So as you might have heard, the MTV Video Music Awards were last night and an overgrown arrogant rapper threw another tantrum stealing the spotlight away from a child (way to be gracious and mature Kanye, those after-the-fact apologies mean jackshit, btw). Apart from all the shenanigans and whatnot (ok, Alicia Keys’ voice is fucking killer, seriously; Lady Gaga has totally jacked Bjork’s ridiculous style and somehow parlayed it into a mainstream career), there were two categories that non-MTV watching viewers would have been interested in had they/if they watched.
Of course neither of them were presented during the actual show, but the Best Video (That Should Have Won A Moonman) was actually a pretty cool award that celebrated past VMA un-loved works of directors like David Fincher (George Michael’s “Freedom“) , Michel Gondry (actually nominated twice in this category for Bjork’s “Human Behavior” and the Foo Fighter’s “Everlong“), and Jonathan Glazer (Radiohead’s “Karma Police“) among others (vids by David Lee Roth, Dr. Dre, OK Go, U2 and Tom Petty).
But the winning Moonman went to Spike Jonze’s seminal music video for the Beastie Boys’ classic, “Sabotage,” that was a venerable parody of ’70s cop shows (think “Starsky & Hutch”) replete with overgrown sideburns and ‘staches, wild, civilian-disregarding car chases and masculine hyperbole. Obviously it’s a well-regarded music video and the Criterion Collection even went as far to put out a collection of Beastie Boys music videos and you know which vid graced its cover. It’s a modern work of art really and helped put Jone further on the map as an exciting, breakthrough director, so kudos to him for finally getting some MTV recognition here.
In another interesting category, also not shown during the broadcast, Brooklyn synth twee duo Matt & Kim’s video for “Lessons Learned,” directed by Taylor Cohen & Otto Arsenault , won the Breakthrough Video of The Year award; always an interesting category that highlights a lot of good up-and-coming video directors who usually turn into feature-film directors — one of the nominees Ray Tintori, is already doing so and is working with Spike Jonze on an upcoming feature. M&K bested inventive videos directed by Sam Jones (Coldplay), Richard Ayoade (Yeah, Yeah Yeahs) and Chris Milk (Gnarls Barkley) among others.
We took a deep look at all the nominated breakthrough video directors earlier this summer so check out this feature if you want to know more about these on-the-rise filmmakers.
Matt & Kim – “Lessons Learned”