Music videos are quite possibly my favourite film genre because they have less demands than commercial filmmaking, so they offer lots of opportunites for experimentation, parody, narrative (of any kind), and general showing-off... Here are some of my favourite music videos:
Incubus - Drive
I like this video purely for the clever rotoscoping (all created by the band) which is based on the drawings of M.C. Escher.
The Killers - Bones
Directed by Tim Burton (Corpse Bride, Nightmare Before Christmas) with a nod to Ray Harryhausen ( Jason And The Argonauts, King Kong), this video sees live-action actors turning into skeletons and vice-versa. The CGI is really effective, and creates a completely different look from the 3D stopmotion work of Harryhausen. I think it works brilliantly (just take a look at my essays to see how much I usually dislike CGI and modern animation).
The Presets - Girl And The Sea
A homage to Yuri Norstein's Tale of Tales, and directed by Lee Lennox. It copies a lot from what has twice been voted the greatest animated film of all time, which removes some of the spectacle, but it is one of the few CGI works that I have found interesting in recent months.
Chemicals Brothers - Let Forever Be
Directed by Michel Gondry (Be Kind Rewind, The Science of Sleep), this video is full of strange effects.
White Stripes - Hardest Button To Button
Another of Gondry's masterpieces, this video was shot with pixelation (animating living people like puppets with other objects like stopmotion) and is unlike any other mainstream music video.
White Stripes - Fell In Love With Girl
Yet another Gondry work, this video is made by animating Lego blocks to imitate the band playing.
Queens of The Stone Age - Go With The Flow
A simple CGI music video with great visuals.
Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer
Crazy stopmotion video created by the wonderful folks at Aardman (Wallace & Gromit, Creature Comforts) with those bizarre Quay Brothers (Streets of Crocodiles)
Johnny Cash - Hurt
An emotional song with beautiful visuals. I really like the golden lighting within all the blackness, which I think is similar to Rembrandt paintings and the recent Kings of Leon music video for Sex On Fire.
Foo Fighters - Long Road To Ruin
Really silly parody of 70s TV shows as is typical from the Foo Fighters... All their videos are worth watching, but this is my favourite of recent years.
Foo Fighters - My Hero
I like it simply for trying to create the illusion that the whole ridiculous story was filmed with just one single continuous shot (like Alfred Hitchcock's ROPE).
Busted - Crashed The Wedding
The full video is shot in the 'single shot' style of Alfred Hitchcock's ROPE and Foo Fighters My Hero, but this video is full of realtime impossibilities (like numerous ridiculous costume changes) and the 'cuts' are almost seamless, which I have to give it extra credit for!
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Can't Stop
This silly video is based upon the 1 Minute Sculptures of Erwin Wurm, which in themselves are worth looking at
Blink 182 - Always
This video, directed by Joseph Kahn, uses a split-screen to tell three simultaneous stories. I think it looks awesome, and has stuck with me all these years (which is probably only 5 or 6 years - but it's still awesome!)
I did a test of this for my 2nd Year music video project, which I found really interesting, but I should probably have developed something new from it - there's always next time...
Def Leppard - Let's Get Rocked
Basic CGI, but I like it because it isn't trying to look too realistic (as I often cite as the problem with modern animation)
The Bravery - Honest Mistake
A chain-reaction similar to Rube Goldberg, the Honda Accord Cog advert, and Der Lauf Der Dinge by Fischli & Weiss.
I made a short video called Die Skateboard at college for a 1st Year sculpture project based upon this style, and although my video didn't work as well as I had hoped, I really enjoyed the challanges associated with it, and would relish the chance to try it again.
I'm surprised I can't think of anything more bizarre, but if I remember then I'll add them to this list later...