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  #1  
Old 05-17-2010, 04:47 PM
Chris Cunningham, Direct a fucking feature film already!

It's no secret: the heyday of the music video is over. High-quality music videos, which prevailed in the 90's and up until the middle of the 2000's, are DEAD. Even Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry agree and look back on the golden days with melancholic longing. These days, high-concept, no-budget music videos can go viral on YouTube in an instant: music television has never been more irrelevant than it has been since YouTube showed up on the scene.

All the directors that characterized the golden heyday of the music video have since moved on to other things. Spike Jonze has already made 3 feature films and a number of shorts. Gondry almost exclusively makes features now - I can't even REMEMBER the last time he made a significant music video. Probably The White Stripes' "The Denial Twist" back in 2007, I believe. Jonathan Glazer and Mark Romanek also already have a number of films under their belt. Hell, even the distant, early-day directors like Anton Corbijn, Floria Sigismondi and Samuel Bayer, all of whom have been around for quite a while on the music video scene, have recently made the move to feature films. Their 80's contemporary, David Fincher, saw the death of the art form coming from MILES away, apparently, and turned to feature film directing almost a decade before others like Jonze and Gondry followed suit.

And yet, one music video director, and probably one of if not the most distinguished of them all, has been holding out on us. That man is none other than Chris Cunningham who, surprisingly enough, seems to have the most cinematic vision out of all of his more low-tech contemporaries like Jonze or Gondry, who have still managed to find their niche in feature filmmaking. I can't even REMEMBER the last time Cunningham actually released a music video - he seems to have devoted all his time the past 10 years to work on video installations and other strange personal projects like the unexplainable Rubber Johnny, and pays the bills with pretty-looking but meaningless commercial work. So why on god's green FUCKING earth does he not give us what we all want: A fucked-up feature film, showcasing the best and most sickeningly beautiful of his creative vision? Is he afraid that his style is so twisted, it can only be taken in 3-minute doses and nobody would ever manage to last an entire film?

I mean, can anyone say, with all honesty, that the man who is behind THESE visuals has nothing to offer the world cinematically? What gives, Chris? Direct a feature film already! Stop wasting your talent!














Last edited by Monotreme; 05-17-2010 at 04:49 PM..
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2010, 05:33 PM
I'd love it to happen, and at one point he was deep in developing a Neuromancer adaptation, which would have been the best thing ever, but he dropped it; I think Gibson said something about Cunningham being generally pretty repulsed by the idea of having studio people around interfering as they would inevitably do.

Every once in a while, I'll hear some whispers, but for the most part it seems like he's uninterested. He has surfaced recently presenting/screening some video compilations, extended versions of Flex, Rubber Johnny, Sheena is a Parasite, and something (maybe) new with Grace Jones, but a feature film doesn't seem to be on the horizon.
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  #3  
Old 05-17-2010, 05:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchman View Post
at one point he was deep in developing a Neuromancer adaptation, which would have been the best thing ever, but he dropped it; I think Gibson said something about Cunningham being generally pretty repulsed by the idea of having studio people around interfering as they would inevitably do. .
ah man! that would have been incredible. i can certainly see his point. if you can make good money in video and installation art like he does then i think it's the wise choice. he did the visuals to a dnb gig i went to once. the artist was plug, it was amazing
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  #4  
Old 05-17-2010, 05:53 PM
The more interesting thing about Neuromancer adaptation was Gibson handpicked him to direct it. Even without that piece of trivia, I would've been all go for that decision based on his body of work. Autechre's "Second Bad Vilbel" video is the closest thing that illustrates Cunningham would've been right for the gig.

Oh well. We got now the guy from Splice doing it, we'll see how that goes.

Also as far as I know, Cunningham is now uninterested in making films or whatever. Don't have a credible source on that, but heard people talk on forums.

He did however direct a new ad for Gucci, which Natalie Portman narrates in the most monotone voice I've ever heard. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3KXW...eature=related

and another recent ad with Leo here

Sucks that he never translated into film. He would DEFINITELY be on par with David Fincher as that MTV generation type of filmmakers. Although that wouldn't be fair to label Cunningham as that.
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  #5  
Old 05-17-2010, 06:00 PM
In my opinion Cunningham would destroy Fincher, but that really isn't the argument here. I too have been waiting for Chris to get into features. He would create nightmares people would never get over. But at the same time, I can't see a studio taking a chance on him with a project. And if they did, they would make so many cuts to his films they really wouldn't be worth checking out.
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  #6  
Old 05-17-2010, 06:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digifruitella View Post

and another recent ad with Leo here
How have I not seen that before? That was fantastic.
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2010, 06:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchman View Post
How have I not seen that before? That was fantastic.
It's great isn't it? Leo on a shroom trip.

