Top ten Radiohead music videos of all time

Radiohead are set to take Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage by storm this weekend, so I thought it would be a great time to give a chronological run through of their greatest music videos. I was able to choose my very personally-opinionated list from an eclectic output, which has never felt like it was conforming to anything like the norm.

Take a look and feel free to challenge me if you think I’ve missed anything.

1. Just (Jamie Thraves, 1995)

Jamie Thraves’s breakthrough announced his work to the world and made him one of the most sought-after music video directors on the planet. He has since contributed some brilliant short films to bands (Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’ and Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’ are amongst his more popular work), though his feature film career remains highly underrated.

It’s worth watching before anyone tells you anything about it. Then you can Google “What does the guy say at the end of Just by Radiohead?”. Then in 22 years’ time you’ll be where I am now.

Utter genius.

2. Street Spirit (Jonathan Glazer, 1996)

Jonathan Glazer’s visually-stunning black and white video for ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’ was a masterpiece at the time and it has certainly stood the test of time. The slow frame rate mixed with regular or fast-forward shots creates a really effective result, and if the overall impression doesn’t do it for you then you can at least wonder how it was achieved technically without the use of computer imagery.

3. Paranoid Android (Magnus Carlsson, 1997)

Paranoid Android is an epic saga of a tune that fused three separate crunching progressive rock song and juxtaposed them with some darkly humorous lyrics. It’s essentially Radiohead doing a song like Bohemian Rhapsody but doing everything they can to not do a song like Bohemian Rhapsody.

The video that accompanies it, created by Swedish animator Magnus Carlsson, is just as bizarre. The band were fans of his animated series Robin, and asked him to create a video featuring the character. The dark playfulness of the songs lyrics and composition marries perfectly with the visuals, which could easily trick a young person into thinking it was a regular cartoon. They’d soon see a man with a head foetus poking out of his belly, or a bare-breasted mermaid swimming around.

4. No Surprises (Grant Gee, 1998)

No discussion of Radiohead videos would be complete without mention of the visually iconic ‘No Surprises’ music video. Thom Yorke’s head is slowly submerged in a tank that fills from the bottom, with some subtle slow-motion work causing it to feel even longer to increase the feeling of tension and suffocation. I guarantee the first time everyone saw it they all took a breath as the water was eventually released. Simple but very effective.

Gee was also involved with Radiohead during the infamous OK Computer tour, which almost led to the band breaking up. It was covered in the engrossing feature-length documentary ‘Meeting People is Easy’, released on VHS in 1998.

5. Knives Out (Michel Gondry, 2002)

Michel Gondry’s one-shot video for ‘Knives Out’ feels like a thematic predecessor to ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, Gondry’s 2004 masterpiece that must surely be one of the best films of the decade. Thom Yorke is in a hospital bed next to his partner, played by Emma de Caunes (who later appeared in Gondry’s The Science of Sleep). She’s undergoing some operations but her body is represented by an oversized version of the Operation board game. Thom looks on in a nightmarish panic, underpinned by a feeling of repetition and inability to escape.

The marrying of two of the most creative artists in their respective mediums was inevitably going to lead to greatness and ‘Knives Out’ doesn’t disappoint.

6. There There (Chris Hopewell, 2003)

The first of two Chris Hopewell videos on this list. There There is a stop-motion animated video that features Thom Yorke venturing into a dark forest and encountering some small mice having a dinner party. He steals some magical shoes, gets attacked by some crowd and turns into a tree.

Brilliant.

7. Nude (Adam Buxton and Garth Jennings, 2008)

British comedian/podcaster/beardy cyclist Adam Buxton joined forces with music video and film director Garth Jennings to produce a beautiful and simplistic music video for Radiohead’s ‘Nude’ single.

Each member of the band performs against a black background, filmed in slow motion as the space they inhabit fills up with white feathers.

If it sounds simple, it’s because it is. And it’s wonderful.

8. House of Cards (James Frost, 2008)

No cameras were used in the making of James Frost’s mesmerising video for ‘House of Cards‘. Instead, 3D plotting devices were used to collect, collate and interpret data on the positional relationship between objects.

It’s hard to visualise and harder to forget once you’ve seen it.

9. Lotus Flower (Garth Jennings, 2010)

Because who doesnt want to see a black and white Thom Yorke dancing around like a maniac for five minutes and eight seconds?

