Music Video of the Day: Bop ‘Til You Drop by Rick Springfield (1984, directed by David Fincher)

When you think of which 1980s pop singer was most likely to fuse his music with a science fiction epic about a group of intergalactic prisoners being enslaved by some sort of smirking lizard king, Rick Springfield is probably not the name that immediately comes to mind.  But that’s just what happens with the music video for his song, Bop ‘Til You Drop.

Not surprisingly, this video was directed by David Fincher.  Before Fincher moved into feature films, he specialized in music videos that took artists to new and unexpected places.  According to both the Internet Movie Database and the Internet Music Video Database, this was Fincher’s first music video.  A year earlier, he had worked as an assistant cameraman on Return of the Jedi and both the slaves and the aliens in this video feel like they would not have been out of place as a part of Jabba the Hutt’s entourage.  Visually, the video also has much in common with Fincher’s feature directorial debut, Alien 3.

This song was recorded for the soundtrack of Hard To Hold, an apparently unsuccessful attempt to turn Rick Springfield into a film star.  I haven’t seen Hard to Hold but Wikipedia offers up the following plot description:

James “Jamie” Roberts (played by singer-songwriter Rick Springfield), being a pop idol, is used to having his way with women. He meets child psychologist Diana Lawson (Janet Eilber) in a car accident, however, who not only doesn’t swoon at his attention but has also never heard of him. He tries to win her affection but complicating things is that his ex-lover, Nicky Nides (Patti Hansen), remains a member of his band.

It sounds like the music video was more interesting than the movie.


6 Good Films That Were Not Nominated For Best Picture: The 2000s

Continuing our look at good films that were not nominated for best picture, here are 6 films from the 2000s.

Mulholland Drive (2001, dir by David Lynch)

David Lynch’s masterpiece may have started out as a failed pilot for a television show but, under his direction, it transformed into a hauntingly enigmatic mystery, one that is still being analyzed and debated to this very day.  David Lynch received an Oscar nomination for Best Director but the film itself was perhaps a bit too strange and unsettling to convince the Academy to give it the Best Picture nomination that it deserved.

Donnie Darko (2001, dir by Richard Kelly)

Mulholland Drive wasn’t the only film that proved to be too strange for the Academy.  Richard Kelly’s haunting Donnie Darko was also snubbed.  Apparently, we had good reason to doubt the Academy’s commitment to Sparkle Motion.

28 Days Later (2002, dir by Danny Boyle)

“Hello?”  Danny Boyle’s absolutely terrifying “zombie” film invited us to experience a world gone crazy and it pretty much convinced us that it was nowhere that we would ever want to visit.  Audiences were terrified.  Critics were stunned.  However, the Academy was unmoved and 28 Days Later went unnominated.

Inland Empire (2006, dir by David Lynch)

Needless to say, if Mulholland Drive was too strange for the Academy than there was no way that they were going to nominate David Lynch’s even more enigmatic companion piece.  Inland Empire is an unforgettable film featuring a great performance from Laura Dern.  The Academy should have nominated it for the dance scenes alone.

Zodiac (2007, dir by David Fincher)

Though it may not have been a box office hit, Zodiac is perhaps David Fincher’s best film, a true crime story that achieves a nightmarish intensity.  The film was probably a bit too dark for the Academy but it’s both chilling and unforgettable and it also features one of Robert Downey Jr.’s best performances.

The Dark Knight (2008, dir by Christopher Nolan)

I have to admit that I’m not as big a fan of The Dark Knight as some.  However, when you talk about infamous Oscar snubs, you have to mention The Dark Knight.  This film received several nominations and was one of the most popular films of the year.  When it was not nominated for Best Picture, the outcry was so great that the Academy changed the rules to allow more films to compete.  11 years later, Black Panther finally accomplished what The Dark Knight did not and it became the first comic book film to be nominated for best picture.

Up next, we wrap things up with the 2010s!

The monster from Mulholland Drive

Music Video of the Day: Love is Strong by The Rolling Stones (1994, directed by David Fincher)

Love is Strong was the first single to be released off of the Rolling Stones’s 1994 album, Voodoo Lounge.  Since everyone already knew that the Rolling Stones were giants of music, the video for Love is Strong took the idea one step further by casting the Stones as actual giants, towering over New York City.

The video was directed by David Fincher.  Having already made a name for himself as a talented music video director before even making his first feature film, Fincher did this video after directing Alien 3 but before Seven.  Fincher has said that Alien 3 was such a frustrating experience that, after completing the film, he had no desire to ever make another feature.  (Of course, he would change his mind upon reading the script for Seven.)  As this video shows, even if Fincher had stopped making movies after Alien 3, he would still be remembered and highly regarded for his music videos.

Love is Strong subsequently won the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video-winning song.

