From MTV to the big screen -- Music-video directors like Richard Stanley and Mary Lambert move to film making

By Doug Brod
November 20, 1992 at 05:00 AM EST

You can take the music-video director off MTV, but just try keeping MTV out of that same director’s movies. In fact, David Fincher, whose clips (including Madonna’s ”Vogue”) foreshadowed the kinetic style of Alien 3, is just the latest vid auteur to venture onto the big screen — carrying a bit of rock & roll baggage. Some others:

*Video work: Madonna’s ”Material Girl” and ”Like a Prayer” *Feature film: Siesta (1987, Warner, R) Stuntwoman (Ellen Barkin) who believes she killed someone has a weird odyssey through Spain. B *MTV influence: Cameo by scary diva Grace Jones, who totes a rat on her shoulder.

*Video work: Kim Carnes’ ”Bette Davis Eyes,” Duran Duran’s ”Wild Boys” *Feature film: Highlander 2: The Quickening (1991, Columbia TriStar, R) Expensive-looking, eco-conscious hackwork pitting futuristic swashbucklers (Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery) against assassins who threaten the Earth. C- *MTV influence: With their incongruous rock-god locks, Lambert and Connery wouldn’t look out of place in a Whitesnake cover band.

*Video work: Renegade Soundwave’s ”Probably a Robbery” *Feature film: Hardware (1990, HBO, R) Imitative postapocalyptic thriller in which a junkman unwittingly gives his sculptor girlfriend the remains of a killer robot with the power to reactivate itself. C+ *MTV influence: Seminal punk Iggy Pop cast as voice of a manic deejay; Lemmy, bassist and singer for Motörhead, as a cab driver.

*Video work: Janet Jackson’s ”When I Think of You,” Neil Young’s ”This Note’s for You” *Feature film: Earth Girls Are Easy (1989, Vestron, PG) Three aliens crash-land in a Southern California swimming pool and are taken under the wing of a dippy manicurist (Geena Davis). C *MTV influence: Cowritten by its costar, MTV’s non-Downtown Julie Brown.