French director Romain Gavras first showed up on my radar in 2008 via the visual onslaught that was ‘Stress’ – a music video for French duo Justice. Rebellion, violence and vandalism are strong themes throughout the video and elements of this subject matter are consistent throughout many of his other videos. Speaking of the others; after the release of ‘Stress’, Gavras has gone on to produce some of the most exciting music videos in the last three or so years. His ability to naturally capture chaos is absolutely captivating.
So of course, it was inevitable for Gavras to be headhunted by Kanye West to produce his latest video with Jay-Z and Frank Ocean; “No Church In The Wild.” Love him or hate him, there’s no denying Kanye is a smart man when it comes to working with the freshest talents. After Justice v Simian’s clip for ‘We Are Your Friends’ famously beat Kanye West’s clip for ‘Touch the Sky’ (which “cost a million dollars”) in the MTV Europe Music Awards for Best Video and then backed it up by nearly taking him out again with their clip for ‘D.A.N.C.E’ it was only a mater of time before Kanye engaged So Me (along with Jonas & François) to create his video for ‘Good Life’. In this latest joint Gavras has delivered an atmospheric clash between good and evil – set in a modern day wild west, where the villains are the heroes and the authorities have lost their grip.
Here’s my favourite four music videos by Romain Gavras, along with two photos of him smoking thrown in for good measure. -LS.