David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Find Your PowerLancôme celebrate the relaunch of their most popular Ultra Wear foundation by finding a woman to represent each of the forty shades available.
    • You raise me up.Mental health charity Time to Change launches a punchy film designed to encourage men to support a friend in need.
    • An hour with Alma Har'elOur latest podcast was recorded the day after the London première of Alma Har'el's second documentary feature 'Lovetrue'.
    • Incense and InsensibilityAlma Har'el's startling short film for Chanel riffs on the potency of smell in a fashion that's as playful as it is sexy.
    • Start SoonerThis tongue in cheek ad for Equal Pay Day Europe presents an unorthodox solution to the gender pay gap.
    • Phenomenal WomanSport England have followed their sensational 'This Girl Can' film with another hugely powerful piece of work.
    • StrangeLove for Tubby Brother and Flash Factory.StrangeLove have made a double signing: filial duo Tubby Brother and Marco Prestini, aka Flash Factory.
    • Hazard warningPremier League refs would appreciate this Sure ad’s rewind facility.
    • Channel hopping.There’s plenty of joie de vivre in this 60” ad for Eurostar. These travellers discover what can happen when you just say qui. A lot, as it happens.
    • Arno Salters is Riff RaffRiff Raff have signed multi-talented director Arno Salters to their roster.
    • Not today, bubThis trope-subverting Australian ad for Toyota manages to have everything a car commercial needs... and more.
    • Back in gear... almost.This amusing trail for the latest series of Top Gear sees presenters Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid face a grilling in the BBC insurance department.
    • Bill's bargainMother Nature and Bill have come to an arrangement: as long as she keeps the rain coming, Bill will only make pure, organic milk.

CRAFTWORKS

Monday, 27th February.
Betwen 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

The LSE, Sheffield Street, Holborn, London, WC2.

Tickets: £20 plus VAT.

● How We Made... BUPA.

● Dan Gordon on Hillsborough.

● BAFTA-winning 'Home'.

● An amazing VR project.

● The Radio 1 ad that never was.

TICKETS AND DETAILS HERE.

Brought to you by DAVID REVIEWS and the APA.


Lancôme
"My Shade My Power"
87s
24 February 2017

Lancôme celebrate the relaunch of their most popular Ultra Wear foundation by finding a woman to represent each of the forty shades available. With a pumping soundtrack and emphasis on power, this film by The Brooklyn Brothers takes a refreshing approach to a familiar format.

Featuring such talents as writer Malorie Blackman (OBE), Olympic cyclist Laura Kenny, and director Gurinder Chadha, the film focuses on what the women view as their main strengths. It's this approach, rather than concentrating on achievement, which makes the campaign feel emotionally genuine.

The other great strength here is the feeling that everyone involved is having fun: there's a sense of camaraderie in the make-up shots and brief interviews. An inspiring start to the campaign - we're interested to see where it goes next.

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Time To Change
"Mates"
60s
24 February 2017

Mental health charity Time to Change launches a punchy film designed to encourage men to support a friend in need. Everyone’s got eyes for these three blokes as they swagger through the estate. Are they off for a post-work pint? Actually, they’re off to the local garage.

There they find their pal John lost in his thoughts. Turns out the mechanic’s in need of a time-out. Through the good times and the bad, he’s got the right people in his corner.

It’s an upbeat portrayal of male camaraderie. The script’s breezy tone reminds us that supporting friends through mental health issues needn’t be awkward or intimidating: simply asking “Alright?” is a good start.

The charity hopes this campaign will open new ways for men to address mental health and diminish the stigma that is still attached being unwell. Who knows - it may even persuade advertisers to pursue more nuanced and varied portrayals of male friendship in future.

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An hour with Alma Har'el

When Alma Har'el was in London recently for the London première of her second documentary feature, we decided it was the perfect moment to catch up with her.