I totally forgot about this video

Squarepusher - Come on my Selector

Has anybody seen Mirrorball? a TV series specializing in featuring filmmakers. Here's a rare one with Cunningham, 5 parts to it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLIqA...eature=related

Last edited by Digifruitella; 05-17-2010 at 06:31 PM..
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  #8  
Old 05-17-2010, 08:22 PM
JohnG, Warp would certainly finance a film project.

I've been desperate for Chris Morris to make a film and it's ONLY just happened. I'll hang tight for the Cunningham feature because I'm fairly confident the moons will collide and it will all fall into place some day.
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2010, 06:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digifruitella View Post
I totally forgot about this video

Squarepusher - Come on my Selector
This is actually my favorite video of his. It's hilarious, INCREDIBLY well-made, and it doesn't hurt that the track kicks all kinds of drum&base ass. I remember back when I first saw this, I was never sure if the music came first or the video, because they synch up so effortlessly and flawlessly.
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2010, 01:23 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotreme View Post
This is actually my favorite video of his. It's hilarious, INCREDIBLY well-made, and it doesn't hurt that the track kicks all kinds of drum&base ass. I remember back when I first saw this, I was never sure if the music came first or the video, because they synch up so effortlessly and flawlessly.
Check out the Mirrorball vid I posted up above, I think it's the 3/5 vid where Cunningham talks about how he approached the video and tune
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  #11  
Old 05-18-2010, 02:01 PM
I wouldn't give up hope yet, Chris Cunningham has talked about working on a feature film over the years. According to the Wiki page on him (not entirely credible but still) he's been working on a script back in 2008 so he might have warmed up to the idea.

If you want to check out what he's been up to he went off and worked with The Horrors, first as a director for them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cor3wjbS4Gg

And then he produced two tracks for them on their new album (here's one of them)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfPylJdIDQY

And he did a photo series with Grace Jones that is very NSFW unless it's cool to see Grace Jones naked at your work

http://www.dazeddigital.com/view/def...1273&PageNum=1

It's unfortunate that Chris Cunningham fizzled out after his peak in the 90s but I'm gonna go with BCV on this and hope that one day it'll eventually work out.
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  #12  
Old 05-18-2010, 03:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by someguy View Post
It's unfortunate that Chris Cunningham fizzled out after his peak in the 90s but I'm gonna go with BCV on this and hope that one day it'll eventually work out.
The big shame is that around 2000-ish, he stopped making music videos as well. Except for the occasional one here and there - like the excellent and frightening one for Sheena is a Parasite - these past 10 years he's not even necessarily been focusing on straight-up video work, instead creating these weird experimental films like Flex and Rubber Johnny that are still beautiful (well, Flex at least - I'd rather not watch Rubber Johnny again :P), doing pretty commercial work that still pales in comparison to his music video hey-day, and still photography. But if he would get his head out of his ass and stop being such a hard-ass about "not being interested in studio pressure" and shit like that that EVERY director has to deal with unless your last name is Spielberg or Scorsese or Tarantino, and just make a feature film already - all will be forgiven and we will finally see what Cunningham is TRULY capable of, and what he hints that he's capable of in his better videos!
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  #13  
Old 05-18-2010, 03:48 PM
I've always wondered why he has never directed anything either. Visually, he's proven himself to be quite brilliant. A guy with his talents could easily get an independent film made. So why hasn't he?

The only thing that I can figure is that he must not be much of a storyteller and doesn't have any interest in directing a narrative film.
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  #14  
Old 05-18-2010, 05:33 PM
I approve this message. Cunningham is one of the most brilliant visual directors ever. Aphex Twin's Come to Daddy and the Squarepusher video mentioned above are two of my favorite music videos ever and I've loved everything I've seen of his (does anyone else remember MuchMusic in Canada using the creepy Asian girl laughing from this video in their TV spots for like a year or two? That image burned in my mind before I even really got into Cunningham).

And the 3.5 minutes of Flex on the Cunningham disc are fucking incredible. I wish I could see the full 17 minute version.

