David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • 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.
    • Leo Vegas hits the jackpotIt turns out that Leo Vegas is such a vast online casino it needs not one but two brand ambassadors... enter the perfectly-named Johnny Vegas.
    • Give the people what they wantThis film sees the tech giant make strong statements about the rigorousness with which their smartphones are now tested.
    • Come fly with meGerman supermarket EDEKA caught the imagination in 2015 with their darkly touching Christmas ad about lonely relatives. Now they’re tackling another, erm, weighty subject: obesity.
    • Nur Casadevall enlists with Colonel Blimp.Colonel Blimp have signed Barcelona-based director and photographer Nur Casadevall for UK representation.
    • Big events to celebrate the IPA's Centenary.The IPA is celebrating its 100th birthday in style with a series of impressive events.
    • Simple does it.This entertaining McDonald’s McCafé ad offers salvation for anyone who’s uttered the phrase: “I just want a coffee”.
    • Henry Mason's Bold new reel.Director Henry Mason is now being represented by BOLD, and that gave us the excuse to catch with him in Australia.
    • The Hangover Part IVThis French BNP Paribas commercial will bring back painful memories for some - or hazy ones, at best.
    • Snack attackA would-be robber comes up against a quick-thinking cashier and a bag of Hula Hoops. Guess who wins?
    • Question your answersThe Atlantic's first brand campaign in a decade sees esteemed actor Michael K. Williams exploring the question of identity.
    • John McAvoy's Tale of RedemptionAt the latest of Just So's screenings exploring the realm of influence the audience was captivated by John McAvoy's extraordinary story of redemption.
    • Changing lines.Having recently scooped a Grammy for Beyoncé’s politically-charged ‘Formation’ promo, director Melina Matsoukas tackles equality in this stirring Nike film.
    • Passion playDirector Dave Tynan says he was "blown away" when he saw actor Emmet Kirwan perform 'Heartbreak' at the Fringe Festival and knew immediately he wanted to capture it on film.

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.


Nike
"Equality"
90s
14 February 2017

Having recently scooped a Grammy for Beyoncé’s politically-charged ‘Formation’ promo, director Melina Matsoukas now tackles equality in this stirring Nike film. To mark Black History Month, Michael B. Jordan asks: “Is this the land history promised?”

Despite the wintry aesthetic, the ad has fire in the belly. Jordan questions the lay of the land in 2017. Thus, we see people extend the lines of tennis and basketball courts, football pitches and running tracks. Sport can happen anywhere, so why can’t equality?

Some may feel Nike are oversimplifying the issue, but as we’ve seen in recent months, more and more advertisers are keen to ask big questions. A steely script and brooding cameos from the likes of Serena Williams and Kevin Durant convey the brand’s belief that sport is the great leveller.

It’s another thought-provoking piece from the sportswear giant with a strong visual motif… though it’s probably best not to hit the streets with a can of spray paint.

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Short Films
"Heartbreak"
6 mins 51s
15 February 2017

Director Dave Tynan says he was "blown away" when he saw actor Emmet Kirwan perform 'Heartbreak' at the Fringe Festival and knew immediately he wanted to capture it on film. The resulting collaboration is an extraordinary piece of film which amplifies the passion of this mesmerising spoken-work performance.

The decision to illustrate the story with acted sequences featuring Jordanne Jones could have gone either way, but Tynan cleverly contrasts Kirwan's highly animated delivery with understated performances from his other actors which gives it exactly the right balance. This decision adds enormously to the power of a pivotal confrontation when he adds Jones's voice to Kirwan's to underline her anger.

Tynan has paid full respect to Kirwan's writing by providing him with the perfect filmic platform for his words and offered it the perfect ballast with the additional sequences. Even The Sun's Irish edition has recognised the film's power with a surprisingly positive piece celebrating the social media impact of the film.

It's a beguiling piece of work and we have to salute Tynan and Kirwan's decision to get it out there rather than save it for the Festivals... though it's about time the Short Film Festivals stopped using eligibility to block filmmakers from releasing their films online.

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Reebok
"This IS Classic"
79s
16 February 2017

The beat goes on in this atmospheric Reebok Classics film. Rapper Jesse James Solomon pays tribute to a London that comes to life after sundown, as well as those who’ve provided the soundtrack over the years.

Solomon’s restrained lyrics suit his stroll through nighttime London. He lends a heightened quality to his familiar surroundings, comparing sirens to Christmas trees. He’s also a man who appreciates the past: “I’m into the classics”.

RSA’s Antony Crook has demonstrated his affinity for the brand in the past, and this shorter piece maintains his firm grasp of place and time. He shifts between grainy footage and today’s melting pot of genres in action.

Meanwhile, the likes of Mike Skinner a.k.a. The Streets (a noted Classics fan) make brief cameos. Each time we cut to new faces, however, we’re reminded that the current generation is busy making its own mark.

While the brand targets hardcore fitness junkies in the US, this appeals to a completely different kind of audience. The name is ingrained in UK music culture, and this film pays tribute to its enduring presence. A classy ode to what’s gone before, and what is yet to come.

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Diesel
"Make Love Not Walls"
1 min 38s
15 February 2017

This film launching Diesel's 'Make Love Not Walls' campaign is hopeful, surreal, and flamboyant. But then, it's directed by famed photographer and Warhol protégé David LaChapelle, so why would we expect anything different?

The film stars 'bad boy of ballet' Sergei Polunin, who wanders through a wasteland until he comes across a mysterious wall (no word as to whether Mexico paid for it). The dancer throws a flower over the barbed wire, inspiring the stylish people on the other side to respond in kind.

The ad descends into a joyful celebration of breaking down boundaries once a hole is blasted through the wall, including an homage to LaChapelle's iconic 'Kissing Sailors' photograph for Diesel. Accordingly, the cast is a model of diversity and includes transgender models Laith de la Cruz and Octavia Hamlett; androgynous queer artist Karis Wilde; and drag star Raja.

The clear political allusions feel authentic given the history of social commentary in Diesel's advertising - whether points are made by smashing walls or turning a tank into an inflatable rainbow balloon. The whole thing is set to 'Higher Love' by Alex Vargas whose lyrics fittingly reference the desire to tears down walls, and the hippy-dippy harkback to flower power serves as a call for a loving counterculture to combat the divisions in society. At another time it could feel overblown, but in the current climate we're more than happy to soak up some good vibrations.

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Sid Roberson: An appreciation.

Sid Roberson was a giant of a man in every sense of the word and news of his death last year was met with disbelief... it was as though the mightiest oak in the forest had been felled.

We use the phrase 'larger than life' to describe people like Sid because they seem immune to mortality, and their passing forces us to consider our own finiteness.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

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Recent Promos

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.

Bonobo
"No Reason (ft Nick Murphy)"
4 mins 03s
19 Jan 2017
This surreal film by Oscar Hudson is 'about staying indoors'. It explores the Japanese phenomenon of hikikomori - young people so overwhelmed by life that they retreat to their bedrooms for years at a time. All the effects were done practically in camera, with the production team building eighteen almost identical rooms and props in multiple sizes.

Tor Miller
"Always"
3 mins 41s
15 Jan 2017
Brooklyn-born singer Tor Miller walks through an endless underpass in his latest release 'Always'. Besieged with doubts about his relationship, his fears are represented in the accompanying promo by identical women who accost him along the way. Is his significant other more replaceable than he wants to believe? Is he just afraid of being alone?

Recent Promos

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