Music Video of the Day: (You Drive Me) Crazy by Britney Spears (1999, dir by Nigel Dick)


Remember Drive Me Crazy?

Released in 1999, Drive Me Crazy was a little film from the Freddie Prinze, Jr. era of teen romcoms with generic titles.  Of course, Freddie Prinze, Jr. is not actually in Drive Me Crazy.  Instead, the Prinze role was taken by Adrian Grenier, who does a decent impersonation.  In this film, Grenier plays the neighbor of Melissa Joan Hart.  The plot was pretty standard for the films of this era.  Melissa Joan Hart needs to make someone jealous so she pretends to date Adrian Grenier and then they end up falling in love for real.  Along the way, an important lesson is learned about being yourself and not worrying about what cliques think of you.  It’s pretty much a forgotten film, overshadowed by the likes of She’s All That and Get Over It.  (When Adrian Grenier took on the role of “greatest actor of his generation” Vincent Chase on Entourage, it was often said that Chase’s first film role was in a romantic comedy with Mandy Moore.  I assume that was a reference to this film.  Not that I ever watched Entourage….)

(Want to be your super hero …. fallin’ from running horse….)

Originally, Drive Me Crazy was going to be called Next To You, which is perhaps the only possible title that could have been more generic than the one that they went with.  The title changed after the success of Britney Spear’s debut album, …Baby One More Time.  One of the songs from the album, (You Drive Me) Crazy, had been included on the film’s soundtrack and the film’s producers decided to try to capitalize on Britney’s popularity by renaming the film after it.  And so, Next To You became Drive Me Crazy.

This also led to the production of a music video tie-in.  In the video for (You Drive Me) Crazy, Britney plays a dorky waitress who turns out to be a great dancer.  Of course, both Melissa Joan Hart and Adrian Grenier make appearances in the video.  Apparently, Grenier really didn’t want to be in the video and had to be talked into it by the video’s director, Nigel Dick.  Did Grenier think that he was too good to appear in a video with Britney Spears!?  That’s a bold statement from someone who subsequently spent 8 years acting opposite of Jeremy Piven.

Anyway, this is a fun video and, with everything that she’s been through, it’s always kind of nice to see Britney actually enjoying herself.  Filmed years before the marriage to Kevin Federline and all the stuff that followed afterwards, there’s a lot of optimism and hope to be found in this video.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Wake Up Call by Steve Aoki and Sidney Samson (2012, dir by ????)


One of my New Year’s resolutions was to …. *checks notes* …. share more from Steve Aoki on this site so I guess I better get around to honoring that resolution by sharing the oddly disturbing video for Wake Up Call.

“WAKE UP!”

I’ve actually come across some online criticism of Wake Up Call, with the most frequent complaint being that it sounds “messy and confused” but personally, I think that’s kind of the point.  It’s all about the sensation of being jarred awake, of being snapped out of a dream and into the real world.  Everyone wakes up messy.  Everyone wakes up confused.  The messiness is kind of the point here.  Seriously, whenever I wake up, it always takes me a few minutes to realize where I am and then it takes me even longer to get my hair out out of my face.  Sleep is messy, which is why I try to get as little as possible of it.

As for the video …. AGCK!  I mean seriously, what the Hell is going on?  Is Steve Aoki trying to kill Clifton Collins, Jr?  Or is Michelle Rodriguez just dreaming that Aoki is strangling her …. well, I want to say lover but they don’t really appear to be too much in love.  Who is dreaming in this video and who needs to “WAKE UP?”  Personally, I think Michelle Rodriguez may have seen what Clifton Collins, Jr. was dreaming about so she summoned Aoki from her own dreams, specifically so he could be her vessel of vengeance.  To be honest, the whole thing kind of feels like a Jean Rollin vampire film to me.  And yes, yes …. I know that I tend to compare anything that is the least bit surreal to a Jean Rollin vampire film but that doesn’t make the observation any less pertinent.

Of course, it’s also possible that there might not be any definite explanation as to just what exactly is happening.  Perhaps the point.  Like life, the video may mean whatever we want it to mean.

Now, I will admit that I did attempt to search around online and find what other people thought this video was about.  Unfortunately, almost every link that I followed led me to someone talking about the video for Maroon 5’s Wake Up Call.  I’d actually like to see someone remake Begin Again with Steve Aoki in the Adam Levine role.  I think that would be hella interesting.

Anyway, enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: I’m Glad by Jennifer Lopez (2002, dir by David LaChapelle)


Believe it or not, this is the video that got Jennifer Lopez sued.

