In a city already occupied with rubble and devastation comes a male-filled riot protesting authorities for clandestine reasons. To no one’s surprise, the video for Kanye West and Jay-Z‘s “No Church In The Wild” was directed by the infamous Romain Gavras. Gavras, known for his illicit work on various music videos including M.I.A.’s “Born Free”, uses his distinctive style to almost make this riot a spectacle — with methods that cause fire to look like illusions in the sky and green beams throughout a fighting scene to seem like a light show — we begin to wonder what exactly is the message Gavras trying to convey?
Gavras is the go-to guy for controversial video content and though he is a fantastic director with an distinguishable artistic style (we’re still gushing over M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls”) is it becoming, dare we say it, predictable? Let’s lay out the basic formula — take an empty space usually run-down, deserted or in shambles, mix in some cliche masculine props (cars, guns or naked women) and add music into the background — mix these together and you will have a blue print for a Romain Gavras music video.
Although each of Gavras’ music videos seem to follow the same plan, each of his pieces does contain at least one aspect that sets them apart from the last and “No Church In The Wild” is not an exception. If the elephant towards the end of the video and the statues with extreme facial expressions isn’t enough for you, how about the fact that Kanye West and Jay-Z didn’t even make an appearance in their own music video? These peculiar aspects cause us to believe that Gavras still has it. Though we may not fully understand his creative genius, it still leaves us begging for more.