Music Videodrome: Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win (Beastie Boys feat. Santigold, 2011)
Videos can only ever really showcase the visions of directors within the boundaries of the song alone. While there have been a number of music accompaniments capable of stretching the experience out that little bit longer – for example, with Lady Gaga‘s frankly mind-boggling ‘Telephone’ – not many play on the remix element of the tune as a way to continue the video.
Step in Spike Jonze, director of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, to help the Beastie Boys once again. Following his work on singles ‘Time for Livin”, ‘Sabotage’, ‘Ricky’s Theme’, ‘Sure Shot’ and ‘Root Down’, it was only a matter of time that he stepped in to help them again. After a 12-year hiatus from the Beasties – during which time he filmed Tenacious D‘s ‘Wonderboy’, Fatboy Slim‘s ‘Weapon of Choice’ and LCD Soundsystem‘s ‘Drunk Girls’ – he’s back this summer with ‘Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win’.
The 11-minute epic sees an anti-Beastie brigade attempting to stop their concert with Santigold by any means necessary, and will do this whether alive, zombified, fighting a yeti or by using depth charges. During the entire time, the music always matches the mood without ever affecting the overall fabric of the song. Each remix is faultless, matching what Spike’s putting in front of you, while his writing and scriptwork continues to be top-notch; it’s like the rappers wrote it themselves. Ultimately, it’s a really admirable way to direct a modern music video.
The scary thing is that the Beastie Boys – now in their mid-40s – haven’t lost any of their trademark sense of humour and self-deprecation. They’re still the same strangely-lovable, hilarious rappers who continue to make great hits (even if they had a dry patch of only two or three decent tunes in the To the 5 Boroughs era).
Saying any more about this video would only detract from its Robot Chicken-like brilliance, so must be watched to be totally appreciated. Sit back and enjoy what Jonze and the Beasties have lined up for you once more:
By Matt Gardner