That’s right.  Paramount Pictures actually sued Jennifer Lopez and Sony Music over a claim of copyright infringement, saying that they had no right to make a video that was clearly a recreation of the 1980s dance film, Flashdance.  Lopez countered that Flashdance is one of her favorite movies and that the video was meant to be a loving homage.  Personally, I think the video plays more like a satire but regardless, Lopez’s affection for the source material does shine through.

Here’s the thing, though.  Paramount might have had a point about the copyright infringement thing.  But this video introduced a whole new generation of people (like me) to their film.  Would I have ever watched Flashdance if not for this video?  Well, probably.  I have a weakness for 80s dance movies.  But what about people who aren’t attracted to flashy 1983 films like a moth to an open flame?  This video is probably the best advertisement for Flashdance that’s ever been made.

While it’s easy to dismiss Paramount’s lawsuit as a miscalculation, the lawsuit filed by Maureen Marder was  a far more tragic story.  Marder was the dancer whose life story inspired Flashdance.  Marder was paid a flat fee of $2,300 for her story.  Flashdance went on to make 150 million at the U.S. box office.  Basically, a lot of people got rich off of Flashdance but the dancer who inspired the film did not.  Nor did Marder see any money from the subsequent Broadway musical or Lopez’s music video.  Marder, whose career was ended by a spinal injury, sued Lopez for copyright infringement in 2003.  Three years later, Marder’s suit was dismissed.

Anyway, despite all of the legal drama. I like this video.  I like that Lopez dances as if her life depended upon it and I like that she’s unashamedly and unabashedly sexy in the video.  Famously, Lopez was intimately involved in the editing of this video and refused to allow any type of retouching to be done to her famously curvy figure.  This video features her at her most confident and determined, showing off the drive that made her a star.  Say what you will about Jennifer Lopez as an actress, she can dance.

Hopefully, someday, someone will do a music video based on the finale of Dance or Die.  Now, that would be something to see!  Until then, I’m Glad is the perfect 80s homage/satire.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Block Rockin’ Beats by The Chemical Brothers (1997, dir by Dom & Nic)


Are we in the past, the present, or the future?  It’s an interesting question and one that’s more relevant than you might think.  I may be writing this in my present but you’ll be reading it in the future, which of course means that I’m currently speaking to you from the past.

What does that have to do with today’s music video of the day?  Perhaps nothing, though I do like the way that this video seems to be a perfect illustration of how people in the past once spent their present visualizing the future.  There are oppressive government agents, all wearing suits.  There are people fleeing after committing some sort of vague, possibly criminal act.  There’s the appropriately decadent club where people dance while the world outside descends into stormy chaos.  Today, this video and this song would be considered to be rather retro but, back in 1997, it was all undoubtedly viewed as being quite futuristic.

Needles to say, I like this video.  With all the rain and its neon noir atmosphere, it’s a video that seems almost as if it’s been excerpted out of a larger movie.  One could easily imagine a 90-minute version of this video, one that would undoubtedly feature a lot more time spent in the storm.  It’s a video that does a very good job at suggesting life under a dystopia and while dystopian societies are terrible when it comes to day-to-day living, they have inspired some memorable music videos.

This video is one of the many Chemical Brothers videos to have been directed by Nick Goffey and Dominic Hawley (better known as Dom & Nic).  According to the imdb, the cinematographer was Simon Chaudoir, who is credited with not only several other music videos but also with working on two episodes of the British spy series, Spooks.  Here in the States, Spooks was known as MI-5.  I watched a few episodes when it aired over here.  It was a stylish show but I quickly learned not to get too attached to any of the characters.

Anyway, enjoy!

 

Music Video of the Day: MAH by The Chemical Brothers (2019, dir by Marcus Lyall)


How do I know that 2019 is going to be a good year?

Because The Chemical Brothers have got a new album coming out!  No Geography, their 9th studio album, is set to be released this spring.  Today, they released a video for a new song called MAH.  What does MAH stand for?  Mad as Hell, of course!  As for the video, it was shot at a recent show at London’s Alexandra Palace.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: medicine by Bring Me The Horizon (2019, dir by Oliver Latta)


We’re only seven days into 2019 and I think we already have a contender for creepiest video of the year.

Of course, when I say that, I’m not talking about the bad type of creepy, like that guy who works across the hall from you and who is always trying not to get caught staring whenever you walk by.  No, I’m talking about good creepy, the type of creepy that sticks in your mind and makes you wonder what the point of it all is.

Are those spiders or are those ants exploding out of everyone’s head?  Either way …. AGCK!

Enjoy!