“Fashion, their vampire/drapes itself across your back/as you fall from style/it waits rebirth on its rack.”
Boo! Did I scare you? It’s Halloween month on the ol’ TikiKiti blog site, but in reality, Christmas is fast approaching. The only solution to this nonlinear dilemma is to drop what you’re doing and watch Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas as soon as possible.
Since it’s theoretically October, it only makes sense that this month’s slate of Unofficial Music Videos are bookended by horror-themed projects.
As always, hopeful contestants from every nation are recognized for outstanding achievement in video artistry with the presentation of the Barclay Trophy to our top vote-getter each month.
1. Producer: Bhai Log/Team Transformerz
Artist: Billie Eilish
Song: “Bury A Friend”
Ubiquitous Yankee pop star Billie Eilish provides the accompaniment to this delirious dancing zombie vignette from India. A simple story about three pals exploring a haunted house can be interpreted any number of ways, mostly as variations on “Curiosity Killed the Cat” or the danger of wandering too far from “the path.” Supernatural naturalism?
2. Producer: Pezhmann Mokary
Artist: Federico Truzzi
A nameless female protagonist shuffles through another dehumanizing, black-and-white commute only to end up at the sea, screaming her lungs out. Then the scene shifts to a more positive outlook, shot in color, that has a surreal, dreamlike quality. Never abandon those dreams; they might be the only thing keeping you sane.
3. Producer: Andrii Gusarov
Song: “L’aérogramme de Los Angeles”
The dazzling choreography, thoughtful art direction, and dexterous camera work combine to paint a picture of how daily distractions and commitments can not only keep us apart geographically from those we love, but also preoccupied when we’re supposed to be present.
4. Producer: Morgan Oliver-Allen
This assemblage of footage is fairly inspired, tracking the conception and evolution of the Burning Man festival, interspersed with loving, longing looks from its participants. Lightning bolts of creativity are palpable and bright.
5. Producer: Jack Harriss/Michael Cox
Song: “Dance With Me”
Another retelling of Frankenstein, this one set to an EDM soundtrack. Once again, a Narcissistic doctor is done in by his own creation. Full of hubris and the desire to play God, Dr. F doesn’t realize he’s created a being that has no desire to serve—only dance.
This month’s videos definitely have a cinematic quality to them, with the focus on a “bigger” story than time or budget allows. We encourage everyone to reach for the stars, but at the same time, be careful not to create a monster you can’t control.
“The falling leaves drift by the window/The autumn leaves of red and gold/
I see your lips, the summer kisses/The sun-burned hands I used to hold.
Since you went away the days grow long/And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song/But I miss you most of all, my darling/When autumn leaves start to fall.”
I’m reminded of the REM song “Fall On Me” as I gaze out the window at the autumn foliage burning nuclear bright on a chilly day. The radiance is searing a hole in my skull, but I won’t let that little challenge get in the way of unveiling September’s collection of Unofficial Music Videos.
1. Producer: Kevin Bodin
Song: “Rue D’la Soif”
Much like the Beastie Boys declaring their rights to party, these hard-drinking French bohemians are prepared to throw down in a major way. With a utopian eye to the future, in which all cultures can come together and get equally hammered, Parisian filmmaker Kevin Bodin takes us on a sumptuous safari to where the people make merry. I’m thinking this is why we need a four-day work week in America.
2. Producer: Ido Fruchter
Artist: Asaf Avidan & The Mojos
Song: “The Ghost of a Thousand Little Lies”
Director Ido Fruchter, a student from Kibbutzim College in Tel Aviv, has successfully fashioned a marvelous miniature dystopian drama that depicts learning and knowledge as a painful process. This is especially true when your world view expands to the point of including other people.
3. Producer: RaveHad
Artist: Brad Head
Song: “In My Head”
I assumed the filmmaker was trying to evoke a noir, Lou Reed/Tom Waits street action vibe, but then I noticed that RaveHad hails from Russia, so that makes it even more menacing and cool.
