Happy valentines day, from Justin Timberlake and David Fincher.
When we last saw legendary music video director David Fincher working the short-form for the small screen, it was Nine Inch Nails "Only" in 2005. And the difference between that video and this is a perfect example of how doing what's right for the artist and song is really what makes a great video director.
"Suit And Tie" isn't groundbreaking. There's no trick to it. There's no visual hook. But, it's still one of the best videos you've seen so far in 2013.
It's just perfectly composed and perfectly executed. Nearly every shot is interesting. In some places it's even casual — JT and Jay-Z hanging out — other parts are business-like and in the studio, while other segements are gorgously art-directed. They nail the modern day Rat Pack vibe, but it's not too retro (and I don't just say that because there's an iPad in it.)
Now, having a great artist and a great song and an ample budget surely make it look easy. But, if you look at Fincher's videography you'll see he made all sorts of videos for all sorts of artists. And while some people tend to cite a distinctive Fincher style, that's just a small segement of his output. He did what was necessary to bring attention and a deeper understanding for each song and artist. And at the end of the day, that's what makes a great director.
Also, it doesn't hurt at all that JT is a total star.