I was pretty disappointed when I heard he moved off the Neuromancer adaptation but here's the thing about Cunningham - I don't know where I read all this (it was a few years back when I was really obsessed with Cunningham's work) but I read somewhere that he was VERY selective about what he wanted on his "Work of Director Chris Cunningham" disc and he's very hard on himself - for example, I think he considers his Madonna video a failure although he included it on his disc. One reason I think he may not have directed a film yet is because he doesn't want to do something until he knows he's gonna make something brilliant. Considering how picky he is with three minutes of visuals, it doesn't surprise me, in a way, that he hasn't made an entire feature yet.

In any case though, if he ever does make a feature, it's guaranteed to be fucking stunning visually. I don't care if he takes on fucking Barney or something - it'll shoot right up to my top 5 most anticipated films of any given year.
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  #15  
Old 06-21-2010, 07:14 PM
Windowlicker is still the greatest music video ever!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IApCp2Pl8k
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  #16  
Old 06-21-2010, 08:14 PM
Holy shit! That's all I can say at this present moment in time. I have never heard of this guy, but now i'm hooked on his work.

Wtf? This guy could own movie making with his style alone. Wow, peoplez...just..WOW!

Now I understand this rant.
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  #17  
Old 06-21-2010, 08:37 PM
Guys, I dunno what it is-whether it's the video, the song, or both. But this is got a kinda hypnotic effect on me. Wow! I want more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjAoB...eature=related
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  #18  
Old 06-22-2010, 01:19 AM
I've always been a huge fan of this dude. "Come to Daddy", "Windowlicker" and "All is full of love" are some of my favorite vids of all time. I think Psychocandy or one of the other music experts on Joblo linked me to "Rubber Johnny" which I thought was flat out brilliant.
With that being said, I dont Cunningham is capable of making/directing a 90 to 120 minute full length feature film. He seems to capitalize off the ADD type of direction and I think he is using the whole "doesnt like the studio pressure" complaint as an excuse to back out of movie directing gigs.
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  #19  
Old 06-22-2010, 09:22 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by God of War View Post
Holy shit! That's all I can say at this present moment in time. I have never heard of this guy, but now i'm hooked on his work.

Wtf? This guy could own movie making with his style alone. Wow, peoplez...just..WOW!

Now I understand this rant.
Another convert. Fantastic Man, you're missing out on a whole world of brilliant filmmaking in the form of music videos - there are some other real visionaries out there, many of which have made a couple of feature films as well. But anyway, yeah. The "All is Full of Love" video is just beautiful. There's something very haunting about it. It's definitely a combination of the song and the images.
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  #20  
Old 06-23-2010, 01:40 PM
Music video are not dead...Robbie Williams makes great ones...Lady Gaga tells very involved symbolic and occultic stories with hers, same with Christian Aguilara who makes fully realized music videos...theres many others as well
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  #21  
Old 06-23-2010, 08:43 PM

Monotreme, whats the second pic? (the one where all the bodies are piled up) I dont recall ever seeing that one.
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  #22  
Old 06-24-2010, 03:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by echo_bravo View Post
Monotreme, whats the second pic? (the one where all the bodies are piled up) I dont recall ever seeing that one.
It's from his trippy art installation/short film, "Flex". Definitely worth checking out, for his imagery alone. Thought be warned, it contains copious amounts of both nudity and graphic violence. Still, it's quite visionary
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  #23  
Old 03-29-2011, 11:12 AM
Sorry about the hijack but thought this would interest you if you live in or near london:

http://www.soundcrashmusic.com/chris-cunningham
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  #24  
Old 04-26-2012, 12:15 AM
I recently discovered a "lost reel" of his work that public has not been aware of was his work. I feel like a schoolboy.

Dubstar - No More Talk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TaWwoXCj4c
NUS Commercial - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vl3GBKXB71c
Jesus Jones - The Next Big Thing - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_-mbEHBvDY
Geneva - Tranquilizer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQxV-bGFSH8
Life's Addiction - Jesus coming in for the kill - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4LW9OTmRy8
The Auteurs - Light Aircraft On Fire - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zIp-o7Ljrs
Placebo - 36 Degrees - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgv7bngXe5Y&ob=av2n
Lodestar - Another Day - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzLHuYBlB6g
The Ateurs - Back with the Killer Again - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNxJZeyx0NM
Jocosta - Something To Say - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WilID5RgGTY
Holy Barbarians - Space Junkie - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS9e_RnSrAQ

Reel itself - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB3bvCGhr1o
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  #25  
Old 05-27-2012, 05:57 PM
Vincenzo Natali will now be directing the Neuromancer adaptation.
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