Film Archive

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    How refreshing to see a music video that isn’t three minutes of slowly buffering and ultimately mind-bending CGI. The videos we cherish are always a combination of great idea plus low budget – which is what makes this new one for White Fence so perfect. Why has no one thought about putting a lead singer of a band in a prison for a music video before? I love the idea that no matter how much we worship bands and frontmen, if you threw them in the clanger for even an hour they wouldn’t last five minutes.

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    This is great! Haim have actually had a really great back catalogue of videos so far, proving to everyone that this medium is still mega-important as to how a band is seen (Metronomy also do this well). Now I may not recognise many (any) of the trendy music names that star in this video, but what I do know a lot about is chat shows. The whole video is a pastiche of ubiquitous telly fodder like Jerry Springer, Jeremy Kyle and Oprah – the gross chairs, beige set-design and on-screen graphics that remind you of Saved by the Bell that we all know and love.

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    There can be no question that ballet is one of the most enrapturing art forms out there, but I sometimes wonder if the archetypal representation of the dance as graceful, pristine and effortless quite does justice to the physicality of it. How refreshing is it to watch a short film about a ballerina, that doesn’t airbrush over the fingerprints on the mirror, the beads of sweat on the shoulder blades, the tremble of a lip as a dancer exhales?

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    You know those CDs of whale music you can buy at the tills in garden centres? If, rather than listening to those, everybody in need of a couple of minutes of downtime halfway through the afternoon could just take the time to watch The Ridge, the world would be much, much better place. It’s kind of a spectacular bit of filmmaking; filmed for Camp4 Collective in Denali National Park, Alaska, the camera sweeps across mountains buried in fluffy snow, rocky ridges brandishing over barren expanses of white and mountain faces that look curiously like old men’s faces (watch out for the moustachioed bloke at 1.40).

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    You know how it is; you’re filming your latest music video, taking instructions from cue cards administered by an overbearing director when suddenly he’s distracted and is no longer showing you what to do. Do you stop what you’re doing and risk looking like a chump or just keep on dancing until the next cue card flashes up? This is the great existential debate at the heart of Ninian Doff’s latest video for Peace, which sees him taking this line of inquiry to extremes; crashing cars and terrorising families in the process. Fun times!

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    It’s always fascinating to see how different cultures take certain musical genres and shape them into something quite unique depending on what they adopt and what they re-imagine from the original. Scene Unseen is a new video series from Bose and Vice which explores this phenomenon through three examples; indie in Mexico, electronica in India and dancehall in Japan which is the subject of the first film.

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    Is anyone else slightly unnerved by how happy Bill Callahan has been of late? His songs no longer deal with loneliness and somewhat terrifying obsession and now dwell on nicer, every day things such as driving in the car with your loved one as a snoozing pillion passenger. Yes I know it’s nicer to listen to songs about that sort of thing, but I kind of miss wigging out to some of his earlier classics where he would, for example, go into stark lyrical detail about arranging a woman’s lingerie into the shape of a little dolly on the bed while she’s out.

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    Every friendship has its issues. A mate I used to live with once cooked baked beans in a wok; a culinary move so baffling that I can feel the irritation welling up every time I see him (it’s now seven years after the incident). Maybe we should have gone to therapy, because it seems to be working for Daryl and Joe, the stars of this terrific unscripted web series. In each short clip the pair discuss something about the other person they believe affects their relationship; from drinking to punctuality and a racist dog to an inability to pronounce a sister’s name properly. It’s the kind of thing the web does so well; giving life to content that couldn’t really live anywhere else. It might, might, even help me get over wok-gate.

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    Pretty much anything created in the style of an old video game is fine by us. This partiuclar pixel art music video created by animator Mattis Davier is a thrilling, erotic voyage into creepy suburbia where we’re faced with a Twin Peaks style horror story and a lot of visuals that kind of remind me personally of the Are You Afraid of The Dark? intro.

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    Lana Del Rey is something of an opinion splitter in the studio, so it’s with great relish that we’re posting her highly-anticipated new video for Ultraviolence. In a glorious twist from the super long epic Tropico that she released in December, it’s incredibly lo-fi and brings to mind that first video for Video Games. Directed to feel like a home video made by her husband on their wedding day, it focuses pretty heavily on Lana herself; putting her veil on, eating an orange and walking to the church. Whatever you think of it, it’ll likely make you long to whack out a Super 8 camera and start writhing around in a wedding dress. Which, let’s face it, we all want to do secretly.

