The Work of Director Chris Cunningham (Video 2003) Poster

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9/10
Interesting ......
CelluloidRehab29 October 2004
This one of three DVD's (currently) which show various works (usually music videos, commercials and/or shorts) by the director, Chris Cunningham. The other two showcase directors Michel Gondry and Spike Jonez.

Chris Cunningham's style is very different from Gondry. His style has more sexual ambiguity, much darker, more violent, more inclusive of technology and a general sense of strangeness and/or creepiness. For example, in Aphex Twins - Come to Daddy, the Nosferatu type characters or in windowlicker, all the women have the same male face (creepy smile and bearded) and the creepy-smile, pony-tail, bearded guy who loves to dance.

My favorite video on the DVD is by far the Bjork video (all is full of love). I love the concept of robots making out. If they are made to simulate human movement, why not take it further.

I highly recommend this DVD along with the others in the series.

-Celluloid Rehab
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6/10
Compelling Imagery
FilmOtaku18 March 2005
I consider some music videos to be basically short films in term of their scope, and the effort that is put into them. Videos started becoming a true art form with directors like David Fincher and Mark Romanek, quickly followed by Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry and Chris Cunningham. The latter three are featured in a DVD series called "The Work of Director _____" Until viewing "The Work of Director Chris Cunningham", I had only heard of him because of Madonna's "Frozen" video, which I find to be astounding. After watching his collection of videos, it is clear that he has a dark vision and immense talent for creating shocking, yet fascinating imagery.

While ruminating over the selection of videos, it is really hard to come up with a favorite image, much less a favorite video. In "Come to Daddy" (Aphex Twin) we have an elderly woman walking her dog on the street of what appears to be a European city, when she comes across a television which features a distorted image of Aphex Twin singing the words to the song. Meanwhile, a group of children, all with the Aphex Twin's head on their bodies, run rampant throughout the neighborhood, wreaking havoc until the image comes out of the television in the form of a demon (and a pretty scary one too – Cunningham's makeup and special effects work in various films really gave him great experience) to collect his "children" around him. "Afrika Shox" (Leftfield featuring Afrika Bambaataa) shows an African-American man, emaciated and hollow looking, walking around a city while passers-by either ignore him or stare. Unfortunately, he begins to come apart – literally. It starts with his right arm cracking off his body and breaking apart like porcelain as it falls on the ground, soon to be followed by his other limbs, until he can't even hop around. While there is an obvious message somewhere in there, the imagery is just stunning in this video.

There are many more amazing videos in the collection (Including Portishead essentially singing underwater and Bjork's all-too-human-looking robots having a romantic moment together), but the static imagery throughout the videos was all dark; even the video that takes place in sunny Los Angeles ends up having dark (yet hilarious) images. Also, the imagination and vision of Cunningham is absolutely fascinating. While he provides these (mostly obscure) songs with images, there is a coldness and detachment from the subjects that I found very intriguing. I'm sure that it won't be long before he is tapped to direct more than music videos and short films. His fellow video directors who are featured in the DVD series went on to direct incredibly imaginative Oscar-nominated films, but I see Cunningham following in the footsteps of David Fincher, and lending his dark and disturbing vision to a great thriller or horror film. Based on what I saw in this collection of short films/music videos, I would attend that movie, sight unseen. 7/10 --Shelly
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10/10
Outstanding!!!
moon-safari-222 June 2005
Chris Cunningham is one of the best video directors in the world. He is frightening genius, stunning innovator, video-shocker and a true perfectionist. He did only 19 videos and only 8 of them are available on this DVD. I don't know why he decided to put only half of his works here, but I think it is because of his psycho perfectionism. Maybe he wants people to see his best works only. His DVD is the best one among all "The Work Of Director" series. Even Michel Gondry's. Cunningam is mostly known for his genius Aphex Twin collaborations, and you can find them all on this amazing DVD. Personally, I fancy 10 (ten) minute long "Windowlicker" - this is my favorite video ever. I also recommend "Come To Daddy", "Only You" by Portishead, "Come On My Selector" by Squarepusher and "All Is Full Of Love" by Bjork. These are true essentials. Besides music videos, this DVD contains a documentary about clip for Bjork, amazing commercials and (prepare!) two never-before-available video installations "Monkey Drummer" and "flex". Don't forget about very interesting and informative 52-page book and this realize becomes ONE TO WATCH!
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7/10
Very excellent DVD retrospect of excellent director
metalannihilator11 November 2003
I bought the DVD, being an Aphex Twin fan, and was happy with the format quality. While there was no real original content besides two very excellent installations, commercials, and a documentary, the ability to view his body of work linearly lets the viewer get inside Cunningham's surreal world. My only complaint was a lack of info on how the videos were made (aside from the Bjork documentary) which would have set the content as a buy of the year. Definitely a buy for anyone interested in directing and even moreso for fans of the nightmarish otherworld of the unconscious.
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Ultimately disappointing.
strogger2 January 2004
While I am very happy that some of Chris Cunningham's work is now available on DVD, the package is a bit disappointing. Extra features are thin on the ground, I wish there were some commentary and more behind the scenes info. There was a TV series called Mirrorball which had an episode devoted to Chris, why wasn't this on the DVD? This is especially irritating when some of the "All is Full of Love" making of is credited as being from the program. Despite the lack of extras I expected top notch video and audio. But in this area the DVD is also lacking, the video is not anamorphic and the audio is not encoded in 5.1. I'm sure there must be 5.1 tracks for some of the videos. Again I am very happy that this DVD has been released but it could have been so much more; it isn't very good value for 14 quid.
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5/10
Great shorts, poor DVD
Imdbidia25 February 2011
This review is mostly about the DVD not its contents, to which I would give a very high rating.

The DVD is poor, as it just contains some of the work Cunningham produced until 2004, so nothing of the interesting things he has done since them -some of his short films, for example- are included. The section devoted to video clips contains just 8 of them, not all of the ones he directed until 2004. There is no info section about the director himself. The "extras" contain 3 unreleased commercials, not especially good, some excerpts from his video montages (those are good), and the making-of the Bjork video, and some movie trailers. That is it! I think the label should release DVDs in which, like Gondry's, the director has an humongous volume of work, so the viewer can have a full prospective of the director's work. If you launch a newcomer and you don't mention that, you are lying to the customer and ripping him/her off.

Leaving behind this, the video section is very good and shows the originality, innovative language, and weirdness of Cunnigham's work and world, with desolated urban concrete spaces, the presence of freaks and disturbing characters, and robotics, all of that infused in an intriguing atmosphere. Especially good are his clips for Squarepusher "Come on my selector", Bjork's "All if full of love", and Letfield's "Africa Shox". I considered his video for Aphex Twin "Windowlicker" revolting for using women as pieces of meat; that's characteristic of American hip-hoppers and he surely was requested to provide that. Shame on him that he agreed. That's not experimental or innovative, but macho crap of the 20th century.

Some of the videos in the DVD can be found in YouTube, and much more, even an interview with the director. Don't waste your money renting or buying the DVD. If you like his work, YouTube is your place.
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