Michel Gondry’s collaboration with the American rock band, White Stripes, has led to some of the finest music videos ever made in history. This visionary director never settled for mediocrity, as evident in all of his works. In fact, he has teamed up with the biggest names in the music industry including Bjork, Kylie Minogue, Rolling Stones, The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, and White Stripes. Check out four of the astonishing videos by White Stripes, with the band’s collaboration with Gondry.
Gondry White Stripes Video: Fell In Love With A Girl
Jack White wrote and produced this song, which was part of “White Blood Cells”, the third studio album made by the band. With the album’s release in 2002, the song reached the 21st spot in the UK Singles Chart and the US Bubbling Hot 100 Singles in that same year. In the April 2007 publication of the Rolling Stone Magazine, the song was among the list of top hits that changed the world.
The music video for Fell in Love with a Girl was as innovative as the song was. Michel Gondry directed the video, with Lego animation and visually astonishing effects. At the beginning part of the video, Gondry’s son was featured, as he was building some Lego models. The video, which was shot frame by frame, seemed quite complex to amateur directors. The effect was an illusion of motion, as the Lego bricks were built and rebuilt. Much of the colors featured in the video were black, white and red. The band had to purchase a huge amount of Lego boxes just to create the video, since they failed to make a deal with Lego.
The efforts made in making the video paid off, when it won three Video Music Awards by MTV, in 2002. Among the awards that the band received was Best Special Effects, Breakthrough Video, and Best Editing.
Gondry White Stripes Video: The Hardest Button To Button
This single by the White Stripes is the third from the album “Elephant”. The cover depicts an allusion to Saul Bass’ graphics, as often seen in title sequences and posters of films including The Man with the Golden Arm and Anatomy of a Murder. The song talks about a child who tries to find a place in a dysfunctional and troublesome family, until a new baby comes.
Once again, the band teamed up with Michel Gondry for the making of this music video. It was the third video that Gondry directed, and it proved to be just as enigmatic as his previous works. In the video, Gondry applied pixilation animation for special effects. The technique created an illusion of guitar amplifiers and drum kits that multiplied to the song’s rhythm that Meg and Jack performed. For each beat, a new drum kit appeared ahead of Meg, and she would appear behind it to play the beat.
In the making of the video, a trail of bass drums was set up to create this effect. Then, Meg was filmed as she performed a single beat on the bass drum at the end of the line, until she reached the rest of the drum kits. The final video was edited, and it included the drumbeats with reversed sequence. This resulted to an effect that the drums appeared out of thin air.
Most scenes from the video were filmed around Columbian University, Riverside Drive, Upper West Side in Manhattan, the surrounding neighborhood at the 125th Street exit. The video also featured a cameo by Beck, where he appeared as a man wearing a white suit. He presented Jack with a box that has a mystery object in it.
Gondry used 32 identical amplifiers, 16 identical microphone stands, and 32 identical Ludwig bass drums during the shoot. After the filming of the video, the band decided to donate the drum kits to a music school.
Gondry White Stripes Video: Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
The song appeared in the band’s third studio album, in 2001. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground was another big hit written and produced by White Stripes’ guitarist and vocalist, Jack White. The band released the single in August 2002, and it reached the 19th spot on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks. Consequently, it landed the 25th place on the UK Albums Chart.
The video for the song was another work by Michel Gondry. It depicted Jack White, as he was walking along the road, only to find his trashed home. As he surveyed the reckless destruction, he entered one room to the next. In each room, a sepia video of different party events were presented. It also featured scenes of his relationship with Meg before he left home. The music video ended with Meg leaving Jack, until the scenes faded.
Gondry White Stripes Video: The Denial Twist
This was the third single by the White Stripes released in 2005. It was part of the band’s album “Get Behind Me Satan”. This diverse album is a mix of marimba-driven pop and disco-metal music. The rock duo wrote and recorded their 2005 album in only two weeks before it was released to the public.
The Denial Twist music video was a product of the band’s long-term collaboration with Michel Gondry. The video may seem a bit comical, as it featured a remarkable array of sounds and visual effects. It created a visual distortion of the duo’s typical life including a peculiar scene at the Conan O’ Brien show, a car that seemed to stretch and shrink, and other extraordinary portions of the video.
As the camera featured one quirky scene to the next, everything appeared to be distorted. This technique echoed the song’s overall theme that speaks about bitterness because of a failed relationship.