We can call it an early wrap on at least one end-of-year list, folks. Tilda Swinton has directed the best music video of 2018, perhaps of the decade. Yes, Tilda Swinton the actress and artist, co-directed, with partner Sandro Kopp, a music video. What's the music? Handel! Specifically, an operatic aria sung by countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo. The video? Swinton's dogs playing on a beach! It's good and fun and relaxing and a pure joy to watch.
There are four black and white pups in all, each cuter than the last. They run, dig, jump, fetch balls, and generally act like good dogs, though they aren't doing any tricks or anything. It's literally just footage of the dogs playing outdoors in slow motion. And it's better for its simplicity. There's even a section of the video that appears from the Swinton-Kopp archives: the dogs are just puppies playing in a yard, not even a year old.
The project is part of a series of videos made for Anthony Roth Costanzo's newest work, being performed in a month in New York City. Visionaire and countertenor Costanzo's "interactive, multi-faceted performance of Glass Handel" includes nine videos, including Swinton's. Also taking part in the project is English filmmaker Rupert Sanders, James Ivory and Pix Talarico, artist Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari, and famed music video director and filmmaker Mark Romanek.
If you're around the cathedral of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan on November 26 or 27, the performances will be open to the public. Not only that, they will feature costumes by Raf Simons for Calvin Klein, live painting by George Condo, and dancer David Hallberg choreographed by Justin Peck. (You can buy tickets here.)
That is an impressive all-star roster, but can any of those people catch a ball in their mouths and then paddle it across a river? Because Tilda's dogs can.