Mirrorball - Fresh Tracks 1

Mirrorball - Fresh Tracks 1


Reviewed by: George Williamson

Mirrorball has set a standard over the last 10 years for bringing the best promos that the music industry has to offer to the big screen. They have brought together Michel Gondry's dancing mummies and Spike Jonze's sidewalk breakdancing; grim visions of urban distopias from Chris Cunningham and disk jockey squirrels from Shynola. However, this latest season of Fresh Tracks sometimes seems a little stale.

Adam Smith's vision for The Chemical Brothers' Galvanize kicks off in a very urban style, owing a lot to La Haine, as a gaggle of greasepainted 12-year-olds race through the inner city before gatecrashing a capoeira party, sort of like Come To Daddy at the circus. While the action on screen isn't synched to the music, it does help to convey the raw power of the track and works well. Following this are rappers Kano and Michell Bros with the track Harvey Nics, a smooth flowing oral tirade about the snobby serving staff in the overpriced boutique. Director Spencer Leven manages to twist on-screen events with the lyrics and, as a result, it's very funny.

Of this selection the most impressive shorts are The Chemical Brothers - The Boxer (Dir. Ne-o), where a possesed basketball breaks free and bounces around the town centre, although chances are that you'll have already seen this one, and Edgar Wright's teen magazine tribute video for Charlotte Hatherley's Bastardo, featuring Simon Pegg and David Walliams in photo-stories and colouring book montages. Other highlights include Jonze's award winning promo for Y-Control by New York indie act The Yeah Yeah Yeahs!, in which a host of children run riot in a derelict building, and Dan Wilde's vision for Fourtet's Smile Around the Face that follows a man on his trip to pick up his daughter, shot entirely using a chest mounted "Snorri-Cam".

However, much of the rest of this year's crop lacks uniqueness of concept; they look more like rehashes of old videos from years gone by, with very few fresh ideas. Particularly disappointing are the Hexstatic videos that appear to recyle their old Coldcut output and Phaelon's for The Martin Henry Rifles, whose Seventies Japanese TV show pastiche feels tired.

Ultimately the good just about outweighs the bad and some of the films are excellent, although this first installment doesn't quite deliver.

Reviewed on: 21 Aug 2005
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A selection of new promo videos from Mirrorball.

Director: Various

Writer: Various

Starring: Various

Year: 2004

Runtime: 73 minutes

Country: US/UK


EIFF 2005

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