Berlin Music Video Awards
K17 club in Friedrichshain hosted the opening of the annual BMVAs, held for the third time this year. The awards’ slogan – big title, cozy platform – did not turn out to be entirely true. While the title is undoubtedly big, no one seemed too sure about how cozy the rest should be: The venue was very convincingly turned into an award setting, featuring a large stage and screen.
The three hosts awkwardly read their jokes from cue cards
This seemed to make everyone a little uncomfortable though: The three hosts awkwardly read their jokes from cue cards and could not stop themselves from laughing when they had to read out texts about the awards’ proud sponsors that had obviously been written by the sponsors themselves.
The whole show oscillated between a homage to and a parody of the Academy Awards
Similarly, the winners giving their acceptance speeches always seemed to be torn between honest and ironic fake speeches. The whole show oscillated between a homage to and a parody of the Academy Awards. But this was not the most important thing after all: It was obvious that for most people it was more of an artistic family reunion. And like on any other family reunion no one really cared about the speeches anyway.
The nominees featured a number of lesser known independent artists, but also the likes of Bob Dylan or Stromae
The actual video screenings, of course, were most important: The ten nominees per category had been chosen by both online voting and a jury and were to be ultimately judged by a jury at the festival. The nominees featured a number of lesser known independent artists, but also the likes of Bob Dylan or Stromae.
The awards’ first category was ‘Best Editing’: while every video was artistically impressive and showed its director’s undoubtedly great skills, this category also showed the downside of the modern music video genre: The BMVAs’ founders are certainly right when they claim that the music video resurrected and flourished in recent times.
At least five were definitely heavily influenced by the aesthetics of South African avant-garde trash rappers Die Antwoord
But with virtually every possible inspiration being just the few seconds away it takes you to get to Youtube there is the imminent danger of uniformity. From the ten nominated videos in the ‘Best Editing’ category, for example, at least five were definitely heavily influenced by the aesthetics of South African avant-garde trash rappers Die Antwoord.
The winning video (The Synchronizers ft. The Evil Twin of Paul Cless “Fuck That Shit”) was more or less a rip-off of Die Antwoord’s ‘I Fink U Freeky’ – an artistically ambitious rip-off, but still.
Moreover, the jury decisions were hard to understand sometimes: In the ‘best narrative’ category that focused on a video’s storytelling they went with Kraftklub’s ‘Wie Ich’, that featured a rather simplistic story of a hunter and a bear becoming friends while disregarding more sophisticated storytelling like in Odesza’s ‘Say My Name’ or Total Giovanni’s ‘Can’t Control My Love.’
A very interesting platform to gain insights about what is going on in the genre of music videos right now
This being said, the BMVAs are still a very interesting platform to gain insights about what is going on in the genre of music videos right now, how they work and influence each other. And after all it is simply a lot of fun just to sit there and watch music videos for hours.
Article by Malte Grotendorst