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locations from a selection of spike jonze music videos : part 3 (1997–2011)

Posted on March 8, 2012 by matt

After a slowdown in directing music videos around 1996 (see part 2), Spike Jonze would pick up the pace again with videos for R.E.M., Puff Daddy and Notorious B.I.G. in 1997. His video for “Da Funk” off of Daft Punk’s first album was a short film involving a man in a dog mask on crutches in New York where the song was just relegated to ambient background noise.

This is also how he would approach the video for “Elektrobank” by The Chemical Brothers and the video for Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You” filmed outside a Los Angeles movie theatre. I guess he had to prove first to Norman Cook (a.k.a. Fatboy Slim) that he could dance outside like a fool, so here’s his audition video where Jonze flails around to “Rockafeller Skank.”

Heading into the new century as MTV began devoting more of their air time to reality tv, Jonze had one more huge hit, again for Fatboy Slim, with the video for “Weapon of Choice” featuring Christopher Walken dancing around a hotel in downtown L.A.

Here are some locations from just a few of his other videos over the next decade:

Fatlip from the Pharcyde clowns around, literally, in the streets of Hollywood in the video for “What’s Up, Fatlip?”
Ludacris punches his way through Van Nuys with giant Popeye arms and Incredible Hulk hands in the video for “Get Back.”
Björk sings with some locals at the historic Sirkus bar in Iceland (unfortunately no longer there) in her video for “Triumph of a Heart.”

Spike Jonze is still directing videos. His latest effort was in 2011 for “Otis” by Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I like how Jay-Z and Kanye tear apart a $300,000 Maybach and re-assemble it into a monstrosity that they think is better, which is not that different to what they did with “Try a Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding. I’ll take the original in both cases.

If anyone knows where the blue location from “Otis” is in Los Angeles, leave a comment on this webzone.

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