The Director's Works Series was designed to showcase some of the coolest music videos
, short films
, and other bits of visionary filmmaking
in recent years. The label was formed by Spike Jonze
, Chris Cunningham
, and Michel Gondry
, and it would seem like ego that they also happen to be the first three people to get their own DVDs, until you watch their videos, which are indeed cool, wonderful, amazing, visionary, and generally brilliant.
Each of these DVDs contains the music videos each director has made as selected by them (most of them have a list of videos to their name much longer than what could be fit on a DVD), and other of their works they felt represented them as filmmakers. These include, for the uninitiated, the "Weapon of Choice" video with Christopher Walken dancing around; "All is Full of Love", where robot Björk makes out with another robot Björk; and the Lego "Fell in Love With a Girl" video (this just representing the most well-known of the filmmakers creations). All told, the three DVDs in the collection (released by Palm Pictures in Region 1 NTSC and Region 2 PAL) contain 51 music videos, 10 short films, 6 commercials, and much, much more. If you're a filmmaker or you're interested in the art of filmmaking, then you need to own this.
Which is why it's so lucky Palm has made it easy. While I bought the original three discs as part of an Amazon.com deal before I found out about this (grr), the series is now available in a box set featuring all three DVDs plus a bonus disc. For Spike Jonze, the disc contains the absolutely psychotic "Y Control" video by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, his "Island in the Sun" video for Weezer, and "Invisible Boards", an excerpt from Yeah Right!, a Girl Skateboards film, co-directed with Rick Howard. For Gondry, it contains the inventive "I Wonder", by The Willowz and "Ossamuch!", a very funny short film starring Kishu & Co. Nothing new for Cunningham, sadly, but all three also participate in a Q&A session on the disc, and a dual-sided poster featuring a Cunningham design, and a piece of artwork by all three directors. Very cool.
And yet, it's still not over. Confirmed by Palm for a 2005 release (right now, anyway), is The Work of Director Mark Romanek. Romanek directed the chilling and stylized One Hour Photo and is working on the Tom Hanks thriller flick Cold Case. He's done videos for Madonna, Nine Inch Nails, Beck, Sonic Youth, REM, David Bowie, No Doubt and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to name a few. According to IMDb, most of them seem to have been interviewed for the disc. Sounds good -- hopefully Palm has some more good choices lined up for the future, because if the Director's Works Series continues, it could truly be one of the best home video series of all time.
I don't want to take apart the above write-up until these discs come out, but Palm announced that on September 15th, they will release the next four entries in the Director's Works Series. These are:
- Volume 4 - The Work of Director Mark Romanek
- Volume 5 - The Work of Director Jonathan Glazer
- Volume 6 - The Work of Director Anton Corbijn
- Volume 7 - The Work of Director Stephane Sednaoui
Glazer directed Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast, and his videos include work by Blur, Radiohead, and Massive Attack. Corbijn's work includes videos by Depeche Mode, Joy Division, U2 and Echo and the Bunnymen. Sednaoui has done videos for, of course, the ever-present and always innovate Björk, and also Red Hot Chili Peppers, REM, and Garbage. All four DVDs come with extensive interviews, commercials by the directors, commentaries (including Kingsley on a clip of Sexy Beast), and sound like well-thought-out and worthy entries into the Director's Works Series. Still hoping for a Fincher disc, though...
For more information, check out www.directorslabel.com.
Palm has suggested that Mike Mills (director of 2005's Thumbsucker and not R.E.M.'s bass player), Hammer & Tongs (which includes Garth Jennings and Nick Goldstone, who made 2005's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie) and a couple other names are being bandied about for future discs. Apparently David Fincher declined to make a disc, however. That rat bastard.