Like her first film 'Bombay Beach', 'Lovetrue' takes the documentary into uncharted waters and Har'el's approach formed part of a really interesting discussion covering her new film, her 'Free the Bid' initiative, what the hell we should do about Donald Trump, and the nature of truth itself.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Chanel
"JellyWolf"
6 mins 40s
24 February 2017

Our sense of smell is inextricably linked to our other senses and it has the power to evoke memories in a way that can be quite overwhelming. Alma Har'el's startling short film for Chanel riffs on this potency in a fashion that's as playful as it is sexy.

The music - a track called 'Sexwitch' - composed and performed by Natasha 'Bat For Lashes' Khan (who, like Har'el, is a director at BRF London) plays its part alongside Jackson Hunt's cinematography and J C Molina's production design to build a surreal sense of dislocation.

Lisa Bonet brings to mind her performance in Alan Parker's 'Angel Heart' as an enigmatic potion mistress, delivering trippy experiences to the open-minded. Her seductive presence in Kiersey Clemons's dream-like state provoked by her concoctions underlines a sense of her 'sex-witchiness' as Har'el edges the audience with the pair's erotic potential.

While this isn't different in tone from much of what emerges from the marketing departments of perfume houses, its commitment to story sets it apart.

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Equal Pay Day
"Advisor"
1 min 52s
23 February 2017

This tongue in cheek ad for Equal Pay Day Europe presents an unorthodox solution to the gender pay gap: have women start their careers ten years earlier.

The first arc of the film introduces a father and daughter who are spurred into action when they become aware of the pay gap. The dad's concern is played straight for comic effect, as the nine year old quits school and starts hitting the job market. Sharp-eyed viewers may recognise him as Cavan Clerkin, veteran of comedies as the brilliant 'Pulling' and '15 Storeys High'.

The second arc begins when she manages to land a high-powered advisory role - in spite of her age - because she 'doesn't try to sound smarter' than she is. Who could she be feeding lines to, saying the first thing that comes into her head? The genius here is that you realise who her boss is before you see a second of glowing orange skin...

Illustrating the absurdity of the pay gap and providing a satisfying dig at the Donald, this film is sure to resonate with audiences and draw attention to the Equal Pay Day event.

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Recent Promos

Vancouver Sleep Clinic
"Someone To Stay"
4 mins 11s
22 Feb 2017
There’s a hint of Bon Iver to Vancouver Sleep Clinic’s ‘Someone to Stay’. Mister Clinic a.k.a. Tim Bettinson delivers a wistful ballad which should chime with anyone who’s endured a rough patch. Director Georgia Hudson brings an other-worldly feel to suburbia as Bettinson chases a will-o'-the-wisp through the streets. Suitably dreamlike.

The Chainsmokers
"Paris"
3 mins 42s
22 Feb 2017
This promo for 'Paris' reminds us of the Ikea 'Beds' ad by Juan Cabral, with a dash of 'Up' thrown in for good measure. A mournful young woman (Victoria's Secret model Martha Hunt) drifts through her home and realises it's floating into the sky. She prepares to jump out of the window... what will happen? Classy photography and grading enhances the dreamlike feel.

Leningrad
"Kolshik"
4 mins 16s
17 Feb 2017
Ilya Naishuller turns a night at the circus into a symphony of destruction in this astonishing promo for Leningrad’s ‘Kolshik’. Beginning on a thick plume of black smoke, the video slowly reveals what caused this audience to flee in terror. It’s one of the more demented examples of the butterfly effect you’re likely to see.

Skott
"Glitter And Gloss"
3 mins 33s
14 Feb 2017
Skott's 'Glitter and Gloss' has the kind of electro alt-pop sound you expect from your typical Scandi artist, and brings with it a cool promo to match. Cryptic journeys across frozen landscapes, singers lurking in freezing mansions; a colour palette that gives your eyeballs frostbite. Good stuff... brrrrrr.

Arman Cekin
"California Dreaming (ft Paul Rey & Snoop Dogg)"
3 mins 46s
14 Feb 2017
Arman Cekin's release gets a trippy video courtesy of directing trio Youth Hymns. Snoop, elegantly spotlit at a piano, plays a few chords... then takes a hit of his joint. The mood changes as we're led into his mind; a brightly-coloured cartoonish world where he and singer Paul Rey conjure up a California lifestyle full of the requisite babes, boulevards and, er, bongo brains.