10. Burn the Witch (Chris Hopewell, 2016)

One of the best music videos I’ve seen recently was for ‘A Moon Shaped Pool‘ lead single ‘Burn the Witch’. It is, specifically, Trumpton does The Wicker Man. It was created by Chris Hopewell of ‘There There’ fame. Another dark video that belies the cutesy animated façade.

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Best Films of 2016

I’ve seen a lot of films in the last year, perhaps the most I’ve ever seen in a single year. It’s phenomenal given how busy I’ve been. 

There were a couple of films I caught at the London Film Festival that I haven’t put in because they will be 2017 films. I may as well state that there is no way La La Land won’t make the list for 2017. It’s just that good.

I also decided I’d treat documentary films seperately because this year was the best in a long time for this genre. The top of the pile was probably Weiner, though there was a whole bunch of great efforts that will get their own article.

Here’s my top twelve, in alphabetical order:

Arrival


What I said:

“Arrival is one of the best films of the year. Gripping, intelligent, thought-provoking and stylish. A must see.”

Read the original review here.

Deadpool


What I said:

” It’s brash, it’s offensive and it’s graphic. It’s almost like a superhero film from an alternate reality, where the primary goal isn’t to sell action figures and lunchboxes. Its failings are more than made up for by how refreshing it was to see a completely different take on the genre.”

Read the original review here.

The Hateful Eight


What I said:

“This is a psychological mystery that isn’t afraid to maintain the whole story in complete isolation. It intertwines some laugh-out-loud moments with shocking gore in a way that only Tarantino knows how. It may not be his greatest achievement but it certainly doesn’t disappoint.”

Read the original review here.

Julieta


What I said:

“A beautiful work of art and a must see for anyone with a penchant for high quality cinema.”

Read the original review here.

Moana


What I said:

“The plaudits must go to Auli’i Cravalho, who comes in as a complete unknown and has delivered a lead performance that equals the best Disney has ever achieved. At just sixteen but with a voice as good as anything I’ve ever heard on stage, she has a very bright future indeed.”

Read the original review here.

The Neon Demon


What I said:

“This is a sensational film with a powerful leading performance from a girl just seventeen at the time of filming. Pairing this with such bold film making and the result was never going to be anything but an overwhelming success.”

Read the original review here.

Nocturnal Animals


What I said:

“If you’re interested in seeing Tom Ford’s latest then you need to know what you’re getting yourself in for. It’s a veritable misery-fest. And it’s absolutely breathtaking.”

Read the original review here.

Raw


What I said:

“Clearly, any film that can accurately depict a human devouring the flesh of a fellow human is going to turn some stomachs. It would be easy enough to nail the visual effects, make a shocking trailer and launch it out into the world. Where Raw will find wider success is the fact that there is a genuinely interesting and well-realised film beyond the surface, which justifies its critical praise.”

Read the original review here.

Room


What I said:

“It may not seem it but it’s a wonderful hidden gem, the quality of which will only become apparent once you’ve seen it. It is deliberately difficult but equally rewarding to witness. An early contender for one of my top films of the year.”

Read the original review here.

Spotlight


What I said:

“The film is now serving the same purpose as the original article: to shine a spotlight on a diabolical scandal that should have been eradicated decades ago. It is possibly the most important film you will see this year.”

Read the original review here.

Victoria


What I said:

“When I say one-shot, I mean one-shot: no trickery, no cut-aways, no cheating. That’s 138 minutes of film in one continuous take – a bold move that took three attempts to get right. It’s a glorious achievement and a wonder to behold, even though the film is perhaps flawed as a result of its own triumph.”

Read the original review here.

When Marnie Was There


What I said:

“Instantly it will strike you that it’s just as beautifully animated as anything we’ve seen before, with hand-drawn drawings taking us on the typically personal, solitary journey of the main character. Animation has seldom looked this good.”

Read the original review here.

Best Documentary Films 2016

There were so many great documentary films unleashed on the world in 2016 that I felt it was worth pulling them out of my main list. 

The best of the bunch is Weiner, the completely bizarre fly-on-the-wall documentary of Anthony Weiner as he repeatedly details his own political career. The rest are more than worthy of a viewing.

Weiner


What I said:

“As a documentary, Weiner is about as good as it gets. It isn’t putting the pieces together after an event, instead getting lucky and being able to present a truly spectacular political scandal from the inside of the bubble. The characters are their interactions are as captivating as any fictional story.”