4. Producer: PK Humble
Artist: Rag’N’Bone Man
Somewhere in Thailand, another anguished teen sorts out his feelings by walking around at night. As a coping device it’s recognized the world over as an effective remedy. Again, we have moody black and white imagery revealing a world without love or pity. You had to find out eventually, son.
5. Producer: Phoebe Gibson
Song: “Every Other Freckle”
It’s possible these English kids are taking acid for the first time, but a more likely theory is that they are extra-terrestrials trying on their human suits and getting in touch with the flesh. Blood and guts, we’ve all got ’em. What a concept!
So this month we’ve heard from France, England, the Russian Federation, Israel, and Thailand. At TikiKiti we’re spanning the globe to bring you the best in music video entertainment, in an effort to share our similarities, rather than fear our differences.
“Walk out of any doorway/Feel your way like the day before/Maybe you’ll find direction/Around some corner where it’s been waiting to meet you.”
As the world gets stranger than fiction every single day, we’re reporting to you from a nearby timeline where things have stabilized considerably. The turbulence in the rest of the universe is pretty severe at the moment, probably having something to do with the Age of Aquarius rising at the same time as the lost continent of Atlantis.
In less cataclysmic news, we have a dandy new collection of Unofficial (though no less compelling) Music Videos made by folks remarkably like yourself, hailing from all points Rand-McNally, and competing for the hotly contested Barclay Award for Excellence in Independent Video Arts. Here now, are August’s Top Five videos.
1. Producer: Derek Newman
Artist: Françoise Hardy
Song: “Comment Te Dire, Adieu?”
Not much to say here, other than “Bravo.” Derek Newman deliciously blends cheek, horror, and lampoonery to sensational effect. Ladies, these savage self-improvement steps are the ticket to a better, more beautiful you. Available now, at the low introductory price of your mortal soul!
2. Producer: Living Legends Productions
Song: “Hillbilly Man”
It’s a Close Encounter of the Doll Kind! This Toytown take on alien abduction appealed to our appreciation of low-budget filmmaking, alá Ed Wood and Todd Haynes.
You know, the lamestream media never reports this stuff. Ken and Barbie dolls go missing all the time. Remember when they were everywhere? So where did they all go?
3. Producer: Macstermix
Artist: Flora Cash
Song: “You’re Somebody Else”
A beautifully assembled sequence of iPhone footage that paints a deeply intimate emotional landscape. Remember: The way we see the world is our most important piece of technology.
4. Producer: Hedyy
Song: “Your Own Company”
The commute home from work is the best time of day to relax and enjoy the abstraction. Is it magic realism or simply the cumulative fatigue of being overworked and underpaid? Let’s go with the more benign option, shall we?
5. Producer: Trevor Black
Artist: Lewis Capaldi
Song: “Someone You Loved”
A dude murders his wife with a kitchen knife and is subsequently haunted by bloody visions. Considering the conscience of a killer is a bold choice, but I would have preferred the original ending in which the protagonist is stung to death by hornets over the course of several hours.
Are you part of the problem or part of the solution? The only way things get better is if enough people are inspired to take positive action. So let’s get busy and inspire!
“I’m goin’ where the water tastes like wine/I’m goin’ where the water tastes like wine/We can jump in the water, stay drunk all the time.”
In the real world, summer has zenithed and is now packing its bags, while the rain can’t wait to get us wet. Inevitably, warmth gives way to autumn’s chill and selecting a wardrobe becomes a daily challenge. Wear a hat, because you lose most of your body heat from an uncovered noggin.
Once again we come bearing a bounty of Unofficial Music Videos from the far reaches of the globe, all competing for the highly coveted Barclay Award for Excellence in Independent Video Arts.
1. Producer: Toey PPS
Artist: Arianna Grande
Thai teen turns typical trauma into an astounding array of color-coded visuals. Supple editing, a committed performance, and imaginative art direction carry this video to the July winner’s circle.
