees to honey makes me a little sick. And some of these people don’t really even appreciate music and music videos to begin with.

Remember: trending topics aren’t cool unless one starts it.

.02

Video: “King Rat”
Artiste: Modest Mouse
Director: The Masses (Heath Ledger, Daniel Auber, Norris Houk, Jade Taglioli & Sara Cline)
Vidiscovery peak position: #1

When Heath Ledger died on 22 January 2008 (a coincidental two days shy), I was upset. I remembered being stuck in camp and receiving a text message from my sister about his passing; either that, or I was the one conveying the message after faithfully watching Channel Newsasia that morning. I admit that I like him since Brokeback Mountain, the film directed by Ang Lee, and he seemed to be the kind of reluctant yet talented actor breed. (And he was really disturbing and into the role of The Joker in The Dark Knight as well, though I slept during the onflight screening of I’m Not There).

So when Modest Mouse’s video surfaced, and word that Heath Ledger was involved in the video, I was happy – to hear that he still has work yet to surface out there and to remember him once again after a year or so or more. Heath outlined the idea for the music video in January 2007 for the then unreleased song to the band which he had become friends with. It was unfinished during his untimely death and was completed by The Masses, a Los Angeles art collective / production company making up of members Daniel Auber (co-director and illustrator), Norris Houk (lead animator), Jade Taglioli (animator) and Sara Cline (producer). Ledger, also being part of The Masses, received a director’s credit for the video. The concept of the video showed a reverse situation of whales hunting for men in the role of fishes for food, and was intended to oppose against “the illegal commercial whale hunts taking place of [sic] the coast of Australia each year”, and to “raise awareness on modern whaling practices.”

Do not watch it while eating, as for an animation video, it is pretty bloody; cruel for the uptight and meat-eating folks, who may like to voice their displease over such a display while chewing down chicken as they are watching this.

Heath Ledger definitely will still be remembered; he still lingers in minds.

.01

Video: “Her Morning Elegance”
Artiste: Oren Lavie
Director: Oren Lavie, Yuval & Merav Nathan
Vidiscovery peak position: #1

And it was entirely shot while laying down on a bed, ain’t it a dream come true to mix work, life, play with sleep (puns totally intended)!

Sleep is a beautiful thing, unless, of course, one doesn’t like sleep at all. Yet another stop animation type video, watch as both male & female characters slip (rhymes with sleep!) into an enchanted world of dreams and free movements. Travelling on the subway fighting for her life; running across pillows of clouds in the sky; freefalling into the ocean blue and swimming with socks of fishes. Not forgetting the romantic dancing, hanging on for the moment from a strong blowing wind, amongst others. The setting of a bed in the middle of a well wooden floored room with the simple contrast of various colours, mainly between black and white, signifies beauty and simplicity, and leaves viewers with a feeling of calmness and the room and mood to explore.

Don’t we all want sleep to be thus pretty and exploring?

And once again, all this while laying in bed! I am feeling completely lazy right now and the bed is calling for me from behind (in the afternoon).

Till the next round next year.

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