Read the original review here.

A Hard Days Night: The Beatles, The Touring Years


What I said:

“It is a truly brilliant piece of documentary film-making, managing to tell the familiar story with a flurry of individual memories that bring to life again a rise to stardom that has not and will not ever be replicated.”

Read the original review here.

Life, Animated


What I said:

“The film may take a look at only one man’s struggles with autism, but the focus shifts from him to those around him: his parents, his brother, his girlfriend, the professionals helping him through his condition. In this way, we see how his autism affects those around him. The result is arguably one of the most important films about autism ever made.”

Read the original review here.

Dancer

What I said:

“Most insightful are the interviews with his mother and father. Clearly huge sacrifices were made throughout his life to get him to where he is now. The film leaves it open as to whether either of them regret putting him through it, and it’s not something that ever really needs an answer. He certainly has a different life to the one he would have had if he’d stayed in Khersan, Ukraine.”

Read the original review here.

Sour Grapes


What I said:

“The film builds up a balanced picture of Kurniawan and the people he had been associating with in these wine tasting circles. It follows him as he befriends the self-professed ‘Angry Men’ group in LA over a period of several years, buying up key vintage wines, developing his palette to unrivalled levels and becoming a key player in the wine buying and selling scene. The results are nothing short of fascinating.”

Read the original review here.

The Hard Stop


What I said:

“‘The Hard Stop’ is one of the most important documentary films to hit the big screens this year. Out of necessity, it is rough around the edges. It has, at the heart of it, some of the greatest social themes facing Britain today. A riveting watch.”

Read the original review here.

Academy Awards 2016 – Full List of Winners

Best picture
Winner: Spotlight
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room

Best actress
Winner: Brie Larson in Room
Cate Blanchett in Carol
Jennifer Lawrence in Joy
Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn

Best supporting actress
Winner: Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl
Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara in Carol
Rachel McAdams in Spotlight
Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs

Best actor
Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant
Bryan Cranston in Trumbo
Matt Damon in The Martian
Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl

Best supporting actor
Winner: Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies
Christian Bale in The Big Short
Tom Hardy in The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight
Sylvester Stallone in Creed

Best Director
Winner: The Revenant – Alejandro G. Iñárritu
The Big Short – Adam McKay
Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller
Room – Lenny Abrahamson
Spotlight – Tom McCarthy

Adapted screenplay
Winner: The Big Short – Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Brooklyn – Nick Hornby
Carol – Phyllis Nagy
The Martian – Drew Goddard
Room – Emma Donoghue

Original screenplay
Winner: Spotlight – Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy
Bridge of Spies – Matt Charman,Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Ex Machina – Alex Garland
Inside Out – Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
Straight Outta Compton – Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff

Cinematography
Winner: The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki
Carol – Ed Lachman
The Hateful Eight – Robert Richardson
Mad Max: Fury Road – John Seale
Sicario – Roger Deakins

Best Costume Design
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road – Jenny Beavan
Carol – Sandy Powell
Cinderella – Sandy Powell
The Danish Girl – Paco Delgado
The Revenant – Jacqueline West

Best Animated Feature
Winner: Inside Out – Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera
Anomalisa – Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran
Boy and the World – Alê Abreu
Shaun the Sheep Movie – Mark Burton and Richard Starzak
When Marnie Was There – Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura

Best Documentary Feature
Winner: Amy – Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
Cartel Land – Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin
The Look of Silence – Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
What Happened, Miss Simone? – Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom – Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmor

Best Documentary Short
Winner: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness – Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Body Team 12 – David Darg and Bryn Mooser
Chau, beyond the Lines – Courtney Marsh and Jerry Franck
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah – Adam Benzine
Last Day of Freedom – Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman

Editing
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road – Margaret Sixel
The Big Short – Hank Corwin
The Revenant – Stephen Mirrione
Spotlight – Tom McArdle
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey

Foreign language film
Winner: Son of Saul (Hungary)
Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
Mustang (France)
Theeb (Jordan)
A War (Denmark)

Production design
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road – Production Design: Colin Gibson; Set Decoration: Lisa Thompson
Bridge of Spies – Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo and Bernhard Henrich
The Danish Girl – Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Michael Standish
The Martian – Production Design: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Celia Bobak
The Revenant – Production Design: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Hamish Purdy

