Street Spirit (1995)
Jonathan Glazer, making his transition from theatre to film in 1993 with the shorts Mad, Pool, and Commission, decided to try his hand at music videos. In the mid-nineties he joined forces with Radiohead, and the two English talents created the iconic music video for Street Spirit. Looking back at his career, Glazer has cited the music video as a major stepping stone towards finding his voice as a director.
Virtual Insanity (1997)
Glazer continued his reputation as a groundbreaking director with Jamiroquai’s Virtual Insanity music video. Using a moving set, Glazer created the illusion of a magic floor and sliding furniture. His special effects left both critics and audiences jaw-dropped, and the video took home four VMAs including best music video. Glazer was named MTV director of the year for the video.
Guinness Surfer (1999)
It is said that it take 119.5 seconds to pour the perfect glass of Guinness. It only took Glazer 60 seconds to explain why. With his 1999 “Surfer” TV spot, Glazer introduced the phrase ‘Good things come to those who wait’ as the new tagline for Guinness, and helped turn Guinness’s pouring time into a unique selling point. The advert won universal critical appraise, took home Gold at the Cannes Film festival, and was placed at number one on The Sunday Time’s list of 100 greatest TV advertisements ever.
Sexy Beast (2000)
In 2000, Glazer teamed up with academy award winner Ben Kingsley to direct his first feature length film. Behind Glazer’s direction, Kingsley put on another academy award nominated performance as a viscous robber trying to convince a crew to come back for ‘one last job.’ The subversive take on the British gangster genre was applauded for its dark humour, being labelled as a tour de force, and in many circles, as the greatest British gangster film of all time.
With a knack for unique storytelling, Glazer brought his talents back to the silver screen in 2004 for his sophomore feature. Birth tells the story of a widow who meets a ten year old boy claiming to be her husband reincarnated. As the lines between reality and the absurd become blurred, Anna is slowly torn between her love for her late husband and her new fiancé. The film stars Nicole Kidman, who received a Golden Globe nomination for her leading performance.
Under The Skin (2014)
After taking a hiatus from feature films for nearly 10 years, Glazer is bringing Michael Faber’s cult classic book Under the Skin to the big screen. Starring Scarlet Johansson as an alien temptress, Under the Skin takes a look at Johansson’s preying actions from an alien perspective. With its unique viewpoint and visual narrative, it is one of the most anticipated films of the year.