Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Director's Label Series Boxed Set - The Works of Spike Jonze Chris Cunningham and Michel Gondry|
Actors: Michel Gondry, Akhenaton, Patricia Arquette, Thomas Bangalter, Beck
Directors: Michel Gondry, Chris Cunningham, Kim Gordon, Lance Bangs, Olivier Gondry
Genres: Comedy, Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Studio: Uni Dist Corp (music) Release Date: 11/09/2004
The best directors working right now. And really cheap!!
Maurice Alouf | Winfield, WV United States | 12/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK, you get 4 DVDs. One per director and a fourth bonus disk with work from all of them. and you get a booklet for each of the directors (so three little booklets just smaller than a DVD case, and in full color, with lots of details about what they were doing and why. and it includes sketches)
PLUS you get a huge double sided poster. One side is Chris Cunningham and the other side is a pencil drawing by all three directors. It's not the greatest in the world, but it's basically free at this price.
Spike Jonze is the most popular and well known of the three (I think) and I'm sure if you're reading this you have seen at least one of his videos or movies. If you like Mr. Jonze this set is for you.
Chris Cunningham is dark and evil and very sick. So, naturally, he does a lot of work with Richard James (Aphex Twin, AFX, Squarepusher) the dark and evil and very sick electronic musician. the video for Come to Daddy will make little children cry. Also, the booklet for Cunningham has some incredible and disturbing drawings from his sketchbook.
The star of this set and worth the entire price alone is Michel Gondry. If you saw the Foo Fighter's video for Everlong than you know what to expect: imagination, creativity, beauty... it goes on and on. I can't say enough good things about this director. He directed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Human Nature which are FANTASTIC movies!
This guy is a true genious. Im not a big Kylie Minogue fan, but just wait until you see his video for her song. Somehow he films her being looped over and over in the same environment without ever stopping the filming (at least to the perception of the viewer) and she begins to interact with herselves (all four of them) in the same environment perfectly. It's truly amazing to watch.
Ok, so the price is great, its worth twice as much. If you love film, music, art of any kind.. don't think about it, just get this set!!!"
Probably the best DVDs I own
Ausar | Pennsylvania | 05/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First I want to say that if you are just considering buying one or two of these DVDs individually...forget it and just buy the whole set. All three presentations are amazing and have a high re-watch value, plus if you buy the set you get a bonus disc with a few more videos. If you ever saw that show late night on MTV in the late 90's called "Amp" this set has several of the videos featured on that show.
I hafta say the Michel Gondry disc is the best because its not only double sided, but has a nice 2-part documentary on Gondry that is extremely interesting. Also, if anybody else that watched this disc is wondering about all the Kate Winslet and Jim Carey references, its because Gondry was directing the movie Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind when this disc was made. I highly recomend that movie as well.
Even though the Chris Cunningham disc has the least amount of features, the works that it does contain are worth having since they are so beautiful. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Cunningham's work in the future.
And the Spike Jonze disc is great as well. Its also double-sided like the Gondry disc.
I might be biased to review this because I happen to already like most the artists and all the songs that the directors did videos for. So its like having a DVD of music videos for songs from my own music collection. But even with the sound turned down and other music playing, this set makes a room a bit more interesting.
The set is good for (besides just watching it uninterupted) visuals for parties; playing while doing housework; background entertainment while you're on the phone.
It pretty much replaces conventional entertainment.
The only thing lacking is directors' commentaries. I think the Spike Jonze disc has a few, but i'd love to have that extra audio track to listen to for every video. The Gondry stuff is just so visually wild but practically simple that I'd love to hear Michel describe it. And the Cunningham work is very interesting....i'm sure he has some interesting things to say. I keep mentioning Spike last because he's the most popular and most people are already familiar with his work, but i'd like to hear his commentaries as well.
I guess you can look at the accompanying bookletts as a substitute for commentaries. The books are a nice supplement to the video presentations. Each book is 40-60 pages at least, full color, has interviews and thoughts written by the directors.