Make-up/hairstyling
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road – Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared – Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
The Revenant – Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini

Best Original Score
Winner: The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone
Bridge of Spies – Thomas Newman
Carol – Carter Burwell
Sicario – Jóhann Jóhannsson
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – John Williams

Best Original song
Winner: Writing’s On The Wall from Spectre (Music and Lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith)
Earned It from Fifty Shades of Grey (Music and Lyric by Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio)
Manta Ray from Racing Extinction (Music by J. Ralph and Lyric by Antony Hegarty)
Simple Song #3 from Youth (Music and Lyric by David Lang)
Til It Happens To You from The Hunting Ground (Music and Lyric by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga)

Sound editing
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road – Mark Mangini and David White
The Martian – Oliver Tarney
The Revenant – Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender
Sicario – Alan Robert Murray
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Matthew Wood and David Acord

Sound mixing
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road – Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo
Bridge of Spies – Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin
The Martian – Paul Massey, Mark Taylor and Mac Ruth
The Revenant – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom and Chris Duesterdiek
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

Visual effects
Winner: Ex Machina – Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett
Mad Max: Fury Road A- ndrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams
The Martian – Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner
The Revenant – Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould

Animated short film
Winner: Bear Story – Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
Prologue – Richard Williams and Imogen Sutton
Sanjay’s Super Team – Sanjay Patel and Nicole Grindle
We Can’t Live without Cosmos – Konstantin Bronzit
World of Tomorrow – Don Hertzfeldt

Live action short film
Winner: Stutterer – Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage
Ave Maria – Basil Khalil and Eric Dupont
Day One – Henry Hughes
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut) – Patrick Vollrath
Shok – Jamie Donoughue

Secret Cinema February 2016 Preview

Secret Cinema is a company that puts together immersive film-based experiences, set around one film. You step into an alternative reality and live in the film for a few hours, somewhere along the line actually watching the film too. Having thoroughly enjoyed the Star Wars Secret Cinema earlier this year, my first Secret Cinema event, when Secret Cinema announced their next project was coming in February 2016 I instantly put my name down for tickets.

The biggest difference this time is that nobody knows what the film is. We’ll be stepping into a world of the unknown, much like the older Secret Cinema events. A lot of people have rushed to buy tickets but are now wondering what exactly they’ve signed up to.

So what clues have they given to us? Let’s break it down.

What films won’t it be?

I think we can safely rule out any film that Secret Cinema and Future Cinema have already performed. The following films have already been covered.

A Night at the Opera (2008)
Alien (2009)
Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2009)
Back To The Future (2014)
The Battle of Algiers (2011)
Blade Runner (2010)
Brazil (2013)
Bugsy Malone (2009)
Dead Poets Society (2014)
Dirty Dancing (2013)
Funny Face (2008)
Ghostbusters (2008)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
The Harder They Come (2009)
if…. (2008)
The Interview (2014)
Lawrence of Arabia (2010)
Paranoid Park (2007)
Prometheus (2012)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (2010)
The Red Shoes (2011)
Saturday Night Fever (2013)
The Shawshank Redemption (2012)
Star Wars: A New Hope (2015)
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (2015)
The Third Man (2012)
The Warriors (2009)
Wings of Desire (2010)

Quite an extensive list there. It’s a shame some of them have already been done and may never be repeated. The videos of some of them have been reported recently on the Secret Cinema Facebook page. The Third Man looked particularly immersive.

What clues have we got?

Perhaps the biggest clue as to the content of the film is the fact it is simultaneously being played out in London and Moscow. Secret Cinema regularly performs in London, but Moscow seems to be significant.

There are a number of popular English-language films wholly or partly set in Moscow that could be relevant:

The Bourne Supremacy
The Bourne Ultimatum
Cast Away
Iron Man 2
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Rocky IV
Rocky V
X-Men: The Days of Future Past
X-Men: First Class

These films are all fine, but the Moscow connection is tenuous at best. The Bourne series could be the best option. However, they simply don’t fit the cult film status that you could categorise all the previous films as.

Surveillance seems to be key

Throughout all the visuals about the event have been suggestions of spying and surveillance. Going to the official page on the website, you are greeted by audio that sounds like a submarine sonar blip, with someone typing on and old-fashioned typewriter overlaid. These also feature on some of the visuals.

