In Sami’s Picks, our contributor Sami Kriegstein round ups a selection of the best recent music videos directed by women and shares them with us!
Sami Kriegstein is the founder and creative director of the Los Angeles Music Video Festival, which just celebrated its 7th year in 2017! She is a filmmaker, entrepreneur and digital content maven who splits her time between New York and LA.
And now, over to Sami…
It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air…
Now, maybe it’s me, maybe it’s #METOO, maybe it’s #LOVEISLOVE, maybe it’s just the march of time bringing me more perspective with age; but I swear love is messier than it used to be. Not necessarily in a bad way, just in a more complicated kind of way. Modern love takes many forms and means many things.
Take “Family Feud”, the Jay-Z video directed by none other than Ava Duvernay, whose five-plus minute intro features a blockbuster cast and to-die-for fashun. The story traces the dynastic leaders of a new world order back in time to their inception, a moment sparked by Jay’s confession of his sins to Beyonce, in the presence of their daughter, Blue Ivy. I took this video as an attempt to synthesize, both for the family and for the fans, Jay-Z’s well documented infidelity and Bey’s decision to stay with him, by framing the crisis inside a sweeping cinematic fantasy about the good that can come from pain when a family sticks together and confronts their demons. Oh, and the future is hella female.
Keeping it in the family (see what I did there?) my next pick for a female-directed take on love is SZA’s “The Weekend,” directed by Solange. I was pumped to see Solange step behind the camera here, but somewhat surprised that she chose to lend her talents to what is essentially a side-chick anthem. Cause, you know. The whole elevator thing. Regardless, her austere, elevated style works like a dream in concert with SZA’s sultry performance, and the video is stunning and confident; reflecting in every frame SZA’s unapologetic (if somewhat lonely) pride in her weekend-lover status. Like I said, love takes many forms…who are we to judge?
On the other end of the spectrum is Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts,” directed by longtime collaborator and creative director Quinn Wilson, where Lizzo literally chants “I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever be your side chick.” This DGAF number is a fizzy delight, and the humor in the lyrics match the tongue-in-cheek setup that sees Lizzo marrying her damn self! Self-love is still love, people. Look it up!
Next up, Hayley Kiyoko’s “Curious.” Kiyoko has built up a cult-following by putting a ton of effort into her videos – all of which she directs and produces herself. This time, she shares directing duties with James Larese. Their house-party dance vid could easily have felt trite, except for Kiyoko’s knack at taking traditional guy-and-girl love stories and recasting them for herself, which is to say, for girl-and-girl. The characters in her music videos are refreshingly fluid, and she literally doesn’t skip a beat as she presents this updated narrative as the most natural thing in the world. It’s an easy-breezy clip that proves no matter who you’ve loved and lost…revenge is sweet.
Last but not least, I had to finish on some sugar. Hannah Lux Davis serves up a sweet-as-candy video for Hailee Steinfeld’s “Capital Letters” – a confection of a contribution to the new “Fifty Shades Freed” soundtrack. This Parisian love story is light as champagne bubbles and sweet as a pastel-pink macaron.
Break out that box of chocolates and eat your heart out!