I highly recomend this set, not just the individual volumes. Don't waste your money on buying just one volume because once you see it you are going to wonder what you're missing with the rest anyway.
Gondry is my hero!
Suzanna Noort | Amsterdam Netherlands | 01/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I got the Spike Jonze DVD for Christmas and was already familiar with some of his work such as the Fat Boy Slim videos for "Praise You" and "Weapon of Choice" (featuring Christopher Walken dancing through a deserted hotel). I don't like everything he has made, but his good stuff is really excellent and he has a great talent for coming up with simple but very original concepts (like him leading a dance group outside a cinema in L.A. to the beats of FatBoy Slim). Also, he is partly responsible for bringing us MTV's "JackAss", of course!One of my personal favourites is "Drop" by The Pharcyde which was filmed entirely backwards with some very amusing results. Also "What's Up Fatlip?" by Fatlip who seems to be one of the few rappers that dares to appear on camera without four models hanging off each arm. In fact, he cycles through suburbia with a kiddie seat on the back of his bike, lets his 6 year old cousin kick him in the balls and raps on the street clad in nothing but a dirty raincoat and a diaper.Listening to Jonze's commentary about making some of the videos is very revealing and, accompanied by the candid descriptions of failed attempts in the booklet, helps you realize that even highly successful directors like Jonze and Cunningham make mistakes too. Chris Cunningham in particular is very critical of his own work which unfortunately resulted in his DVD containing less videos than the other two. Cunningham's style is very dark and ominous and in some cases downright scary, as in "Come To Daddy" (Aphex Twin). You've probably seen it and if so, you will probably never forget it as it depicts a deformed character in a TV set screaming "Come to daddy!" at children who all have Richard D. James' grinning face (Aphex Twin himself). I can barely watch it as it is exactly the kind of thing my nightmares are made of, but Madonna obviously liked it as she asked Cunningham to direct her video for "Frozen" after having seen it.Probably the most notable video on the Cunningham DVD is Bjork's "All Is Full of Love" in which the Icelandic songstress is a white, plastic robot on an assembly line who ends up passionately kissing an identical robot, therefore kissing herself. The movements are so fluid and well done that it's almost arousing to watch, despite all the machinery surrounding them. Bjork is the common denominator in this set of DVDs as all directors have worked with her. It is Michel Gondry however who has the most Bjork videos to his name."Joga", "Bachelorette", "Hyperballad", "Army of Me", "Isobel" and "Human Behaviour" are all on there, along with other artists such as Kylie Minogue, The Rolling Stones, Daft Punk and Oui Oui (a band that Gondry himself played drums in for a while). I had never heard the name Gondry until this set came out, but as the title of this review suggests, he is my new hero now! Wow, he makes some jaw-dropping videos which, besides pioneering new video compositing techniques, prove the guy is a genius in creative concepts. He has such a good feel for which images go with the track. Take "Fell in Love With A Girl" by The White Stripes for example: entirely animated out of blue, yellow, red, black and white lego blocks! It works so well particularly because he sticks to very rough shapes and doesn't overdo the details.Gondry is the man responsible for the Rolling Stones video "Like A Rolling Stone" in which Patricia Arquette crawls through Manhattan in a drugged haze. That video had a very strong "how on earth did he do that?" quotient as it appears to be made up of still photographs morphed into eachother, yet has the fluidity of film. In fact, most of his videos make you wonder how he realized certain effects and how he came up with the idea in the first place? The video for the Chemical Brothers' "Star Guitar" is worth buying this DVD for on its own. A view from a speeding train, the landscape rushing by as you might expect it to, until you realize that the landscape is in time with the music. Buildings. bridges and trees fly in and out of the frame on the beat, almost putting you in a trance. Pure genius again (sorry to keep repeating myself).The booklet accompanying the Gondry DVD contains background information on the making of certain videos, but also pages of personal polaroids and drawings and stories which Gondry faxed from L.A. to his 6-year-old son, Paul in Paris. There's a collection of home-movies and experiments and a documentary about Gondry, named "I've Been 12 Forever", a very apt title. My favourite page in the book is one with photos of every car Gondry's father ever owned. I love that kind of wacky stuff."
