August 2009: J Williams, Junipah, Liam Finn, Luger Boa, Midnight Youth, Minuit

Loitering at the pool hall, all around town, here and not here, couch party, a post-apocalyptic nightclub, and askew showgirls.

Continue reading August 2009: J Williams, Junipah, Liam Finn, Luger Boa, Midnight Youth, Minuit

June 2009: Like You Crazy, Minuit, Motocade, One-Two, Over The Atlantic, Rhian Sheehan

Coloured squares, postcards from Aotearoa, singing in the rain, cruising around Melbo, a lyrical video, and a music box adventure.

Continue reading June 2009: Like You Crazy, Minuit, Motocade, One-Two, Over The Atlantic, Rhian Sheehan

April 2009: Midnight Youth, Minuit, Nathan King, Opensouls, Pluto

Nostalgic matrimony, a golden explosion, the photographer at work, old style, and green screen to the ’90s.

Continue reading April 2009: Midnight Youth, Minuit, Nathan King, Opensouls, Pluto

October 2006: Elemeno P, Ill Semantics, Kimbra, Minuit, Neil Robinson

Bob Parker’s mischievous monkey, a social media guru, suburban club culture, a knitted audience, and oodles of doodles.
Continue reading October 2006: Elemeno P, Ill Semantics, Kimbra, Minuit, Neil Robinson

February 2006: Goodnight Nurse, Kitsch, Minuit, Mo’Reece, Motocade

Bloody goths, a superhero parking warden, an underdog story, and some live action,
Continue reading February 2006: Goodnight Nurse, Kitsch, Minuit, Mo’Reece, Motocade

Minuit “Fuji”

2005-minuit-fujiJapanese culture has been used in a lot of music videos, but it’s usually done in a half-arsed way – the random East Asian girls in the PanAm’s “Japanese Girls” video; the videos based around home movies shot around the Yamanote subway line. Finally here’s a video that uses some Japanese style in an interesting way.

The video is set in a smoky bar, and most patrols are wearing military costumes of a vague WWII style. But this is no period drama and it’s not intended as a literal depiction of Japan. Rather there’s a curious sci-fi feeling to the scene – maybe even inspired by Blade Runner. The video also features a fish out of water, flapping around, an instant reminder of Faith No More’s epic “Epic” video.

It’s lush visuals galore, but the vid also nicely follows the dynamics of the song, from the chaotic explosion in the middle to the transcendent moment of “I’m like a nomad” at the end. It’s all very stylish.

And its stylishness was not unrewarded. “Fuji” was nominated for Best Music Video at the 2006 New Zealand Music Video Awards, with Richard Harling winning Best DOP and Daniel Strang winning Best Editor at the 2006 Kodak Music Clip Awards.

Best bit: the sassy smoker at the bar whose dramatic gesture knocks over the fish bowl.

Director: Alyx Duncan
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… less is more.

Minuit “I Hate Guns”

2004-minuit-i-hate-gunsMinuit are a band who have always made stylish videos for their songs, and this time they’ve gone for a stylish animation. The video is also another recipient of the $1500 grant from Positively Wellington Business for the production of music videos in Wellington.

In this situation, the video is set in a classy department store, looking more inspired by the 125-year-old Smith & Caughey’s building in Auckland than Wellington’s 15-year-old Kirkcaldie & Stains building.

The video centres around a posh lady who buys a gun from the department store. Straight after anti-gun protest ninjas attack, splashing red paint and causing chaos. They try to go after the posh lady, but they’re too chaotic and she’s too cool. But as soon as the posh lady leaves the store, she chucks her newly purchased gun in a rubbish bin, sticking it to both arms manufacturers and the anti-gun lobby. And giving the town’s rubbish collectors a special treat.

The animation is a bit stiff and awkward, but that’s the sort of thing that happens with a relatively cheap music video. It could have been better, but it still suits the quirky world of Minuit.

Best bit: the bust of a Star Wars stormtrooper, a target of the anti-gun ninjas.

Next… one night only.

Minuit “Except You”

2004-minuit-except-youMinuit return with “Except You”, a bittersweet and supercool reflection upon a broken relationship. But the video, directed by Alyx Duncan, takes its inspiration from outside the home.

Across a lonely costal landscape comes Ruth from Minuit, two suitcases in hand. Those suitcases contain a lot of old memories and she’s there to dramatically dispose of their contents. She begins hurling away accoutrements of her past, which seems a bit more fun than dropping off a banana box of stuff to the Red Cross store.

But what’s behind this dramatic disposal? We flash back to the circus. There’s Ruth and her bandmates along with a number of circus performers, all elaborately costumed and with very expressive eyebrows. They lipsync along with the song, and it feels all very sinister. In the midst of it, Ruth slips a teaspoon down her cleavage, suggesting that her suitcases are all full of stolen goodies.

After emptying the two suitcases – but keeping the cute little dog she found in one – Ruth sets off down to the beach. But there she finds the circus people. Uh oh. They close in on her, grab her and perform the classic “sawing a lady in half” trick. Only it’s no trick. Ruth has been bisected, with her annoyed top half in one suitcase and her wiggling legs in the other. Well, when it’s no longer ethical to have animals in circuses, you’ve got to entertain the punters somehow.

I really like what’s happening in this video. It’s really stylish and dramatic with a really strong storyline, it works perfectly with the lyrics and tone of the song, and there are lots of lush details to be discovered with repeat viewings.

Best bit: the naughty fingertip lick.

Director: Alyx Duncan
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… round the rugged rocks.