Every time I attend the Music Video Night – one night amidst the REELWorld Film Festival – I become more and more appreciative of music videos as an art form. This year’s event was no different.
This year, there was a broader showing of genres – more rock and less hip hop. However, I found some of the videos to be safe bets, so to speak.
Opening the night was Azealia Banks’ ‘212’. The track, off of her run-away EP, is a quick-paced word-a-thon, laced with vulgar language and city shout-outs. The video, directed by Vincent Tsang, is a black-and-white ode to Banks’ stand-alone talent. It features her standing at a wall, rapping into the camera. Lyrics flash momentarily on screen from time to time, and sometimes Banks dances. Otherwise, it’s pure proof that you don’t need tons of cash to make a great video.
Speaking of great videos, Cadence Weapon’s ‘Hype Man’ took me a while to understand. At first, I thought the video (which Cadence Weapon directed with George Vale) was portraying him as an ass – something I know he’s not. I heard the Edmonton-based rapper perform the song during the Indies, and I was glad to see that the energy and the excitement of the track translates on screen.
But back to the video. When the video ended it became one of my favourites of the night. An insightful comment on the status of “celebrity”. I won’t say any more, just look up the video and keep an open mind throughout.
Speaking of insightful, Ian Kamau‘s ‘Black Bodies’ nearly brought me to tears. The video, directed by the one and only RT!, acted as the perfect vehicle for the hefty track. Kamau speaks about the horrible consequences of inner city violence. The song, and the video, are so spot on. . . they’re beautiful works of art.
Other notable videos included Metric‘s ‘Breathing Underwater’, which followed the band as they toured the country. The video, directed by Lauren Graham, offered a wonderful look into the band’s life on stage – wide shots and vast angles, it’s a great video, fitting for a great song.
The Balconies’ ‘ Kill Count’ was a straight party video, featuring a bunch of glitter and confetti, and a few Mexican wrestlers. It didn’t necessarily make much sense in the context of the song, but it was pure visual joy to watch. Tegan and Sara’s ‘Closer’ was another party-type video, but it also captures the fun feel of the song perfectly. Another video that oddly captured the feel of the song was Saidah Baba Taliba’s ‘Revolution’. You’ll recognize the track from the commercial for the Chevrolet VOLT, but you’ll fall in love with the song for Saidah’s incredibly strong vocals and incredible persona once you watch the video.
As always, the night ended with a question-and-answer session between producer Ron Allen and music video director Davin Black.
Music Video Night will be coming back when the REELWorld Film Festival does next year. Don’t miss out, make sure you’re there.