Music Video of the Day: Roll With It (1988, directed by David Fincher)

Yes, this video was directed by that David Fincher.

Taking place in a crowded bar and featuring patrons dancing while Steve Winwood and the band perform in the background, this video shows that, even before directing films like Se7en, Fight Club, and The Social Network, Fincher had a strong eye for detail.  The video makes you feel the heat.

Because this video has a page at the imdb, we actually know the names of some of the people who collaborated with Winwood and Fincher.  The choreography was provided by none other than Paula Abdul while the black-and-white cinematography is credited to Mark Plummer.  (Plummer’s other credits include the films Two Moon Junction, After Dark My Sweet, The Waterdance, and Albino Alligator.)  The video was edited by Scott Chestnut, who subsequently worked on several feature films directed by John Dahl, including Red Rock West, Unforgettable, and Rounders.

With the help of this video, Roll With It went on to spend four weeks at the top of Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

Music Video of the Day: Get Rhythm by Ry Cooder (1988, dir. David Fincher)

Once again, we have club-owner Stanton, but back in the 1980s before he played a club owner in Stop by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. This time he is under the direction of none other than David Fincher. I didn’t expect to hit a David Fincher music video while going through ones with Harry Dean Stanton.

It’s a shame that the version I found has such a low resolution. I mean there isn’t anything particularly interesting about the video. It’s one of those where a band starts playing to a nearly empty place and people keep trickling in until the club is packed because they can’t resist the pull of the song. But still, you can tell that it probably looked really good when it was shown properly.

What happened to the parrot between shots?


Harry Dean Stanton Retrospective:

  1. Those Memories Of You by Dolly Parton & Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris (1987, dir. White Copeman)
  2. Heart Of Stone by Dwight Yoakam (1996, dir. Dwight Yoakam)
  3. Sorry You Asked? by Dwight Yoakam (1996, dir. Dwight Yoakam)
  4. Nothing To Believe In by Cracker (1996, dir. Samuel Bayer)
  5. Stop by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (2003, dir. Charles Mehling)
  6. Dreamin’ Of You by Bob Dylan (2008, dir. ???)

Music Video of the Day: She’s A Mystery To Me by Roy Orbison (1989, dir. David Fincher)

Seeing as I did In Dreams yesterday, I felt it was necessary to follow it with She’s A Mystery To Me, since they are connected. I’m going quote Wikipedia below about how the song came to be, and it’s ties back to both In Dreams and Blue Velvet (1986) because me paraphrasing it doesn’t make any sense.

During a restless night of sleep in June 1987 in London during U2’s Joshua Tree Tour, Bono slept with the soundtrack to the film Blue Velvet CD on repeat. The CD had been given to him by the Edge’s wife. When he woke the following morning, he had a tune in his head which he assumed was from the soundtrack. He soon realized it wasn’t so he wrote down the basic structure of the song. Later that day he sang the unfinished song to the band at their pre-concert soundcheck at Wembley Arena. After the concert, Orbison paid the band an unannounced visit backstage, where a perplexed Bono played the song for him. Bono and Orbison worked again on the song in mid-November in Los Angeles. The album Mystery Girl was named after the song.

I haven’t seen all of David Fincher’s music videos, and I might be a little biased since I like Orbison so much, but I think this is the best one I’ve seen. I love that he did it with almost no one in the video. It’s all done as if we are a detective arriving on a series of scenes, and trying to piece together what happened.

According to Wikipedia, there are two versions of this video. This is the popular one where it is a grown woman that is planning on leaving, who we assume is Orbison because of the boots. In the other version, it’s a mother who is pursuing her young daughter who is about to board the plane. The woman is played by the same person in both videos. The big difference is that the second version has the one leaving return to the person showing up at the end rather than being left standing alone.

The only other video that I can think of that is quite as beautiful, or is at least very similar, is Butterfly, where Mariah Carey got veteran cinematographer, Daniel Pearl, to co-direct it with her.

The video was shot by Marc Reshovsky. He worked mainly as a cinematographer. However, he did get behind the camera for a few music videos like Nothin’ But A Good Time by Poison and I Remember You by Skid Row.

I’ve included the trailer below for the documentary made about the album, Mystery Girl, that was directed by Orbison’s son, Alex Orbison:

Also, assuming it is still up, here is Bono singing the song:

It’s amazing how much it sounds like something Bono would write, but it’s still inextricably linked to Orbison’s voice.


Here’s the teaser for Mindhunter!

Coming to Netflix in October…

It’s a new show about serial killers and the people who study them, hunt them, and hopefully capture them.   It’ll be like Criminal Minds, though it’ll probably feature more profanity and nudity and less Thomas Gibson-involved physical assaults.

This show was produced by David Fincher so you know every film blogger is going to have to watch at least one episode.