The Short Works Of… Garth Jennings


A while back, Jay started a feature on Film Junk called “The Short Works Of…”, in which he examined some well-known directors and showcased their work in other short-form mediums like music videos and TV commercials. In recent years, a background in music videos has come to have negative connotations, thanks to the overabundance of flashy, overstylized action and horror films flooding theatres. But that’s not necessarily fair, because some of the most respected directors in the biz have started out doing music vids, and there is some brilliant stuff out there.

With the U.S. release of Son of Rambow, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the previous work of British director Garth Jennings. In addition to directing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, he has done plenty of stuff with his producer Nick Goldsmith under their company name Hammer & Tongs. You can see most of their work in the Cinema section of the official Hammer & Tongs site, Tongsville.

Here are some of the highlights:

Blur – “Coffee & TV”
One of the first videos he became well-known for. In typical Jennings fashion, it’s got some cute animated characters mixed with live action.

Short Film: The Pool Cleaner
Strange little mockumentary that features an interview with Jon Bon Jovi’s pool cleaner (or is it?).

R.E.M. – “Imitation of Life”
A definite classic.

Beck – “Hell Yes”
Dancing robots. Awesome.

Fatboy Slim – “Right Here Right Now”
Evolution never looked so weird.

Da Ali G Show – Intro
Yep, Jennings directed the brilliant title sequence for Sacha Baron Cohen’s show.

BT Broadband Commercial
Lots of crazy visual effects in this one.

Dolphin Singalong – “So Long and Thanks For All The Fish”
From the end credits of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Hot Chip – “Boy From School”
Another weird and surreal video.

Vampire Weekend – “A-Punk”
The most recent Hammer & Tongs video release to date.

  • Phil

    “the pool cleaner” deserves a million hits on Youtube.

    Though I thought “Hitchhiker’s Guide” was merely okay — (why write your own jokes when there are so many in the books?) — this guy looks like a director I’d like to learn more about.

    Thanks, this is a great feature!