Quotes 

Elsewhere there are quotes featured, which include the following:

“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” – Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest)

“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.” – Anais Nin

“Everything is relative in this world, where change alone endures.” – Leon Trotsky (The Revolution Betrayed)

“Take a walk on the wild side.” – Lou Reed (Take A Walk On The Wild Side)

“Hence a commander who advances without any thought of winning personal fame and withdraws in spite of certain punishment, whose only concern is to protect his people and promote the interests of his ruler, is the nation’s treasure. Because he fusses over his men as if they were infants, they will accompany him into the deepest valleys; because he fusses over his men as if they were his own beloved sons, they will die by his side. If he is generous with them and yet they do not do as he tells them, if he loves them and yet they do not obey his commands, if he is so undisciplined with them that he cannot bring them into proper order, they will be like spoiled children who can be put to no good use at all.” – Sun Tzu (The Art of War)

“Wild honey smells of freedom
The dust — of sunlight
The mouth of a young girl, like a violet
But gold — smells of nothing”
– Anna Akhmatova (The Smell of Gold)
Note: This was a quote provided in Russian

These quotes imply some kind of war theme, or perhaps people being oppressed or under over-zealous surveillance. There are also hints of revolution against it.

So what are the best bets?

Possibility 1

It is unlikely that the film won’t be English-language, but not impossible. What if the film wasn’t language-dependent at all? Silent films would be a bold move but one that could pay off if it was the right film.

1924 film Aelita from director Yakov Protazanov is an early silent film and is often cited as an influence on Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Based on a novel by Alexei Tolstoy, it features heavily topics of sci-fi but its setting in 1920s Russia allows themes of political and social commentary that meant it was banned from cinemas in the Soviet Union.

You can watch the whole thing for free here.

I also found an excellent article on the film by Andrew J Horton at this location. A fascinating read.

I’d love to see this but in all honesty it seems highly unlikely.

Possibility 2

  

One film that seems to be cropping up in discussions across the Internet is Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. The satirical comedy from 1964 certainly has the surveillance and war themes running throughout and is also considered a cult film by many. Its 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes shows it would be a popular choice.

The opportunity to witness a live recreation of the war room scenes would be hilarious. However, how they would skip between the war room and the B-52 bombers is a mystery to me so I’m not convinced this is the best option.

Possibility 3

Before George Lucas took on the universe with Star Wars, he had an extremely popular cult film called THX 1138. A little thought makes this a real possibility. 

The tickets on offer come in two categories: Operative (standard) and Operative X. The latter comes at twice the price, but the use of the word Operative brings the suggestion of a dystopian reality where names are gone and people are just a number. 

The lead characters in THX 1138 included the titular character played by Robert Duvall, an operator in a factory building android police officers, and SEN 5241 played by Donald Pleasance, a CCTV operator in charge of surveillance. Both are operatives but one has a distinct superiority over the other.

The world would be immersive if done properly. Imagine plentiful android police wandering around and telling us to not do certain things. White rooms with seemingly no walls with everyone wandering around aimlessly. 

Whether enough people know of the film to really enjoy it is another matter. For me, this is a strong contender based on what we currently know.

Possibility 4

  

The final option considered is 1984 (Michael Radford, 1984). If you’re going for a surveillance-themed film then you can’t go wrong with this film. It is the quintessential film and book on the topic, so much so that the words “Big Brother” are used in common vocabulary to describe anything the public seems to be over-bearing on the surveillance front.

The totalitarian state rules the world in which it is set, and the main character Winston Smith (John Hurt) works for the Ministry of Truth rewriting history to suit the desired story. 

The settings would be much easier to achieve than THX 1138, and it is slightly more mainstream than that film. Imagine being sent into a huge office block to rewrite a scandalous news story into something far more saccharine. The dystopia on the outside of the buildings and attempting to avoid capture by the Thought Police… All very appealing!

The only downside is the similarity to the film Brazil, already featured in a previous Secret Cinema event.

Conclusion

Well, nothing is nailed on and their clues don’t really help too much, but there are some strong contenders I wouldn’t mind experiencing. Hopefully this article has got you a little more excited.

Tickets are almost gone but some nights have limited availability.

Update

I’ve written an update following the recent communications. Check it out here.

A preview for the next event, Secret Cinema Presents 28 Days Later, can be found here.