Even though every filmmaker faced major struggles in 2020 due to COVID-19, we still got to see so many amazing music videos this year that lacked nothing in the creativity department.
The No Film School staff decided to come up with our favorite musical selections of 2020, which included songs from HAIM, Billie Eilish, Bad Bunny, and many, many more.
Check them out below!
"Don't Wanna" by HAIM, dir. Jake Schreier
I loved HAIM’s “Don’t Wanna” by director Jake Schreier. It’s the definition of “groovy” and really fits within the ethos of the band.—Jason
"Kyoto" by Phoebe Bridgers, dir. Nina Ljeti
Phoebe Bridgers’ “Kyoto” from Director Nina Ljeti is my other pick. The pandemic changed everyone's plans, and this video embraces the lunacy of that and still managed to add style to that substance.—Jason
"Lost In Yesterday” by Tame Impala, dir. Terri Timely
This was a really creative one-take that had a lot of vibrant colors and detailed costumes. Being released in January, it almost feels like a time capsule now with a room full of extras.—Jasmyne
"Man From The Magazine” by HAIM, dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
Paul Thomas Anderson and the Haim sisters always come up with incredible music videos. I really enjoyed the simplistic concept of Danielle Haim singing over customers giving their orders to her in a deli. It’s meant to communicate the frustration of being a woman in music who isn’t taken seriously by men in the industry or in music journalism.—Jasmyne
“I Think Therefore I Am” by Billie Eilish, dir. Billie Eilish
Proof you don’t need big set pieces to have fun in a music video. Sometimes you just need to run free in the Glendale Galleria.—Jo
“911” by Lady Gaga, dir. Tarsem Singh
Gorgeous work from director Tarsem Singh. So full of symbolism and visual metaphors, you can rewatch it endlessly.—Jo
“XS” by Rina Sawayama, dir. Ali Kurr
The song focuses on the impact of consumerism on self-image, and what better way to showcase this than through a fake shopping network? The video shows the obsession that people have with material objects.—Alyssa
“Do It” by Chloe x Halle, dir. C Prinz
The practical lighting and use of space in a warehouse is what makes the video what it is. It’s well crafted and so intoxicating to watch.—Alyssa
“No Glory in the West” by Orville Peck, dir. Isaiah Street
The cinematography is absolutely stunning in this music video and the story gives the same emotional heartbreak as A Ghost Story.—Alyssa
“WAP” by Cardi B, dir. Colin Tilley
The video and song that took a quarantined nation by storm earlier this year. WAP pulled no punches. Cardi B and 2020 breakout Megan Thee Stallion are impossible to overlook, but Tilley’s crazy fun-house visuals, eye-popping colors, VFX, cameos galore, and wild animals are the perfect compliment. The best part though might have been the meme-ification of the song and video. The standout there was epic self-own by conservative personality Ben Shapiro. WAP was the 2020 gift that kept on giving.—George
"Yo Perreo Sola" by Bad Bunny, dir. STILLZ and Benito Martinez
Eh, tranqui, hijitos... you know that you perreas sola sometimes, and the music video for Bad Bunny's "Yo Perreo Sola," directed by STILLZ and Benito Martinez, is not just a celebration of the feminine but also a warcry for anyone who feels left out of it.—V
"Corner Of My Sky" by Kelly Lee Owens, dir. Kasper Häggström
This is almost like Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles in music video form... and also with a guy and a toaster instead of a woman and a ball of meat.—V
"Own It" by Rico Nasty, dir. Philippa Price
A perfect example of why all filmmakers should make music videos at least sometimes... because you can do whatever the frick you want.—V
"Too Late" by The Weeknd, dir. CLIQUA
I can't not add something disturbing. (I'm talking David Lynch disturbing, guys.) I consider the following to be a wonderful montage: broken-faced woman tag-team The Weeknd's severed head mounted on a buff new body, cut to one of the broken-faced women with a bloody knife, cut to an exterior of a lavish estate with a GUSHING fountain. "Sploosh," amiright?—V
What were your favorite music videos of 2020? Let us know in the comments below!
Still feeling nostalgic about 2020? Then check out the rest of our Year in Review 2020 coverage for more of our top picks, industry trends, and end-of-year takes.