Work / My Favourite Music Video

My Favourite Music Video: Camilla Mantovani on Radiohead’s epic Street Spirit

Good choice, Camilla! Surprised no one else has chosen Jonathan Glazer’s career-making epic of a music video yet. Camilla is an expert filmmaker whose work stretches across fashion films, music videos and promos. We particularly like her because she’s responsible for putting a member of Franz Ferdinand in one of those creepy horse masks for a music video. Here she is talking about one of the most legendary music videos of all time, Radiohead’s Street Spirit.

Camilla Mantovani: Radiohead – Street Spirit (Fade Out) directed by Jonathan Glazer

I want to write about Jonathan Glazer’s Street Spirit (Fade out) for Radiohead. I fell in love with videos that have a kind of story behind their structure, not necessarily a narrative one but an ensemble of powerful, allegoric visuals that are related to a concrete feeling. It’s exciting when beautiful visuals evoke deep emotions and you can’t rationally explain why. I find this video as breathtaking as the song itself – the music and visuals are perfectly connected and balanced, following the same direction without being redundant but rather enhancing reciprocally in a very elegant way.

The mixing of speed effects create simple but meaningful distortion. There is something disturbing and fascinating about it at the same time. This video is from 1996 but it doesn’t look “old” to me as many other videos from that period do, and I think that’s because the use of the effects does not come from only a technical and stylistic choice, but it is a pure artistic expression itself.

Thom Yorke says “Street Spirit is our purest song, but I didn’t write it. It wrote itself.” This is an amazing challenge for a director but Jonathan Glazer did it spectacularly well. From the beautifully saturated black and white to the dreamy and surrealist mood or the simplicity of the elements he decided to portray – every choice he made was the right one.


Radiohead: Street Spirit (Fade Out) directed by Jonathan Glazer


Radiohead: Street Spirit (Fade Out) directed by Jonathan Glazer


Radiohead: Street Spirit (Fade Out) directed by Jonathan Glazer


Radiohead: Street Spirit (Fade Out) directed by Jonathan Glazer