Black Keys' Video Appropriated? Director Chris Marrs Piliero Says Definitely Not

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A New York artist/model/filmmaker/musician who gave herself the nom de plume Bon Jane is claiming that the Black Keys stole the idea for one of their videos without giving her credit. In a release, Bon Jane says she gave the Black Keys a video treatment proposal for the song "Ten Cent Pistol" that was never used because "the record label did not want to pay for the production of the video."

But when she saw the video for the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards-nominated "Howlin' for You" directed by local boy Chris Marrs Piliero, she says it bore a "striking resemblance" to the treatment she gave the Black Keys. Apparently, Bon Jane's concept included a femme fatale killer in a Quentin Tarrantino/David Lynch style-Western hunting down men, and there was supposed to be a vintage sports car from the '70s, three types of female assassins, a white horse, guns, men who were hunted down by the femme fatale and murdered in hotel rooms, old warehouses, night and desert and details such as feathered eyelashes. (Because you know no one had ever used feathered eyelashes in a video before the Black Keys.)

When we got in touch with Piliero, his response was short and succint: "I don't know who that lady is and I never corresponded with her or with anyone else before creating my video concept."

If you ask us, the whole thing reeks more of a Bon Jane ploy to get more publicity than anything else, but she did release a short documentary on the subject of appropriation and ethical collaboration within the arts, which includes interviews by Gilles Bensimon, Mark Seliger, Derek Trucks, and other artists/directors. It's not very good, which could be the reason her treatment wasn't used by the Black Keys.

As Anastasia Pantsios says, "It might be easier to take her claims seriously if the 'art project' most prominently featured on her blog didn't involve lots of polaroids of the attractive artist in her underwear flashing her breasts and striking soft porn poses or her website didn't feature a naked photo of her astride a white horse."


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