Today marks the opening of “The Runaways,” a biopic about the seminal all-female rock band starring Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie. The reviews are already pretty positive, which is good for the stars, the band members and especially director Floria Sigismondi.
“The Runaways” represents the feature film debut for Sigismondi, though as any fan of freaky music videos can attest, she’s no stranger to rock-fueled images. She has spent the better part of the last 15 years crafting rich, intricate and slightly disturbing clips for an eclectic batch of artists like Marilyn Manson, Christina Aguilera, Interpol, Incubus and Sheryl Crow. She’s crafted dozens of clips, but here are her 10 best.
Christina Aguilera, “Fighter”
Sigismondi takes Aguilera’s rugged track from Stripped and matches it with a faux-industrial setting where the singer’s metamorphosis can occur. It’s a perfect example of Sigismondi’s aesthetic: Dusty but modern, populist but arty.
Marilyn Manson, “The Beautiful People”
Not only was it a star-making turn for Sigismondi (“The Beautiful People” was nominated for a Video Music Award and was her first clip put in heavy rotation on MTV) but also for Manson (the Antichrist Superstar single became a hit as much for the stilts in the clip as the hook).
Fiona Apple, “O Sailor”
Everything about Apple’s Extraordinary Machine album is underrated, from the delightfully askew melodies to Sigismondi’s video. It’s about the only video where Apple isn’t cast as a victim or an object, and it’s subsequently the best one she’s ever been in.
The White Stripes, “Blue Orchid”
Jack White tapped Sigismondi to produce a video for what is perhaps the band’s oddest single, and the director delivered with strange bathtub scenes, whip-smart editing and a giant white horse.
For this politically-minded single from Incubus, Sigismondi experimented with a raw form of animation that gives the clip a real raw, DIY feel. It feels at least a little bit like propaganda, which is appropriate.
The Living Things, “Bombs Below”
Sigismondi is married to Lillian Berlin, the frontman of St. Louis aggro-rockers the Living Things. She has directed several videos for them, but “Bombs Below” best captures their raw energy and their mixed-era aesthetic.
Sheryl Crow, “Anything But Down”
“Anything But Down” is one of Crow’s most melancholy, chilling tracks, and Sigismondi’s use of lighting and color makes Crow look simultaneously gorgeous and haunting.
Interpol, “Obstacle 1″
Darkness? Check. Moodiness? Present. Ending that slightly unhinges you from reality for a few seconds? Yeah, that’s there too.
Muse, “Supermassive Black Hole”
This epic clip seemed to act as a good audition for the big time, as the size and scope of it leans more towards splashy Hollywood feature than small-time music video.
Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart, “Cherry Bomb”
Her latest video brings together footage from “The Runaways” but also expresses the raw sexuality that Fanning manages to tap into as Cherie Currie. It’s electric, sexy, jittery and eye-popping — everything that Sigismondi does extremely well.
What’s your favorite Floria Sigismondi video? Leave your thoughts in the comments!