2. Producer: Melanie Murcie
Artist: Soul Kitchen
Song: “L’ombre De Ton Amour”
Female empowerment saves the day, as an angry activist slaps down a pimp, steals his roll, and liberates women from the sex trade. It’s kind of like “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” but with booze, cigarettes, and violence.
3. Producer: Stephany Valdivia + Mathew Huerta
Artist: Billie Eilish
Song: “Bury A Friend”
A thoughtful collage approach works wonders with the words and worlds of Billie Eilish, an artist with a lot on her mind. Can introverts be popular?
4. Producer: Noedesu
Sometimes we can’t trust our senses and running a self-inventory check can be pure torture. It’s a simple concept, but painted with raw, honest colors.
5. Producer: Entropique
Artist: Zero 7
Song: “Morning Song”
The apocalypse is on everyone’s mind these days. What will you wear? Can you make yourself useful in a survival situation? A scavenger rifles through remnants of societal detritus, searching for substance and meaning. Hey, we’re all in the same boat!
Global concerns weigh heavy on each of us, and it’s imperative that we sort through our own emotions, keeping whatever’s necessary, and jettisoning the baggage. Your videos are like messages in a bottle, hope and community kept alive despite trying circumstances. Creation is the key—and it will set you free.
Sometimes it feels like we’re everywhere at once, with all these video postcards from India, Jamaica, Poland, and Jolly Ol’ England giving us a great seat for the Parade of Nations. The TK Crew has definitely benefitted from being exposed to so much cultural dynamism. Our morning meetings now feature jicama scones and Free Trade coffee.
Seriously though, we live in times where seeing beyond borders to find a message can be challenging. There are those who insist on doubling down on their ethnocentrism, refusing to acknowledge the common humanity that binds us. Perhaps they need to watch more videos.
As for the present, we’re still a little behind the times, but this edition represents the finalé for the year 2018, with the top finisher once again taking home the coveted Barclay Award, presented each month for excellence in Unofficial Video artistry.
1. Producer: Kornelia Malczewska
Artist: DJ Snake + AlunaGeorge
Song: “You Know You Like It”
Another powerful example of dancing in the face of oppression. Revolutionary steps and blistering choreography are given the respect they deserve.
2. Producer: Red Pop Dance
Song: “Acid Rain”
A provocative Polish dance ensemble spins a dark Eco Fable through incisive movement. A teachable moment without a fairy tale ending.
3. Producer: Alex Bosserman
We all have our own way of seeing life as it unfolds and it’s important to share perspectives. Otherwise we’re all just strangers stumbling around in the dark.
4. Producer: Krispy Films
Artist: Pink Floyd
Song: “Great Gig In The Sky”
A bored English schoolboy slips through a crack in reality and discovers the infinite moment that is right now. Old-school psychedelia to the rescue!
5. Producer: Sumit Lekhari + Lavina Lekhari
Artist: Imagine Dragons
Don’t like the world you’re living in? Dance a better one. If you can Imagine Dragons, anything is possible. But you can’t do it without full commitment.
We’ll see you cats next year, which should be any day now!
Boo! Halloween has attacked and retreated for another year, but we ignored the doorbell and ate the candy ourselves. Except Skittles. They’re all you, man.
As winter begins its frosty descent, we Kitties warm ourselves by the pale fire of Unofficial Music Videos vying for the prestigious Barclay Award, given out each month for outstanding achievement in indie video artistry.
This month’s Top Five features bold statements in black and white, snotty schoolboys in disgrace, and a full-on head trip that’s either mind-expanding or a complete fabrication.
1. Producer: Hadi BA
Song: “Good Life”
Evocative black and white photography and a dreamy pop song forge a strong alliance in Hadi AB’s striking meditation on travel and time.
