avant-garde performance (theatrical, film, etc.), defined as relying more on strange imagery and less on plot and character, is most effective for short pieces. The longer a piece is, the more elements of plot and character are required to sustain interest.Weirdness is more palatable in small bits. Too much bores us.
One of the great things about music video is that it provides an outlet for avant-garde film-making. Before music video, how were you ever to see stuff as weird as Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" video?
Music video is perfect for avant-garde film-making. It's short in format (following the Davies Law of the Avant-Garde), and not particularly important (meaning that the song is primary; the video is gravy), allowing its creators to take risks.
On the music video subject, it's one of the only media now for dance film. (see my previous blog entry on this subject at http://jimdavies.blogspot.com/2008/01/i-would-like-to-see-some-straight.html). Beyonce's "Single Ladies" is a great example of this. It's basically just dancing, but it's mezmerizing.
If you like this post, you might also like my law of animation, comics and puppetry.
Pictured is Lady Gaga. You can read about her incredible video at