Larry Heath is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the national online publication the [AU] review.
He also dabbles in music video editing, DJing and is the digital arts curator of the 2010 Sydney Fringe Festival.
His favourite video is All Is Full of Love by Bjork.
When I was approached to submit to this blog, it’s an understatement to call it a hard task to pick just one video. One song, one video that is not only my favourite (or at least one of), but helps to sum up why I love music videos.
For reference, I revisited my Director’s Label DVD set, and came across many gems that hold a special place in my heart. “Windowlicker” by Aphex Twin and Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” are two that are most definitely up there for me.
Chris Cunningham, who directed the former, is a true genius. His work borders on mindfuckingmadness (yes, one word), because he refuses to give in to anyone’s expectations. He aims to be daring, innovative and surprising. Shocking, even. He’s the sort of director you’d allow to do anything to your work, because you’d believe he’d transform it into something beyond your wildest imagination. I doubt I’d ever heard of Aphex Twin if it wasn’t for Chris, and he showed me just what’s possible with a music video: the ability to make a good song GREAT. Memorable. In fact, I doubt anyone could detach the vision of the video when they hear the track. I sure can’t.
It’s to this director that I shout my love and award my favourite video to: Bjork’s “All is Full of Love”.
Released in 1998, shortly after “Windowlicker”, the video was one of the first (alongside “Windowlicker”) to show the endless potential of combining CGI / digital composting with live action. Sure it had been done before, but rarely in such a seamless fashion. The fact that the video holds up 12 years later is a testament to this. It’s smooth, it’s flawless! But on a personal level, what really makes this an important video is that I feel it proved to the world that Bjork could make a song that was more than just quirky – but she could produce true beauty as well.
I was 11 when “All Is Full Of Love” first hit our television screens, and to this point had been very much under the impression that Bjork just made “weird music”. The whole “appreciate originality” concept had yet to seep into my mainframe. And so it was this song that changed that opinion for me, leading me to discover Bjork for all her quirky, curious wonderness. I was instantly hooked. It also allowed Chris to work outside his comfort zone, playing with a certain sense of sentimentality in a video, rather than mindfuckingmadness.
As a video, I just couldn’t look away from it. I still can’t! Maybe it was being 11, and two robot Bjork’s were making out (which remains strange, sexy, and cool), but it was certainly the beauty of the song, too. Bjork asked Chris for a “white heaven”, and he produced just that – a perfect combination of sound and vision.
Of course, there has never been a detachment of the two. From the days of silent film, sound and vision have always gone hand in hand (cue Wurlitzer organ). And this is what makes music videos such an enthralling medium. For me, “All is Full of Love” is what it’s all about. The ability to glue your eyes to the screen, as you let yourself get taken away by the beauty before you, aided ever so kindly by the music behind it.