Some music videos seem as if they are the half-conscious cinematic visions filmmakers have moments before they fall asleep. Here are five great music videos we think could be turned into great movies.
5. Believe (The Chemical Brothers)
Directed by dom&nic (Dominic Hawley and Nic Goffey)
Logline: A man believes he is prey to a car factory welding robot.
This could be a great Darren Aronofsky-type of movie that explores the theme of ensuing madness.
We meet a young car factory worker as he is staring at women doing seductive fitness in a music video. Suddenly an angry older woman appears within the video and gives him a big scare. Is he seeing things? We later notice his arm is in a cast and speculate whether he suffered some injury from the factory machines he oversees. We try to figure out if a post-traumatic stress disorder is what released the final onslaught of madness, as, at first, he tries not to notice a nefarious robot lurking around, and, later, actively running from it.
A more detailed, cinematic story could provide an interesting venture into the psyche of a supposed last menial worker as it becomes clear to him he is now redundant. Machines have taken over labor intensive work and he no longer has excuses for not living however he imagined one should live.
What could be his last cling to sanity is a love interest and a suitable character could be introduced. The pair might explore the question of guilt for having a banal existence, a life in which, once freed from menial work, we are suddenly left with nothing else to offer. As we see the world around our factory guy disintegrate into pure shapes and colors we, as he, conclude there is no end to banality at all.
Tagline: I needed to believe in something.
4. Crystal Ball (Keane)
Directed by Giuseppe Capotondi
Logline: An everyday man is being stripped of his identity.
Actor Giovanni Ribisi plays a family man and real-estate agent who seems to have the perfect life until one morning he becomes fully excluded from it. Someone else is sitting at his desk at work, his keys no longer match the door lock, his wife and children are living with another man. And nobody knows him.
This could be stretched into an Peter Wier-like feature in which a man is hopelessly seeking clues for his Kafkaesque conundrum. Where does he go now? What does he do? Perhaps a homeless woman approaches him and claims she suffered the same circumstances. A shady character or two could spice up the oniric quality of this would-be movie as we try to find answers.
Was this alienation a punishment and for what? Who deemed this man a societal surplus? Maybe it was completely arbitrary – the quantum universe made a once in a billion years course-correction and this is the collateral damage? Perhaps he didn’t have much identity to begin with and it is no wonder he became fully indistinguishable?
There will be plenty of investigation and no answers.
Tagline: Where I belong.
3. Just (Radiohead)
Directed by Jamie Thraves
Logline: Existentialist drama hits the pavement.
This music video could be the finale of a Cohen brothers-like exploration of the absurd with comical elements.
We follow a white-collar guy performing the mundane tasks of everyday life with less and less persuasion. And we don’t just mean tooth brushing. He has a social persona to uphold and finds it ever more difficult to do that even in the circle of his closest family.
This could go hardly recognized by a wife that has rediscovered life’s wonder in, let’s say, multilevel marketing. After several embarrassing moments during a Tupperware sale at home, she decides to take matters into her own hands and takes him to a healing pyramid presentation. He escapes the room after not being able to mutter a word when offered appetizers.
We cut to the first scene of music video, as he tries to regain his composure but instead comes to a certain realization about existence that leaves him void of any purpose. He collapses on the street and becomes an unwilling prophet, indifferently announcing the ugly truth to a curios crowd that happened to be in the mood for philosophic thought. By the end of the film humanity has begun voluntary extinction.
Tagline: You do it to yourself and that’s what really hurts.
2. Windowlicker (Aphex Twin)
Directed by Chris Cunningham
Logline: Gangsta comedy morphs into surreal horror half way through.
Two foul-mouthed young men are window shopping for women in Los Angeles when a mysterious man with an umbrella shows up in a 38 windows-long white limousine and takes them on a nightmarish adventure.
As they chase after the promise of sex, the two ganstas commence an inward quest for answers: How much horrendous are we willing to be fine with if it comes with the alluring? What levels of self-degradation are we ready to accept when objectifying others? Is the anguish and disgust inflicting ugliness found on the ever-repeating face of the “hoochies” or within ourselves? Is this mystery umbrella man a grantor of hidden desires in a villainous society?
Too bad Chris Cunningham does not do feature films. Then again, Windowlicker, a movie in which profanity is silenced only by obscenity, could be a labor of love between Charlie Kaufman and David Lynch. Robert Rodriguez could produce.
Tagline: It’s your face.
1. If I Had a Heart (Fever Ray)
Directed by Andreas Nilsson
Logline: The upper class is killed off its own party.
This work of occult beauty by director Andreas Nilsson is suggestive of several ideas.
The beginning of a True Detective feature film, for example. Who would not like to listen to philosopher Rust Cohle’s sharp takes on living with Sartrean anguish while he sifts through the outcome of a murderous violence against aristocracy?
It could also be a Kubrickian study of human behavior under masks. Who or what do we become once we safely hide our identities?
What about a Lars von Trier-like examination of the culture of greed as agent provocateur of a mass shootings subculture?
The controversy, symbolism and aesthetics are already there. A cinematic rethinking of this mystery could provide more insight to the questions it rises – are the two blurred figures we see from a far the executioners of the dreadful act? Who are the tribal people that witness the aftermath of the killings and what is their role? Where are they taking the children, likely the only ones spared from the mayhem? Are they our last hope?
Tagline: Party is over.