I came across this video last night, for Beck's "Pay No Mind," which I hadn't seen in about 18 years. I remember watching it one bored summer on MTV, when I was in high school, and thinking it was the coolest video ever, because it was probably shot in a day and Beck looks high as a giraffe's toupee. It got me thinking about the current state of the music video, and how fine the line is between a professionally shot affair and a self-made YouTube clip. What budget means and what can be accomplished without much of one. Is there still an art to making a music video these days, or is it just about over-stimulation and branding and hits?
This weekend's inaugural Oak Cliff Film Festival, which starts Thursday and runs through Sunday, is the lovechild of the Texas Theatre, which got the New York Times' attention a few weeks ago. Saturday at El Sibil, they're hosting a music video showcase, and it features several local offerings, like Sarah Jaffe's "Glorified High," The Angelus' "Crimson Shadow," Fungi Girls' "Velvet Days" and Mind Spiders' "Wait For Us."
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"As far as the criteria, I know it just had to be interesting to watch," says programmer Jason Reimer. "Sometimes the video is great but the song is awful and vice versa. In this specific category, both mediums -- visual and audio -- had to be equally entertaining."
In a sense, they're taking music video out of the realm of eye candy or supplemental reading, and making it a feature, giving it merit alongside the other submissions.
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"I think it's important to have a music video category because it's no different than a shorts category or experimental category," Reimer adds. "It's the same reason, from the outset, I wanted a 'video art' category. As someone who looks for festivals to submit material of this nature too, I can tell you there aren't that many options for these categories."
In addition to the videos, there will be live music at El Sibil on Saturday: Neeks and Night Game Cult perform in the Oak Cliff art space, and will no doubt take full advantage of it. Friday night at Texas Theatre features Austin instrumental outfit My Education doing their striking live score to FW Murnau's silent film, Sunrise, as well as Diamond Age and New Fumes. Thursday night kicks off with the King Bucks and George Quartz.