4. Spike Jonze
Best Music Videos: “Buddy Holly”, Weezer (1994); “Sabotage”, Beastie Boys (1994); “Drop”, The Pharcyde (1996); “Sky’s The Limit”, The Notorious B.I.G. feat. 112 (1997); “Weapon Of Choice”, Fatboy Slim (2001); “Get Back”, Ludacris (2004); “Flashing Lights”, Kanye West (2008); "The Suburbs", Arcade Fire (2010); “Otis”, Jay-Z & Kanye West (2011)
Best Movies: Being John Malkovich (1999), Adaptation (2002), Where The Wild Things Are (2009)
Compared to his staggeringly long music videography, Spike Jonze’s film output has been rather sparse; those three flicks listed above as his “Best Movies” are the only ones he’s directed so far in his singular career. Batting a flawless 3-for-3, the Jackass producer is an auteur we’d love to see more from, and we don’t just mean typically great music videos like his most recent clip, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s simple yet outlandishly fun “Otis.”
Whether he’s working with hip-hop acts or indie rock luminaries, Jonze has always separated his videos from the rest of MTV’s pack with sheer inventiveness: supplanting Weezer into a Happy Days episode for “Buddy Holly”; giving the impression that The Pharcyde are walking the streets in backwards motion for “Drop”; filming Christopher Walken’s mesmerizing one-man dance-off for Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon Of Choice.” Jonze knows nothing about “conventional.”
And the same goes for his movies. In his control, twisty narratives are both funny and disorienting (Being John Malkovich and Adaptation), and kids’ movies are un-childlike and hypnotically surreal, yet still poignant (Where The Wild Things Are). Frankly, we need a fourth Jonze flick; another fulfilling brain-tickle is long overdue.