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.
60. The Human League – Don’t You Want Me | (1981)
Directed by Steve Barron (The Adventures of Pinnochio, Supervized)
When music videos were like movies. Short, little, weird movies.
Other videos he’s directed: Madonna – Burning Up; Bryan Adams – Heaven
59. The Bangles – Eternal Flame | (1988)
Directed by Tim Pope (The Crow: City of Angels)
I love me some Susanna Hoffs.
Other videos he’s directed: Soft Cell – Tainted Love; The Cure – Just Like Heaven
58. No Doubt – Spiderwebs | (1996)
Directed by Marcus Nispel (Pathfinder, Conan the Barbarian)
It’s all your faaaaauuult.
Other videos he’s directed: C+C Music Factory – Things That Make You Go Hmmm…; Bush – Greedy Fly
57. The Chemical Brothers – Go | (2015)
Directed by Michel Gondry (Human Nature, The Science of Sleep)
Other videos he’s directed: Paul McCartney – Dance Tonight; Sheryl Crow – A Change Would Do You Good
56. Radiohead – Jigsaw Falling Into Place | (2007)
Directed by Garth Jennings (Sing, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
Co-directed with Adam Buxton and done in only two takes.
Other videos he’s directed: Beck – Hell Yes; Atoms for Peace – Ingenue
55. Fishbone – Sunless Saturday | (1991)
Directed by Spike Lee (Jungle Fever, Malcom X)
From their album The Reality of My Surroundings. It remains, to this day, the band’s highest charting single.
Other videos he’s directed: Arrested Development – Revolution; The Killers – Land of the Free
54. The National – Hey Rosey |2019
Directed by Mike Mills (Thumbsucker, Beginners)
I’m not a fan of The National, but this video is an interesting (weird) one.
Other videos he’s directed: Pulp – Party Hard; Yoko Ono – Walking on Thin Ice
53. Sigur Rós – Leaning Towards Solace | (2012)
Directed by Floria Sigismondi (American Gods, The Handmaid’s Tale)
Starring Elle Fanning and John Hawkes. A haunting and intense video.
Other videos she’s directed: Katy Perry – The One That Got Away; Christina Aguilera – Hurt
52. Soulsavers – Unbalanced Pieces | (2009)
Directed by Hiro Murai (Guava Island)
Mark Lanegan & Mike Patton on vocals. Need I say more?
Other videos he’s directed: A Tribe Called Quest – Dis Generation; Queens of the Stone Age – Smooth Sailing
51. Midtown – Give It Up (1990)
Directed by Marc Webb (The Only Living Boy in New York, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
Has a slight Timecrimes / Triangle vibe to it.
Other videos he’s directed: Unwritten Law – Seein’ Red; Jimmy Eat World – Work
What did you think of the selection so far? What are some of your favorite music videos directed by filmmakers?