YouTube / ITube / WeTube

in what will hopefully be regular feature on Stylus (as long as that dude who filmed Reginald Denny getting beaten from a helicopter doesn’t get his way), we present our stash of YouTube clips worth watching. Or not worth watching. Or worth watching because they’re not worth watching. You get the point. On with the show…

With movies made using computer graphics animation becoming increasingly common, here’s a broad look at when music videos have tried the same. I came up with the idea after seeing Hot Chip’s video for “Colours,” which is the third great video from The Warning and a good example, but, er, it isn’t on YouTube anymore. You can watch it here, though.

Dire Straits – Money for Nothing

So, we’ll start at the beginning. Yes, it looks pleasingly quaint in retrospect. While you might think that the blocky animation make it dated, though, it’s more those fluorescent headbands added to the live footage.

Peter Gabriel - Steam

By 1992 the technology had obviously progressed a lot, but not enough so that throwing every possible effect at a video was ever going to be anything but a car crash.

The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar

Let’s jump rather closer to the present for possibly the finest CG video to date. Which is the reason you’ve likely seen it already. That being said, it merits watching again. And again. And again. Repetition is a beautiful thing.

Radiohead – Go to Sleep

The main lesson of this one—polygonal Thom Yorke is almost as creepy as real Thom Yorke! And a stylishly apocalyptic video can make even the most mediocre Radiohead single a little better.

Gnarls Barkley – Smiley Faces

OK, so this doesn’t exactly fit the theme of increasing realism, but Gnarls Barkley’s emoticon based video surely wouldn’t exist without computers and the internet. And it should be entertaining to everyone that has wasted days of their time on message boards

Avril Lavigne – Sk8er Boi (Sims 2)

And finally, an example of what happens when anyone with a computer and a couple of bits of software can make their own videos for songs and share them with the world. Yes, hilariously over-literal visual interpretations made with computer games. The Sims 2 seemingly lends itself particularly well to these, meaning that, at the time of this writing, there are FOUR different versions of “Sk8er Boi” on YouTube. A certain imagination and comic timing makes this one the best, though all are perversely captivating.

By: Iain Forrester
Published on: 2006-09-28
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