Work Of Chris Cunningham
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Like the other volumes in the acclaimed Director's Series (featuring the work of Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry), The Work of Director Chris Cunningham offers a feast of visual ingenuity, with one major difference: Unlike the relatively playful brightness of Jonze and Gondry, Cunningham wants to involve you in his nightmares. From the urban monstrosities of Aphex Twin's "Come to Daddy" to the limb-shattering weirdness of Leftfield's "Afrika Shox," Cunningham's music videos emphasize the freakish and the bizarre, but they are also arrestingly beautiful and otherworldly, as in the aquatic effects used for Portishead's "Only You," combining underwater movements with ominous urban landscapes. Some of Cunningham's shock effects are horrifically effective (his 'flex" video installation, excerpted here with music by Aphex Twin, is as disturbing as anything conjured by David Cronenberg), while others are cathartic or, in the case of Aphex Twin's "Windowlicker," outrageously amusing. And while the eerie elegance of Madonna's "Frozen" arose from a chaotic production, the signature work in this collection is clearly Björk's "All Is Full of Love," a masterfully simple yet breathtaking vision of intimacy involving advanced robotics and seamless CGI composites. In these and other videos, Cunningham advances a unique aesthetic, infusing each video and commercial he makes with a dark, occasionally gothic sensibility. That these frequently nightmarish visions are also infectiously hypnotic is a tribute to Cunningham's striking originality. --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, the content of this DVD comes up short in visual material and is an overall disappointment for hardcore fans, specially considering all of the videos in the DVD can be found for free in P2P networks, including the entire (and painfully cut in the DVD) 'Flex' short.
A video interview would have been nice, but we get to see several minutes of Bjork speaking with a few seconds of the director himself.
The "53 page" booklet can be condensed to a few pages of interviews and, oh joy, you get to look at pictures of videos you will never get to see in this DVD (so, what is the point of even having the pics?)
One can get a better insight into the director's mind by reading the interviews in [...]
This is what happens when you let artists edit themselves out: A product that pleases the artist and disappoints the buyer.
At that, it is obligatory to point out that the artists, whose tracks Cunningham converted onto the screens, are atypical in the contemporary dominance of idolized pop music. Aphex Twin is notorious within his own fan base (IDM - Intelligent Dance Music), and has composed trippy soundscapes since he was 14. His work ranges from incomprehensive and pompous to subtle and unnerving. He can be disturbingly lyrical, but also aggressive beyond reason.
Cunningham perceives the nucleus of Aphex Twin's opuses. The '97 'Come to Daddy' video has been famously banned from day-time MTV, as well as numerous other networks. I myself saw it in Moscow at around 2 am, and understood the reason - despite lacking offensive language, graphic violence and sex, the surreal, sputtering images enhance the terror of the song to an almost-unbearable effect. Little girls, all with Richard D. James' faces? Old grandma with a pit-bull? Watch out for that sickening creature crawling out of the unplugged TV-screen!Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Chris Cunningham's work combines the experimental quality of fine art with the intrigue of cinema. Wow. Read morePublished on June 24 2004 by Douglas King
Wow. This left me totally speechless. Unlike Spike Jonze or Michel Gondry, Chris Cunningham is all about the visuals. Read morePublished on May 18 2004 by H
Compared to the Michel Gondry DVD in the same series, this is extrememly disappointing. The book enclosed offers more information than the DVD. Read morePublished on March 24 2004 by Courtney
Two simple words come to mind.....pure genious! Though some of the excess material (Monkey Drummer, Flex) seem to be a little too long and (dare I say this) too weird, the videos... Read morePublished on March 2 2004 by BGP
An amazing DVD to own for anyone interested in artist music videos. Most are very unique - and force you to want more. Read morePublished on Feb. 29 2004 by Tim Chapin
This is definitely the best among the three collections. A few people complaint it's the shortest so it's the weakest. Read morePublished on Nov. 14 2003 by darkpop
I can't agree more with all this reviews. Why such a tiny piece of FLEX ?? (This piece was shown in my country and I foolishly missed it... Read morePublished on Nov. 11 2003
I realise of course that Flex is an exhibition piece, and part of the point of conceptual/video art is to break away from commercialism... Read morePublished on Nov. 11 2003 by Joe Keenan