Full transparency: I am unabashedly obsessed with Nabil and Kahlil Joseph.
It seems that we’re in the second age of the music video auteur. Even though new music videos from artists/bands such as Kanye West, Frank Ocean, James Blake, Nicki Minaj, Nas & Damian Marley, Arctic Monkeys, FKA Twigs, Foals, and alt-J (exhaustive list because I love all these acts) are events in and of themselves, when they are released, blogs usually lead with the fact that they are Nabil-directed.
Kahlil Joseph, whose works is most associated with Kendrick Lamar and Flying Lotus, is arguably hip hop’s most important director (and currently has an exhibit at MOCA running until August 16th). Lamar commissioned Joseph to direct a short film based on his debut album good kid, m.A.A.d city. The video he directed for Flying Lotus Until the Quiet Comes was a film festival favorite.
Whereas the first era, circa Spike Jonze pre-film, was wedded to TV screens and music television channels, music videos are now located on computer screens via music and pop culture blogs. Now they are portable and the most accessible cinematic form. How does the music video, which is arguably the most dynamic cinematic space at a mass audience’s fingertips, exist as an intensely auteur form in a mass context?