2. Producer: Aztec Llama
Song: “Mouthful of Diamonds”
There are interludes of dancing here, but it definitely has an unsettling narrative story structure, as well as a deft editing hand. A sumptuous array of images awaits.
3. Producer: Loic Xavier
Artist: Noah Cyrus
More scenes of travel, romantic fallout, and Marilyn Monroe come together in a painfully cathartic collage. Pro tip: You’re never over it.
4. Producer: Harry Bloomfield
Song: “Ninety Nine”
Producer Harry Bloomfield isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel here. These are all familiar rock-vid tropes, but he correctly serves them up piping hot.
5. Producer: Henry Hedlund
Artist: Travis Scott
Is the world ready for suburban psychedelia? Who knows what evil lurks at the other end of the Ping Pong table?
In the not-too-distant future, we’ll have more artist profiles, scintillating analysis, and possibly even something by you, dear reader. Get motivated and make magic happen. This isn’t the rarefied air of some highfalutin’ creative collective.
We’re just like you, and we’ve all got something to say when the time is right. And there’s no time like the present!
Or is it? We’re still in the Dog Days here at TikiKiti HQ, sorting out the latest crop of UMVs (Unofficial Music Videos) that we’ve been carefully drying in the sun until we can harvest a full spectrum of delicious, nutritious ART.
Behold, our Top Five for August.
1. Director: Eva Berbel
Artist: Cardi B + Bad Bunny + J Balvin
Song: “I Like It”
Supertight choreography, a healthy wardrobe budget, and spot-on direction from Eva Berbel, who serves up a densely layered hip-hop Busby-Berkeley swimming pool fantasy.
2. Producer: Johnny Copter
Artist: Morgan Page
Song: “Running Wild”
Johnny Copter’s vibrant photography makes “Running Wild” a soaring visual odyssey that plays like Wes Anderson’s audition reel for Nike. Moving pictures, indeed!
3. Producer: Yardley Estiverne
Artist: Amy Vachal
Song: “Field Sense”
This black-and-white tone poem features a veiled woman with mountain goat horns meandering through a church, and it breathes with a confessional intimacy.
4. Producer: Marty Rait + Angelina Lobanova
Artist: 100 Monkeys
An attractive couple moodily explore the boundaries of their relationship, again in glorious black and white.
5. Producer: Perpetual Goose
Artist: Aphex Twin
Song: “54 Cymru Beats”
This near seizure-inducing driving collage could probably reprogram an entire cult of brainwashed acolytes into functional citizens. Or send them off the deep end.
You folks are killing it. Every day we see things that we’ve never imagined. Curious dreams, romantic vignettes, nervous puzzles, cathartic explosions… an ever-widening continuum of aspirational wonder and experience from all corners of the planet.
This is our jam. Welcome.
And all too soon, we find ourselves in the month of June. Our TikiKiti Quest to catch up to the present day in pursuit of video excellence rolls on! Tickets please!
Perhaps in anticipation of hotly contested political races to come, the voting for the Barclay Trophy, our award for best Unofficial Music Video of the month, has become extremely competitive. This time around we had a tie for first place and fourth place, so we will be featuring six videos instead of the usual five. Hurray for Bonus Content!
1. Director: Román Reyes
Artist: Oh Wonder
Song: “Technicolour Beat”
One of the coolest performance videos we’ve seen. Roman Reyes has a deft eye for angular intimacy and his dancing muse brings every moment to a simmer.
1. Producer: Miguel Angel
At first glance, this would appear to be another variation on the ever-popular video theme of bad boys being bad at nighttime. Migeul Angel masterfully enhances the action with cinematic flair and drama, and gets committed performances from his youthful squad.
2. Producer: Nassift Visuals
Artist: Ft. Illenium
Extraordinary composed parkour choreography that fits the tear-jerk tune like a tailored glove. It’s a bracing mix of reckless energy and ultimate precision.
