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Toronto Star, September 3, 1998 Page A29

McLachlan leads pack

But director refuses to take credit for nominated video

by Betsy Powell
Pop Music Critic

Sarah McLachlan's international hit "Sweet Surrender" is nominated for three major Canadian awards but if it wins, the director, who is based in Toronto, won't be there to collect the prize.

Floria Sigismondi, who in the last few years has established a reputation as one of the world's leading makers of music videos -- working with the likes of David Bowie, Marilyn Manson and I Mother Earth -- refuses to take credit for the video.

It's the first time Sigismondi, with more than 30 videos under her belt, has requested her name be withdrawn from a project. Her videos are known for being dark and intense.

"The concept was very close to me. It was very important and it's (the video) not anywhere near where it was supposed to be," she said last night in a phone interview from London.

Sigismondi declined to discuss details. But the Hamilton-born former fashion photographer said she wasn't allowed to finish the video because "the editing was taken out of my hands."

"Record company politics got involved and it made it very difficult for me to continue. But I have no malice towards her whatsoever," she said, referring to McLachlan.

McLachlan's Vancouver-based record company Nettwerk refused comment yesterday. But some industry people suggested it's likely someone as powerful and hands-on as McLachlan would have been involved in the video's post-production.

The video shows McLachlan driving a car through a hilly section of L.A. when she comes across a body in the middle of the road. She puts the body in the backseat of her car and discovers it's herself.

It was picked yesterday as one of MuchMusic's five nominees for best video of the year along with Toronto hip hoppers BTK (quot;Peppyrock"), DJ Chris Sheppard's Love Inc. ("Broken Bones"), Vancouver rockers Matthew Good Band ("Apparitions"), and Montreal-based The Tea Party ("Release").

"Sweet Surrender", from 1997's Surfacing CD, was also picked for best cinematography and McLachlan's performance nominated in the fan-voted favourite Canadian video category.

Over-all, Lilith Fair founder McLachlan and the Tea Party lead the pack with six nominations each. There are 20 categories altogether.

Sheppard's dance outfit "Love Inc." grabbed five nods in total. Matthew Good Band took three, as did Vancouver-based The Rascalz's "Northern Touch" video featuring Checkmate, Choclair, Kardinal Offishall & Thrust.

The ninth annual awards will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. on MuchMusic Sept. 24. The video station is still finalizing its list of presenters and performers.


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