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    Jack Featherstone, Hans Lo and Simian Mobile Disco have long collaborated on music videos for the band’s singles, using highly complex analogue techniques to generate visuals that complement each song. But their latest offering may well be the most complex yet. Six months in the making, Tangents features live-generated digital imagery fed through an oscilloscope. The guys filmed, it, manipulated it and then knitted it all together into a four minute epic that builds from monochromatic morse dots and dashes to a full-blown crescendo of strobed psychedelia.

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    I love how Beck is always pushing the boat out and doing something that bit more creative than other recording artists. Remember when he released stickers with his album so you could design your own CD artwork? Or that time he discussed the meaning of creativity with Doug Aitken for his show at the Liverpool Biennial? Or his astonishing Song Reader? Exactly.

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    We’ve all seen paper process films – all sun-dappled mills and babbling brooks – but we’ve never seen anything quite like Ben Stevenson and Made Thought’s jaw-dropping Bright Red for G . F Smith Colorplan. Borrowing more from the vernacular of horror than the usual creative fare, it’s an super-intense journey into the heart, and art, of making paper. Ben’s film was premiered at a series of Colour In Context events last month which took place in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. Each evening saw three speakers talk about how colour influences and inspires their practice, and you can now enjoy all the talks below. It’s Nice That was proud to media partner with G . F Smith for the series, on which we were able to work with some of our favourite creatives.

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    What’s more terrifying than a street gang? I’ll tell you, a Maori gang called the Mighty Mongrel Mob. In this haunting short film by filmmaker and photographer Tom Gould we are thrown into the personal history of famed Mighty Mongrel Mob gang member Martyka Brandt, whose tattoo-covered and weathered face speaks volumes of his turbulent life. In this short film we learn about the perils of being in a gang like the Mongrel Mob, the near-death experiences Martyka has escaped, and how a man can truly turn his life around to something rather magical indeed.

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    The Serpentine Pavilion is one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures on London’s cultural calendar and once again COS have created a beautiful film featuring this year’s creation. It’s the work of Chilean architect Smiljan Radić, whose shell-like cylindrical structure rests on quarry stones; seemingly at once both spawned from a prehistoric past and/or dropped from a future galaxy.

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    When Gilles Peterson flew to Rio in January, he didn’t just gather a bunch of his Brazilian music heroes into one studio to make the album Brasil BAM BAM BAM. Oh no. He also made his first feature documentary.

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    Err, where has Jenny Lewis been for the past few years? She could have been running some sort of underground, political guerilla group, or designing jewellery, or maybe she was just locked in a cupboard. What I’m getting at is that it just doesn’t matter in the slightest – because she’s back with a totally killer video that she’s directed, and we all know that 99.9% of the time a brilliant, timely music video is the perfect solution to a difficult comeback.

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    Considering Kate Moss’ notorious silence throughout her career, it’s exciting to hear her actually spill the beans on what it was like to be photographed on Camber Sands beach with Corinne Day, or be painted by Lucian Freud. Similarly it’s equally thrilling to hear Lily Cole speak of being photographed by Terry Richardson underwater for the 2012 Pirelli Calendar.

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    As artisanal skills go, the world of ceramics is one of my favourites to peer into, and it’s as much because I know I’d be as useless as Demi Moore if I were plonked in front of a potter’s wheel as it is about the beauty of the craft itself. Whatever admiration I have for potters has just been magnified tenfold by this wonderful short film by North Sea Air about French ceramic brand Astier de Villatte. Founded by Benoît Astier de Villatte and Ivan Pericoli 18 years ago, the pair pride themselves on their traditionally-inspired handmade ceramics, and the authentic olde-worlde aesthetic that inspires everything they do.

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    It’s no secret that Studio Swine are forever pushing boundaries in the world of product design, taking uncommon materials and putting them to universal use. But their latest project is extremely unusual, even by their own standards. For Hair Highway the pair ventured into the heart of mainland China to the epicentre of the global human hair trade. There they acquired enough human hair to use it as the basis for a number of luxury bespoke objects – the carefully-maintained strands preserved in deep amber resin, creating stunning patterns and textures. To top it all off they’ve made this lovely film to document their journey, the people behind this strange trade and the finished products themselves.

