Wishing on A Star
Years of following music video did not prepare me for Spike Jonze's Being John Malkovich. Music video skeptics might easily have predicted Fight Club, a flashy, incoherent extravaganza?cuz that's all most videos come down to. But Jonze's feature film debut makes him Hollywood's unpredictable Spike. While most critics use the term "music video" cynically and ignorantly to disdain visual stylization (yet fall for Fight Club's vacuous sensationalism), Jonze vindicates the form. He shows its integrity to be an adroitly chosen visual style. This is different from the goosed-up Madison Avenue spectacle that Fight Club's David Fincher specializes in along with Michael Bay (Armageddon) and Simon West (Con Air). Being John Malkovich doesn't look like anyone's idea of a music video except Spike Jonze's. And yet, for two hours, it works like the best music videos: making high-concept philosophies graspable, marvelous and fun.