Katy Perry
"Chained To The Rhythm (ft Skip Marley)"
3 mins 55s
15 Feb 2017
A human hand reaches down from above deus ex machina-style - to prepare a miniature meal in a miniature kitchen in Katy Perry's latest single. The diner? A celebrity hamster jaded by life in a bubble. We love the conceit and the painstaking care with which it's executed, although the track itself will probably have limited appeal for anyone over eight years old.

M.I.A.
"P.O.W.A."
3 mins 49s
10 Feb 2017
M.I.A. has had some epics promos to accompany her music - one of our all-time faves being 'Bad Girls' by Romain Gavras. Quite a lot to live up to - but this self-directed promo is up there with the best and features some of the most compelling choreography we've seen in a while.

Big Sean
"Halfway Off The Balcony"
3 mins 54s
8 Feb 2017
The message in Big Sean's new album 'I Decided' is summed up by the promo for this track. Director Andy Hines creates a time-slip aspect to the clip, in which 'future Sean' switches places with 'current Sean' as a reminder that one day his decisions will come back to haunt him. Choose your path well, 'future Sea'n is saying; listen to your older, wiser self.

Sampha
"(No-One Knows Me) Like The Piano"
3 mins 50s
8 Feb 2017
Sampha - starting to become known as 'the musician's musician' - tinkles the ivories sparingly as he explains how the piano in his mother's home set him on his journey. British model Adwoa Aboah moves around the almost empty room listening as if he were her son. There is a 3D VR version available, which suits the promo's minimalism.

Alexandra Savior
"Mirage"
3 mins 41s
8 Feb 2017
Newcomer Alexandra Savior - who reminds us very much of Anna Calvi - brings us a haunting track complemented by an equally haunting promo courtesy of Irrum Khan. The young singer has an alter ego: a 1920s performer named Anne-Marie who, unlike the fresh-faced ingenue, is a cynical chanteuse with the voice of a Siren and a face to match.

Twentyone Pilots
"Heavydirtysoul"
4 mins 11s
8 Feb 2017
Andrew Donahoe does a good job of making a fairly mundane rock track look deep and meaningful, with frontman Tyler thundering towards drummer Josh Dunn who is sitting amid flames in the middle of a deserted road while Tyler bears down on him in a car. The grading is excellent - managing to create a sense of freezing temperatures and molten emotions.

Formation
"A Friend"
3 mins 19s
7 Feb 2017
Formation are gaining a name for catchy, poppy anthems that nonetheless feel like something John Peel might have given a spin in the mid '80s. Their latest release 'A Friend' features one half of the twin brother duo - Will Ritson - having a violent tussle with a lover in an empty tube carriage. The lighting makes it: there's something nightmarish in the prosaic quality of the harsh glare overhead.

Declan McKenna
"The Kids Don't Wanna Come Home"
5 mins
2 Feb 2017
Young singer-songwriter Declan McKenna continues to impress with his ability to wrap topical subjects in a catchy tune. This time, he's telling parents that his generation is disillusioned with the example set by adults and the way they run the world. Bunny Kinney's video captures teens expressing their thoughts as they join forces and follow McKenna.

Charlotte Day Wilson
"Work"
4 mins 38s
31 Jan 2017
This slow, sultry track by Charlotte Day Wilson comes with a promo whose simplicity is out-and-out genius. As the gospel-tinged chords shimmer, a fixed camera captures the endless downward flow of people on a small stretch of subway escalator. Possibly inspired by the track's title, the piece has a rush hour vibe that somehow serves to emphasise each individual's isolation.

Shy Luv
"Shock Horror (ft. JONES)"
3 mins 44s
26 Jan 2017
While we can't get excited about Shy Luv's new track, it does have an excellent promo by Bif. A young man falls endlessly through the sky, multiplying himself along the way while his limbs bend and stretch like rubber. His white-garbed clones tumble around giant-sized women; bouncing off their skin inconsequentially or being casually flicked away. Mad and ingenious.