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    London-based artist Aleksandra Mir has been busy over the past month investigating the process of drawing in a collaborative experiment that invites participants to contribute to a giant collage of the London skyline, rendered entirely with Sharpies. The process of creating the work was part of the exhibition itself, with Aleksandra and her team engaged in drawing everything by hand during the first days of the show. But for those that missed it there’s also a beautiful time-lapse film of the process, providing context and insight to this giant piece of collaborative draughtsmanship.

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    It is a universal truth that Andrew Telling plus extraordinary cyclists equals fantastic films. The London-based filmmaker is a regular fixture at Rapha HQ, heading out on the road at the drop of a hat to produce stunning films that showcase both the brand’s expertly-made wares in action and the thrill of cycling itself. In honour of this year’s Tour de France, Rapha sent a team of cyclists out across Yorkshire to take in the sights and sounds of the race’s latest leg. Unlike this weekend’s Tour activities however, the pace on this ride is a leisurely one, drinking in the English countryside and stopping for the occasional pint of ale and piece of cake. Nevertheless the film-making is as beautiful as we’ve come to expect from Andrew, creating simple, satisfying narratives around what is essentially a leisurely weekend jaunt.

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    If you’re working on your summer bod right now then you can either look away or take some inspiration from the guys in this music video. Some people are into the whole muscle thing, but I can tell you now that for me this is way more terrifying than it is a turn-on, I mean look at them! The shoulders of these muscle-men are the width of a small truck and their waists are teeny tiny, giving them a strange Donkey Kong look about them. Odd, but intriguing.

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    The description of this video reads: “A dancing egg wreaks havoc when people can’t take their eyes off him.” I mean as far as concepts go, that’s pretty strong. Basically a guy in an egg costume (note to self: purchase an egg costume) goes around distracting people as they get on with their day. It was created by directorial duo A Very Successful Business quite literally for a laugh. “We created it just for the fun of making it, and to add a bit of surreal silliness back into the world,” co-founder Dulcie told us. Sure, this isn’t a video that’s going to go down in the top ten music videos of all time lists, but it made every single person in the It’s Nice That office laugh, and surely that counts for something. Well done, egg-lads!

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    “This generation is not afraid, pay attention” – what a line to end on! This short film directed by the rather talented William Williamson takes a close look at residents of Lahore, Pakistan and contemplates their different, individual methods of expressing themselves through their clothing. From the transexual Hijra to confident policewomen in shiny new uniforms, this wondrous few minutes takes you on a powerful journey to loud, messy, jangly Pakistan and into the lives of people who are on the cusp of realising a fashion revolution. We take for granted what it means to express ourselves through what we wear, and it’s informed, intelligent films like this that are needed to remind us just how powerful that expression can be. Read a fantastic interview with William over on Dazed Digital.

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    I fear I’ve referenced this before, but one of my Desert Island Discs would almost certainly be Baz Lurhmann’s strange spoken-word track Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen. I like it for many reasons, not least the opening phrase “Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99” which to a Midlands teenager felt exotic and American and important for ways I couldn’t really define.

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    “There’s nowt as queer as folk” begins this video created by Tate Britain to promote their spectacular exhibition, British Folk Art. The show has received critical acclaim for its curation, taking thousands of folkloric objects from the 1700s until now, and filtering them into a truly humbling exhibition that teaches you more about the underlying tone of our country than any history books ever will. From Morris Dancers to hen parties, and from leather Toby Jugs to tapestries woven by injured soldiers, these artefacts are a charming and often rather funny glimpse into what makes us all weird and British.

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    You may already be sick of hearing about Glastonbury (particularly if you didn’t manage to get a ticket and had to watch other people watching Dolly Parton in a field) but here’s something I never knew about the famous festival; it has its very own newspaper. In 2013 a seven-tonne vintage 1957 Heidelberg printing press was installed at Worthy Farm on which a 15,000 run Glastonbury newspaper was produced. It was back again this year but this lovely little film focuses on its debut appearance, the enduring appeal of printing in this way and a couple of theories about why the printing press proved such a hit with the Glasto-going public.

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    The only thing cooler than a girl gang is a girl gang of six-year-olds who are insanely good at skateboarding. Meet Pink Helmet Posse, a group of three astonishingly talented and cute little girls who are best friends, and love to skate. The New York Times have commissioned this spectacular short film about this curious trio as part of their consistently brilliant Opinion Pages, inviting the viewer to check out something that’s going to blow their minds and also make them think a little too.

