15 supremely cinematic music videos that could (and should) be feature films

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“Stan” – Eminem Feat. Dido

Speaking of controversial music videos, how could we ever forget Eminem’s iconic duet with Dido on the single “Stan” back in 2000?

“Stan” is written from the perspective of an obsessed fan who keeps sending letters to his idol Eminem. With each letter that goes unanswered, Stan gets more and more angry at the rapper. He feels like he relates to him, because he also came from an abusive household and because his girlfriend is pregnant, too. He sits in his basement, which is plastered in posters, angrily scribbling away, and he’s so obsessed that he bleached his hair and has a “Slim Shady” tattoo on his chest. He even glues pictures of Eminem over pictures of him and his girlfriend (played by Dido).

Things escalate when Stan catches his girlfriend in the basement and he kidnaps her, puts her in the trunk of his car, and speeds off — drunk — in the rain. At this point, Stan is screaming an angry message to Eminem into a tape recorder about how disappointed he is in him and how he ripped down all his posters, but he ends up losing control of his car and drives off a bridge.

The music video was immediately controversial upon its release because of the intense subject matter. It was heavily censored to air on TV — bleeping out references to suicide, self-harm, drinking while driving, having his girlfriend in the trunk, and a lot more — and the censored version is the only one available on the rapper’s YouTube page. The song and video also popularized the term “stan” for an obsessed fan, a popular phrase in the fandom world to this day.