3. Producer: Szymon Wiktor
Artist: Clean Bandit
A confident, highly competent production from Szymon Wiktor that demonstrates abundant vision and finesse.
4. Producer: Yannick Walters
A taunting ghost fills him with rage. And just like that, he’s lost the game. A tightly wound and surprisingly effective narrative by Yannick Walters and his team.
4. Producer: Luke Covert
Artist: The Wild Wild
Song: “Wake Up”
Sound and solid performance editing by Luke Covert, but the real star of the show is the ruined school location and the bittersweet memories it inspires.
Coming up: A deep-dive feature on the winning videos from May and June. What was it about these shorts that added up to a winning formula? It’s not always always the flashiest extravaganza with the trickiest camera angels. Until then, keep ’em coming!
Is it May already? Wow, this year is just flying by! Let’s synchronize those calendars, shall we?
This brings us to the latest Top Five, which includes some seriously cinematic efforts in the Narrative category.
You know the drill: Five artists are honored, and the monthly high scorer may select the coveted Barclay trophy or a gift card as a testament to their vision and skill. More about the awards.
And to our five May creatives, we’re just doggone thrilled to showcase your incredible work. Encore!
1. Director: Roma Kong
Artist: Lady Gaga
Song: “Bloody Mary”
Possibly the most sophisticated video we’ve seen in terms of production values and high-stakes concepts, Roma Kong has the visual sensibility to be a big name in any number of fields.
2. Producer: Sarah Maggic
Song: “Play Me Like A Violin”
Domination, submission, and identity are some of the thematic forces at play in Sarah Maggic’s well-executed short.
3. Producer: Anna Hicks
We dug this strobe-soaked club-thumper that reduces the mating dance to its most essential impulses, some of which may be in direct conflict.
4. Producer: Yap Manloong
Artist: Paperplane Pursuit
Song: “Who’s Gonna To Stop Me”
Evolving, growing, and reshaping itself before our wide eyes, Yap Manloong’s video is a wonder to behold. Uncanny animation and a playful spirit permeate every frame.
5. Producer: Maya Cooper
Artist: Baz Luhrmann
Song: “Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen”
Words to live by. A fascinating deconstruction of a graduation speech loaded with intuitive narrative imagery.
Let’s make a pact: You keep sending videos and we’ll do our best to give them the attention they so richly deserve. Aloha!
Here we go, a fresh batch of UMV’s piping hot, straight from the oven.
We’re not April Fooling you, we’re still a little behind the times. These five videos came up tops for the month of April.
To briefly recap, five artists are honored, and the monthly high scorer may select a unique trophy or gift card as a testament to their skill and creativity. More about the awards.
And to our quintet of April video artists, well done!
1. Producer: Andrey Gorlachev
Song: “Sleep With My Enemies”
Wow! This cyber-surveillance creeper from Andrey Gorlachev eerily captures the times we live in, as mounting paranoia and a lack of privacy inspire outbreaks of desperate dance. Rich in detail and masterfully presented.
2. Producer: Jonathan Brent
Artist: Jai Paul
A near sensory overload as modern man, depicted here as a featureless mannequin, attempts to reboot the system. Moments of clarity are rudely jarred away.
3. Producer: Paula Averkamp
Artist: Patrick Watson
Memories or just a Virginia Woolf dream? Paula Averkamp’s cinematic Day at the Beach reverie is radiant and ravishing, with a bittersweet undercurrent of innocence lost.
4. Producer: Leon Falon
Artist: Aphex Twin
Song: “We Have Arrived”
Call it a barrage collage. A short circus, maybe. Anyone suffering from Seizure Disorder should look the other way.
5. Producer: Ginie’O
Song: “Skin and Bones”
A beautiful cache of Paris travelogue footage in the hands of Ginie’O tells a thousand stories at a thousand different tempos.
Thanks again on behalf of TikiKiti for the amazing gallimaufry of musical shorts. It is the wind beneath our wings.
Keep the videos flying!