BEV 2011 is jam-packed with a huge array of events covering everything from music to make-up including our ultimate cinematic mix tape Music Loves Video, returning on Thursday for a celebration of women directors working in the music video industry. Introduced by BRIT-Award winner Kate Nash, highlights include the latest from MTV Award-winner Floria Sigismondi; a gothic horror-esque video featuring Jack White; a bittersweet turn from Mackenzie Crook (The Office); and a Twin Peaks-style promo by the outrageously talented Miranda Bowen (director of TV’s darkly comic Cast Offs) – plus a new Patrick Wolf video fresh from the edit suite! And to round it all off, journalist and BEV favourite Miranda Sawyer hosts post-groove analysis.
BEV spoke to programmer Amber Parsons about women in music video making and her top picks from MLV 2011.
Birds Eye View: Perhaps you could start by telling about this year’s Music Loves Video programme; what treats have we got in store? And what are you most looking forward to?
Amber Parsons: It’s pretty exciting to see that whether the budget is £50 or £500,000, female directors are making waves in the industry with a bunch of really clever, gorgeously shot and highly successful pop promos. We have the Warhol-influenced, dancehall throwback video for Rude Boy from Rihanna, a one-shot video for Slow Club featuring MacKenzie Crook and the deliciously dark technicolor dystopia that Jo Apps has created for Fake Blood. We’re also thrilled to announce that we’ll be screening the brand new Slow Club video for Two Cousins, directed by BEV alumni Lucy Needs, hot from the edit suite.
BEV: Is there anything in particular you look for when programming Music Loves Video? Are there particular strands, themes or styles that run throughout the programme?
AP: Funnily enough, this is something that was very obvious within the 2010 programme – the videos naturally slotted into a series of four themed strands: animation, new talent, a mini-retrospective with Sarah Chatfield and a special focus on Florence + The Machine. This year’s selection is less formally structured and as a result has turned out to be a wonderfully eclectic mix. From high-profile, bigger budget promos for Janelle Monàe and Dead Weather to simpler, emotional pieces from Philippa Bloomfield and Kathryn Ferguson through to beautifully shot narrative films for Gemma Ray and Noah & The Whale. As you are probably aware, the majority of technicians (including directors) are male so it’s really great to have such a positive platform for female creative talent like Birds Eye View.
BEV: There’s an amazing range of cross-arts work in this year’s Festival programme, from fashion films right through to Gillian Wearing‘s extraordinary documentary Self Made. To what extent do you think music videos are becoming an artform in their own right?
AP: If art can be defined as a reflection or commentary on life then yes, certainly. Directing music videos can be a fantastic platform for young talented women to demonstrate their skills and creativity, but as directors such as Sophie Muller, Dawn Shadforth and Melina Matsoukas have demonstrated since the dawn of the MTV age, music videos can also be considered pieces of art within their own right, illustrating the response of the artist to their generation.