Spike Jonze

Kanye West "Only One" (Spike Jonze, dir.)

My friend Doug can tell you about oh so many times that artists talk about making a video like Sinead OConnor's "Nothing Compares 2 U," not realizing how hard it is to create something that unguarded and honest, and how much talent needs to be involved. 

Maybe you watch this video and think about how simple it is. There's seemingly nothing to it, really. But, it's a culmination of perfect choices, starting from the collaboration between Kanye West and Paul McCartney, and a song that literally speaks from a heartbreaking afterlife. And a video by Spike Jonze that knows what to focus on — Kanye's daughter, his wedding band as he holds her hand — and ducking out the track to hear Kanye sing live on that long road where there's nowhere to hide...

I know you like to think it's effortless — and maybe it is when you're Spike, Kanye and Sir Paul — but don't kid yourself that it doesn't take a long journey with lots of heartbreak to get there.

Watch it at kanyewest.com...

A Surprise Video for Karen O by Spike Jonze

You know you're cool when a director decides to make you a surprise videos to celebrate your new album? But, you're insanely cool if you're Karen O, the director is Spike Jonze and the video stars Elle Fanning.

Spike Jonze, director: "On Sunday we made a one-act play for my friend Humberto’s company, Opening Ceremony. The idea was to do a play instead of a regular fashion show during Fashion Week, and, miraculously, we were able to do it at the New York Metropolitan Opera House. (Thank you, Peter Gelb and everyone at the Met!) Also, this week my dear friend Karen is putting out her first solo album of precious, personal love and heartache gems titled Crush Songs. They are songs made so intimately and spontaneously alone in her bedroom a few years ago that they feel more like unguarded whispers from her heart than a traditionally produced album. So on Sunday, during a ten-minute break as we were rehearsing and lighting at the Met, we made a very impromptu "music video” for Karen in the spirit of her album. It just seemed like if you have the Opera House, that song, and Elle Fanning together, you shouldn't let the opportunity go by. So we made this as a surprise gift for Karen to congratulate her on her album. She is going to see this for the first time as you do. I hope you enjoy."

Spike Jonze's New Film Her Opens Today To Rave Reviews

"Music video director" has long since ceased being the most accurate description for Spike Jonze, but the release today of his new film Her looks to cement the fact that many people will know him primarily as an acclaimed film director.

Just look at the reviews:

"One of the best films in years... The writer-director Spike Jonze gets beautifully lost in Her." - David Adelstein (New York)

"At once a brilliant conceptual gag and a deeply sincere romance... This is a movie you want to reach out and caress, about a man who, like everyone else around him in this near future, has retreated from other people into a machine world." - Manohla Dargis (NY Times)

"Visionary and traditional, wispy and soulful, tender and cool... A film that stands apart from anything else on the horizon in many ways, it will generate an ardent following" - Todd McCarthy (Hollywood Reporter)

"Her is a look at the pleasures and perils of new technology that's a smart entertainment and a subtle warning, a love story and a horror show. Acerbic, emotional, provocative, it's a risky high dive off the big board with a plot that sounds like a gimmick but ends up haunting, odd and a bit wonderful." - Kenneth Turan (LA Times)

Here's hoping Spike Jonze still comes back to visit us with a music video every now and then, but it seems like Her is the massive breakthrough he's been building toward since his first film, 1999's Being John Malkovich.

Avicii "Hey Brother (YouTube Music Awards version)" (Spike Jonze, Chris Milk, dir.)

A "Live Short Film" written by Lena Dunham, co-directed by Spike Jonze and Chris Milk, and starring Michael Shannon, Dree Hemingway, Nick Lashaway and Vanessa Hudgens. It might look like a typical indie film scene, but only if you click away before YouTube Music Awards host Jason Schwartzman strolls out with a "Choose Your Own Adventure" twist.

watch "Hey Brother" @ YouTube

Lady Gaga "Dope (YouTube Music Award version)" (Spike Jonze, Chris Milk, dir.)

There's not a director credit on this one. Instead, this in-character Lady Gaga performance is "documented" by Spike Jonze and Chris Milk. It's raw, bravely unstyled — yet, clearly "styled," if you know what I mean — and perhaps gunning to steal that up-close "real" emotional focus from Miley Cyrus.

Watch "Dope" via YouTube

Daft Punk "Da Funk" (Spike Jonze, dir.) - 1997

Hard to imagine but the 1997 introduction to Daft Punk didn't feature Daft Punk and their distinctive helmet heads at all.

Instead they let director Spike Jonze deliver a typical, yet certainly odd New York story about a man named Charles. Correction: Charles is a man with a dog's head, played by Tony Maxwell of the band That Dog (which is possibly a coincincedence, but certainly awesome). And he looks like he might Get Lucky, despite the busted leg.