I watched Dancer in the Dark for the first time this weekend. I know, I know: I’m an über Björk fan and yet somehow I managed to go this long without seeing it?! Anyway, it was completely devastating and made me cry my eyes out.
But this is a music blog! And since the movie put me in the mood for my favorite Icelandic singer, I thought I’d do a little post about her. Specifically about my top 5 favorite Björk music videos! In no particular order, of course.
1) “Human Behaviour”
Spectacular. Just spectacular. Björk (and director Michel Gondry) set the bar so high with her very first music video. It’s very whimsical and childlike and sinister all at the same time. Like a five year-old’s fever dream or a Nick Jr show gone wrong. Björk fits very well into this world, and the sets and backgrounds are such a joy to observe. I wish I could climb inside this video and have a look around, though I think that might be a bit dangerous.
2) “Army of Me”
Another Michel Gondry joint venture and another thrill to watch. It’s got the same sort of design going on, just slightly more evolved. It’s got this very constructed feel to it, like you can tell it’s a set and it’s all make-believe, but it’s pulled off so well. The only way I can think of to describe it is that it feels punk-Seussian. It’s another set I might like to go poking around in, though I might be more creeped out in this one.
3) “It’s Oh So Quiet”
So much fun! This may be one of the best music video interpretations of a song ever! The way everyone and everything comes to life is just magical. The world becomes this open playground to interact with. The part where the mailbox comes to life and dances may just be my favorite part. It really is like a musical in every way, which is exactly where this song seems to belong. (Yes, I am aware it is a cover – of another cover, no less.)
4) “Hidden Place”
Compared to the others so far, this one is incredibly simple. Yet it’s so sensual and hypnotic, much like the song that goes with it. I really like how stripped down it is. There’s almost a feeling of unease associated with it, being so close to Björk’s face and watching this weird goo oozing in and out of her orifices. It’s almost too intimate. But that is what Vespertine was all about, really. Being intimate and sensual and physical.
I know – another Michel Gondry production! But his most of his videos are my favorites. Of the worlds he created so far on this list, this one feels the most real, and perhaps that’s what makes it the most emotionally impactful. The play within a play within a play just gets to me somehow. It’s this tragic cycle that’s never going to end. And when it does end, it doesn’t end well. The dramatic music goes so well with the equally dramatic visuals.
So you may have noticed I left off a lot of Björk’s later work. I don’t know, I just feel like they don’t have as much oomph as her earlier work. Not that she doesn’t put as much effort into them, just that she’s doing something different with them. Maybe I’ll just have to rewatch all the post-Vespertine videos. Till then, these are my top 5 Björk music videos!