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    Say what you like about music videos, for me the most successful have to be two things: simple and cool. Sound easy? It’s not, but when you think of any fantastic music video that’s stuck in your mind for years afterwards, it’s usually both those things combined seamlessly to create something magic (see Michel Gondry’s famous Chemical Brothers video). Back in the present day, this video for Uumellmahaye (gesundheit!) by Lithuanian artist Manfredas ticks the boxes perfectly. Director Ruta Kiskyte assembled some enormous inflatable letters in a disused plaster dump in the middle of Lithuania and got a guy to take his clothes off. The question is, is the naked man going to pop the smoke-filled letters we see before us? Wait, what’s that in his hand? Is he? He’s not…Oh yes, he’s going to bloody pop the letters! Perfect.

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    I love how OK GO just drop a sensational new music video every now and again like it’s no big deal. If you haven’t seen their insane back catalogue of music videos so far (come on, keep up) then go to YouTube and watch so you don’t sound like a total noob when everyone’s talking about this in about there hours time. If you have then check out this brand new video created by Special Guest and directed by Aaron Duffy, Damian Kulash Jr. and Bob Partington.

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    Next week the Royal College of Art’s much anticipated graduate exhibition Show RCA 2014 opens to the public; the culmination of two years’ intense study for the students involved. As media partners we have created a series of video portraits taking us into the studios 9And hopefully the minds!) of some of those taking part and the first one debuts today; a chat with Innovation Design Engineering student Nell Bennett. Look out for more next week as well as some special videos from the private views.

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    Olimpia Zagnoli is an illustrator we’re fond of. Her application of bold shapes and bright colours to elucidate the subtlest of social observations is right up our street, and it turns out to be exactly the kind of work which translates easily to public places, as she proved last year witht his cool project. So what happens then when an illustrator this talented turns her hand to art direction, and applies the same rules to moving picture?

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    Starter for ten: where did James Joyce write Dubliners? Nope that would be far too obvious, in actual fact it was in Italy, and in its most north-eastern corner Friuli Venezia Giulia to be precise. It’s a beguilingly beautiful part of the world that has captured the hearts of a host of towering creative figures: Ernest Hemingway built a house there and the film director Pier Paolo Pasolini spent much of his life in the region. Stretching from the Alps down to the shores of the Adriatic Sea, Friuli boasts incredible landscapes and yet seems overlooked by the hordes of tourists who descend on Italy every year, making it one of the country’s best-kept secrets.

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    If you’re feeling like you’ve heard, read and listened to all the stories there are then check out Jungles in Paris who document unique tales from across the globe. The brainchild of Darrell Hartman and his brother Oliver, the pair have created a fantastic website of short documentaries and photo essays inspired by new discoveries.

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    It’s sad, but the strangely hypnotic How It’s Made has become one of my favourite programmes over the years simply because it champions the most mundane items you can imagine and gives them a starring role.

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    An audio-visual match made in heaven, animator Daniela Scherer got together with musician Tom Rosenthal to create the video for his new music video for As Luck Would Have It, and her Western theme, minimal colour palette and cowgirl-come-mother central character turned out to be the perfect animated accompaniment to Tom’s dulcet tones. The video is simple in approach, following a young pregnant woman as she becomes a mother, interspersed with effortlessly composed images of cowboys laid across train tracks, magic 8-balls which always tell the truth, and one particularly arresting shot of a woman absent-mindedly whistling while singing the ukelele. It’s a wonderful music video, and if you’re anything like me, one that you’ll feel inclined to watch on repeat for a full 15 minutes before you can click away.

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    If you don’t give a toffee about typography, then the fixation on any font probably seems a touch tedious. But this fantastic new film from Steven Qua for The Times newspapers is an engaging and accessible exploration of this famous typeface, which takes in both its history and its current incarnations at the newspaper for whom it was designed. There’s insights from the likes of Andy Altmann, Marina Willer, Neville Brody and Monotype’s Dan Rhatigan so there’s more than enough here for both the initiated and the as-yet-to-be-converted to enjoy.

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    Here’s an exclusive for all you lucky lunchtime lurkers, the premiere of We Were Evergreen’s brand new video Belong is happening right here, right now. Rather than a smörgåsbord of poignant close-ups and intricate instruments, We Were Evergreen has kicked it up a notch by joining forces with the ever brilliant, Kate Moross for the visuals.

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    We featured Madeleine Waller for her photographs of swimmers at London Fields Lido way back in 2010, so you can imagine our delight to find that these very charming images have been published in a book all of their own, entitled East London Swimmers, by Hoxton Mini Press.