Paradox of Pastiche: Spike Jonze, Hype Williams, and the Race of Postmodern Auteur

Roger Beebe’s Paradox of Pastiche: Spike Jonze, Hype Williams, and the Race of Postmodern Auteur discusses how music video directors gained recognition of their work when MTV began adding their names to their videos. This essay provided a lot of information that I was not aware of before such as the director’s name was never on a music video until the 90s and therefore there was no directors trademark as there was with film. When it comes to film, we are capable of differentiating a Tarantino film from a Scorsese film. However, this was not occurring within the music video world. Beebe mentions that when MTV began adding directors name, the music video became and auteurist medium. It came about through MTV shows that interviewed the music video director and honoring them on the MTV Video Music Awards. As music video directors began to get recognition, viewers began to notice their own trademarks. Beebe discusses Hype Williams trademark in his 90s videos in which he used “extreme wide-angle and fish eye lenses, luminous objects in the frame, and jerky, stop-and-start motion”. Eventually, viewers knew that was a Hype Williams music video as soon as they watched it for the first time. He began directing music videos for Hip-Hop artist, and later did videos for some pop artists such as No Doubt, Coldplay, and Christina Aguilera.

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