Sunday, 31 July 2011

AN - Music Video Deconstruction 2: Safety Dance

Name of Song: Safety Dance
Artist: Men Without Hats
Year: 1982
Genre: Synthpop
Director: Tim Pope

Men Without Hats is a band from Quebec, which characterises it's music via the voice of Ivan Doroschuk, the lead singer of the band. Safety Dance is where the band achieved it's highest amount of success, since the song became a Top 10 hit in the British and American charts during the 80's. The song was written after Ivan got kicked out of a club for pogoing.

  • Two men can be seen walking through a field, one of the men being a dwarf.
  • They are wearing medieval clothing, with the dwarf wearing a jester outfit and the other person wearing pauper rags.
  • The video mostly focuses on narrative because the song can be heard while the action is taking place.
  • A close mid-shot is used for when the "pauper" is lip-syncing to the song, while the Jester is playing a guitar-like instrument.
  • A maiden then joins the pauper and the jester, signifying that the time period of the narrative is during medieval times.
  • The maiden is wearing a white blouse with a brown dress. The characters clothes connote their wealth, to show that they are poor.
  • When the pauper is walking through the town with the maiden and jester dancing, he is lip-syncing to the song. While the video focuses on narrative, there are also elements of concept which signify that the only relevance that the video has with the song is the fact that people are dancing in it, but if a commutation test took place by changing the time period of the song from medieval to modern day, then it wouldn't make any difference, although it would change the concept.
  • Villagers are joining in with the dance and the red decorations denote that a festival might be taking place.
  • Camera panning is used to show the village and the villagers, along with the maiden and jester's dancing.
  • A long shot is used to show the villagers dancing, inspired from the three protagonists.
  • Close ups are used for when the pauper is lip-syncing to the song. This could signify that he is the lead singer in the band.
  • A high-angle, long shot is used for when the villagers are dancing in the barnyard.
  • Two men wearing rooster masks, can be seen fighting each other. This adds to the unusual concept of the video, due to how random it is.
  • Punch and Judy add to the weird vibe of the video.
  • At the end, there is a random flash of some black and white images, some of these images include, bombs and a horse in front of a house. Could these images possibly symbolise something?
Here is the video:

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