Joe Goddard
"Music Is The Answer"
3 mins 47s
31 Jan 2017
Some are already willing to declare 2017 a write-off, but not Joe Goddard. The Hot Chip man suggests a more optimistic solution: “Music is the answer/To your problems”. Worth a shot, don’t you think? Shynola's melodic sci-fi visuals accompany Goddard's measured groove.

Ryan de la Cruz
"Know About Me"
4 mins 01s
1 Feb 2017
Rising star Ryan de la Cruz plays all the roles in Bouha Kazmi's promo for his latest release 'Know About Me', proving he has presence as well as vocal talent. It reflects the track's brooding menace as Cruz drives through night-time streets with his, er, friends... culminating in a chilling denouement. Dark and accomplished.

The Amazons
"Little Something"
4 mins 07s
31 Jan 2017
Those currently enjoying ‘Resident Evil 7’s VCR-based chills will appreciate this Amazons promo. Someone is creeping on the Reading band big time. While they rehearse, a camcorder captures every movement. We soon realise how deep this fan’s obsession goes. Videotapes are stacked high as if digital never happened. A hand grabs ‘The Amazons: 11/12/16’ from the pile and hits play.

Atriums
"Charcoal"
4 mins 42s
30 Jan 2017
This promo for ‘Charcoal’ by Atriums reminds us that strength comes in many different guises. We follow a young man who works in a butcher’s shop (a nod to an earlier track, ‘The Butcher’s Apprentice’) and spars in a boxing ring. Neither place is for the faint-hearted. Plus, he has his own battles to fight at home.

Aquilo
"Silhouette"
4 mins 32s
24 Jan 2017
Second in a narrative trilogy for Aquilo - you can read our review of the first promo here - this film focuses on the father of the rebellious young figure skater whose story was told in 'You Won't Know Where You Stand.' This instalment shines a spotlight - literally - on the poignant circumstances of his life.

TOM and His Computer
"Eighty Four (ft Roxy Jules)"
2 mins 38s
19 Jan 2017
Tom and His Computer offer up another simple but powerful track, and the promo by Marco Stoltze is a literal interpretation of the title. A young woman merges with a woman who is decades her senior... as both meander through a house cloaked in plastic there's a sense of implacable ruthlessness: age doesn't always create compassion.

Aquilo
"You Won't Know Where You Stand"
4 mins 21s
24 Jan 2017
Electronic duo Aquilo embark on an ambitious trio of promos to launch their debut album, ‘Silhouettes’. Part one introduces us to a promising figure skater who learns the path to greatness never runs smoothly. She attracts the attention of a lad working at her ice rink. As their relationship blossoms, life both on and off the ice becomes a testing routine.

Gorillaz
"Hallelujah Money (ft. Benjamin Clementine)"
4 mins 31s
20 Jan 2017
Gorillaz explored environmentalism in 2010’s ‘Plastic Beach’. Now they’ve got President Trump in their sights. Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s animated posse are joined by London artist Benjamin Clementine as they pay ‘tribute’ to cold, hard cash. The lyrics are laden with references to wealth and protecting one’s interests - whatever the cost.

Djamchid Sisters
"For Her"
4 mins 04s
20 Jan 2017
This wistful promo for Israeli duo Djamchid Sisters looks like a storybook unfolding before your eyes. A woman follows a leafy breadcrumb trail to discover she’s not alone in this luminous forest. The art style is lovingly rendered by Nadav Nachmany and Inbal Ochyon, while the track glides along like leaves in the wind.

Short Films
"We Rise"
2 mins 38s
19 Jan 2017
This short film follows a band as they travel to and prepare for a gig. But this is a band we - the population in general - would not expect to exist. Because of our prejudices, we tend to assume folk with learning disabilities and differences such as autism aren't capable of coming together in this way. 'We Rise' challenges this assumption with energy, skill, and consummate grace.

Recent Promos

David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.