I know what you’re thinking … “Another list? Jeez!” But, whatever. It’s combining two of the things I like most … music and movies. Growing up in the 80s and on MTV, the channel was always on when I was home. There was something alluring about waiting for your favorite song/video to come on and just watch it in awe. Some you watched because you loved the song, others you watched the video on mute just for the cinematic experience. I don’t even know what MTV airs anymore, since giving up on it in the mid to late 90s. Yes, there are a ton more than this to choose from (hell, David Fincher and Spike Jonze have done more than 100 combined). Here are some of the best/my favorite/random music videos directed by some of the greatest filmmakers out there. Some you might not even have known about.
These are the 100 Greatest Music Videos Directed by Famous Filmmakers.
20. Aerosmith – Janie’s Got A Gun | (1989)
Directed by David Fincher (Panic Room, The Social Network)
Watching this video, you knew Fincher was destined to be a great filmmaker.
Other videos he’s directed: ; Nine Inch Nails – Only
19. Nirvana – Smell Like Teen Spirit | (1991)
Directed by Samuel Bayer (A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010))
Single-handedly changed the music industry in one fell swoop.
Other videos he’s directed: NoFX – Bob; ALL – Million Bucks
18. Brand New – Sic Transit Gloria … Glory Fades | (2004)
Directed by Marc Webb (Gifted, The Only Living Boy in New York)
An interesting experiment in human voodoo dolls.
Other videos he’s directed: Green Day – 21 Guns; Sparta – Breaking The Broken
17. The White Stripes – I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself | (2003)
Directed by Sofia Coppola (Marie Antoinette, The Bling Ring)
Kate Moss dancing on a stripper pole. What more do you want?
Other videos she’s directed: The Flaming Lips – This Here Giraffe; Phoenix – Chloroform
16. Marylin Manson – The Beautiful People | (1996)
Directed by Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways, The Turning)
Described as “the creepiest of creepy videos”.
Other videos she’s directed: Sigur Rós – Untitled #1 (Vaka); Filter & The Crystal Method – (Can’t You) Trip Like I Do
15. UNKLE featuring Thom Yorke – Rabbit in Your Headlights | (1998)
Directed by Jonathon Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth)
Such an intense video that says a lot about people in this day and age.
Other videos he’s directed: Massive Attack – Karmacoma; Radiohead – Street Spirit (Fade Out)
14. The Rolling Stones – Love Is Strong | (1994)
Directed by David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac)
A year before the fantastic film Seven, he delivered us this great black and white video, Attack of the 50 Foot Mick Jagger.
Other videos he’s directed: Billy Idol – L.A. Woman; Justin Timberlake feat Jay-Z – Suit & Tie
13. Public Enemy – Fight The Power | (1989)
Directed by Spike Lee (School Daze, BlacKkKlansman)
The song was conceived specifically for Spike Lee’s 1989 film, Do the Right Thing. The video, is a powerful short and an extension of the film itself.
Other videos he’s directed: Buckshot LeFonque – Breakfast at Denny’s; Grandmaster Flash
and Melle Mel – White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)
12. Pearl Jam – Jeremy | (1992)
Directed by Mark Pellington (Arlington Road, I Melt With You)
After the controversy surrounding this video, Pearl Jam backed away from making music videos.
Other videos he’s directed: Alice In Chains – Rooster; Whale – Hobo Humpin’ Slobo Babe
11. Beastie Boys – Sabotage | (1994)
Directed by Spike Jonze (Adaptation, Where The Wild Things Are)
Both an homage to and a parody of, 70s crime drama shows.
Other videos he’s directed: Sonic Youth – 100%; Chainsaw Kittens – High in High School
30-21 | 10-1
What did you think of the selection so far? What are some of your favorite music videos directed by filmmakers?