Movies

Nerve’s Eight Best Music Videos of 2011

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As selected by acclaimed cinematographer and director Max Goldman.

Max Goldman has shot videos for Gnarls Barkley, Jay Z, The Killers, Cat Power, Rihanna, and Jakob Dylan, and recently directed the video "Pyro" for Kings of Leon. We asked Max what he thought were the best videos of the year; here are his choices.

M83, "Midnight City," directed by Fleur & Manu

This is a concept that we've seen before, but it's done as well as I've seen anyone do it. It feels creepy and real at the same time. And the directors got really great performances out of the kids. 

Bryan John Appleby, "Cliffs Along The Sea," directed by Christian Sorenson Hansen

A one-take video on the water in the Washington Park Arboretum, "Cliffs Along The Sea" is super-simple, but the camera moves are very complex. I'm not even really sure how they did this. If it's just a boat-to-boat shot, they must have one great captain steering the ship. As a Seattlite myself, I've always wanted to shoot in this strange and beautiful location — it's the Pacific Northwest at its best.

Woodkid, "Iron," directed by Yoann Lemoine

A simple idea executed with minimal means, "Iron" still feels epic. Shooting in black-and-white was a great choice. 

Adele, "Rolling in the Deep," directed by Sam Brown

Sam Brown is an experimental filmmaker working in a constrained format. He seems to know when to push the boundaries of what audiences will watch, and when to pull back into the familiar; his videos always walk that line.

Tyler the Creator, "Yonkers," directed by Tyler the Creator (as "Wolf Haley")

I'm not really sure what Tyler the Creator is saying in this song — maybe I need to listen to the lyrics more carefully — but I can just feel the meaning through the images. The ending is haunting, and our artist comes across as both complex and badass. 

The Kills, "Future Starts Slow," directed by Philip Andelman

This is a beautiful concept by an amazing director and photographer. It's executed precisely. 

Massive Attack, "Pray For Rain," directed by Jake Scott

The actors' performance really shines in this beautifully shot video. It feels intimate and scary at the same time. 

Amos Lee, "Flower," directed by //kneeon

This video creates a world that's very different from our own. But it seems to maintain its own set of rules, allowing us to feel transported. "Flower" is somehow very moving.