Must Have DVD Set
Brian C Weaver | Redmond, WA United States | 11/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This first release of Director's Label DVDs is a wonderful set. As different as the directors are, they complement each other really well. Michel Gondry's work exudes childlike wonder. The title of the documentary on the disk, "I've Been 12 Forever," is very true. There is an refreshing innocence to his work. The videos never try to be too cool, even though they are brilliant technical works. He uses every available tool of modern filmmaking to create dreamlike worlds that can only exist in the imagination, where reality is playfully skewed into fantasy. A couple examples are how the Chemical Brother's "Let Forever Be" video jumps seamlessly from handheld video to filmed studio dance numbers, and a Kylie Minogue video starts off perfectly normal only to have the cast start multiplying as the song keep going. This recursion shows up in a different, more stylized form in Bjork's "Bachelorette" video. Her videos are a highlight of Gondry's disk, as are the White Stripes videos (including "Fell in Love with a Girl"). Almost all the videos have the feeling of watching a 12-year old's daydreams. Even with all the beautiful women on display, there is little sexuality to the videos, which is keeping with the whole pre-pubescent mentality, a time when our lives seemed full of magic and possibility, and yet was uncomplicated by grown up concerns such as sex, money or power.The next director in the series, Chris Cunningham, is almost the polar opposite of Gondry. His cinematic visions are dark and disturbing manipulations of reality, explorations into the realm of nightmare. The disk a only single-sided DVD, instead of the double sided disks of Jonze and Gondry, but the quality makes up for a lack of quantity and the disk still packs a pretty potent punch. The Aphex Twin videos are really disturbing, especially "Come to Daddy," where a pack of children with the musican's face are running amok in the broken down part of a city. "Windowlicker," bookends this with his face on a bunch of models in a twisted parody of hip hop cliches. Bjork once again is the highlight of the disk, with "All is Full of Love," a very Kubrickian video with Bjork as a robot being built in a factory (the actually video grew out of some preproduction work Cunningham did on Kubrick's version of A.I.) Just as Gondry captured the innocence of childhood, Cunningham captures the dark aspects of adulthood, the scary ways that violence and sexuality are intertwined in the old replitian parts of our brain (which is captured frighteningly well in "Flex"), the sense of decay we feel as our bodies age and fail and our opportunities become more and more limited.Spike Jonze's disk bridges the divide between the other two directors. His disk has a very adolescent feel to it, it seems to embody the gap between child and adult, dream and nightmare. Jonze will take flights of fancy from time to time, such as in the "Weapon of Choice" video and the one by Bjork (who is a common thread that pulls this first set of releases together), but Jonze at the same time is fascinated by unvarnished reality. This shows up in most stongly in the "What's Up Fatlip" video, filmed on handheld video and showing a former rap star stripped of his glamor. The half hour documentary that goes with it on the B side of the disk is wonderful, as Fatlip talks about his fleeting fame and the illusions of the recording industry. You see how he lives now, his modest apartment and you really feel for him as he stands in a Big K parking lot wondering if he'll have to get a normal job sometime soon, now that fame and money has come and gone. Between the daydreams of childhood and the slick illusions we build for ourselves as adults, there is that stage of trying to find the truth about everything as an adolescent, about wanting things to be "real," and Jonze's disk works in some ways represents this stage of life. One other neat bit in his disk is seeing Sophia Copolla, the director of Lost in Translation, doing a intricate gymnastics routine. That video really needs to wind up being shown if she makes a Daily Show appearance around Oscar time..."