Childish Gambino - This is America directed by Hiro Murai

the marvids

If your only have time to watch just one music video in 2018, let it be this one. For the debut of The Marvids series, Maria Dicieanu chose a music video which not only made its mark and stood out out as one of the most intriguing promos of the year, but also, in her opinion, recast videos on the map of thought provoking short narrative formats.

Maria: “Hiro Murai has never been a conventional music video director. Ever since his 2009 mind-blowing collaboration with Bloc Party for Signs in which we got to see, among others, a singing vagina, he has been pushing visual and story-telling boundaries in promos. Whether for St. Vincent, Massive Attack or Chet Faker, he is know to put viewers in uncomfortable positions yet make them unable to refrain from watching. For “This is America” however, prompted by Childish Gambino manifest lyrics, he ups the game.
Most of the time the promo is cuts-free (with 3 exceptions), making it look like a 1-shot vid. Forcing the gaze, we find ourselves in the position of stomaching extreme mood shifts, switching from an apparent cheerfulness to explicit violence, right “under our eyes”. This is a fabulous commentary on the 21-st century American society and its positioning to certain subjects such as racism, media consumption and consumerism in general. Yet, despite our being told “This is America” problem is: this is not just America, the double standards and how we position ourselves to certain topics being an universal issue.
The promo has sparked explorations and interpretations like no other recent vid. Some people found subtle nods to works of Michael Jackson, Martin Scorsese and even Eugene Delacroix. What is sure though, is that it remains an intriguing and fascinating work to make us all think about the society and world we live in and how we contribute to it.”

Music videos are still very much alive and kicking as a genre where cutting edge creativity happens. And this is exactly why we’re launching a brand new curatorial series, together with SubmarineChannel, focusing on the absolute must sees artistic gems of music video origins. Whether linear, VR or interactive, The Marvids (short for Maria’s Marvelous Videos) aim to show-case why promos are still holders of unique aesthetic with their own particular beauty and artistry