Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Genius: Chris Cunningham's video for Gil Scott-Heron

A lifetime or two ago, a special effects whizkid called Chris Halls came to work for me as an artist on the Judge Dredd Megazine. He got a lot of static for being a Bisley clone, but it was obvious Chris had talent. Happily he's found an appreciative outlet outside the insular world of comics, using the name Chris Cunningham.

After he left the Meg Chris spent six months working for Kubrick on AI, before deciding to plough his own furrow as an inspirational film director. He's probably best known for music videos such as Frozen for Madonna, All Is Full of Love for Bjork and some truly disturbing work for Aphex Twin. Outstanding.

Above you can see his latest effort, a hypnotic video for Gil Scott-Heron's track New York Is Killing Me. If they'd made The Wire in New York instead of Baltimore, I'm guessing it would have had the same vibe as this video. Utterly compelling.

UPDATE: As you can see above, YouTube has blocked this video for reasons of copyright infringement. Shame. Hopefully it will pop up somewhere else soon. In the meantime, I heartily recommend you go [legally!] download the Gil Scott-Heron song anyway - it's cracking.

NEW UPDATE: Found another website still hosting the video that enabled embedding. Not sure how long it will stay up, so enjoy while it lasts if you can. Video plays faster than it loads, so to avoid frustration press play to trigger loading and then hit pause for a few minutes. [Think of the delay as an old school return to the low-fi days of pre-broadband when anything took forever to load.]

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