Tuesday, 30 August 2011

AN - Music Video Deconstruction 9: Everytime We Touch

Name of Song: Everytime We Touch
Artist: Cascada
Year: 2006
Genre: Eurodance
Director: Unknown

Cascada are a German Eurodance act which consists of musicians, Natalie Horler, DJ Manian and Yanuo. The act have sold over 13 million albums worldwide, but it wasn't until the group's third album when they started to gain the attention of the media. The group's lead singer, Natalie Horler has made multiple appearances such as hosting The Clubland Top 50 on 4music and performing on UK TV shows such as GMTV and The Lottery Show. Despite receiving negative reviews, the act's second single, Everytime We Touch was the group's first taste of mainstream success.

  • The video begins with the Natalie herself, lip-syncing in a library with the camera zooming into her, from a long shot.
  • There are transitions back and forth between Natalie lip-syncing in a library and sitting on a set of stairs from what looks like the outside of the library.
  • An over-the-shoulder shot is used for when the singer is looking a photo of a man. Possible boyfriend?
  • There are short, yet quick shots of the library staff.
  • Fast-paced editing is used to fit the mood of the song.
  • Judging from the artist's clothes and the mise-en-scene, the setting is modern day.
  • Most of the shots in this video consist of long, establishing shots. e.g. The sequence where Natalie is talking to the librarian at the front desk.
  • The video consists mainly of narrative, in a similar style to the Britney Spears song, Hit Me Baby One More Time. Along with some elements of performance
  • There are more quick shots of the library staff's reactions to Natalie performing in the library.
  • Natalie performing in the library creates a binary opposition between silence and noise.
  • Judging from the lyrics of the song, it has a romantic feel. "Everytime we touch, I get the feeling. Everytime we kiss, I swear that I can fly."
  • Natalie looking at the library records symbolises the rebellion against silence.
  • A mid shot is used for when Natalie is flirting with the librarian.
  • A long shot is used for when Natalie is dancing on the desk.
  • A mid, long shot with slow panning is used when Natalie is lip-syncing to the librarian.
  • A long shot is used for when Natalie and library staff are dancing, along with close-ups of them.
  • The quick shots of the library staff dancing. The type of shot used here is a mid, long shot.
  • The video ends with a mid shot of Natalie and the librarian running away together.
Here is the video (I apologize for the video size because the embedding for the video was disabled by the uploader): 

Sunday, 28 August 2011

AN - Music Video Deconstruction 8: Intergalactic

Name of song: Intergalactic
Artist: Beastie Boys
Year: 1998
Genre: Alternative hip hop
Director: MCA

The Beastie Boys are an American Hip Hop group who first started as a hard-core punk band during 1979. However, the group didn't achieve major success till Cooky Puss, their 1983 hip hop single. From that point onwards, the band switched to from punk to hip-hop. The group are also known as being one of the longest lived hip-hop acts worldwide. In 1999, the group won a Grammy for Best Performance by a Duo or Group for their 1998 single, Intergalactic.

  • The video begins with a stereotypical, generic-looking robot flying towards earth with the three stereotypical mad scientists inside it. 
  • The three mad scientist stereotypes include, the mad scientist with the crazy grey hair and moustache, along with a pair of big round glasses, the Asian scientist (which is usually seen Japanese giant monster films, such as Godzilla) and the bold, yet smart scientist who is usually portrayed as being an evil genius in films such as the James Bond franchise.
  • Orchestrated music which is usually heard in Japanese Giant monster films is used at the beginning of the music video.
  • Quick, fast paced editing is used at the beginning of the video for when the giant robot lands in Japan.
  • The quick takes include, people running away, a mid shot of a Japanese woman pointing and screaming at the robot, which is also intertexual to Japanese monster films. As well as the close up of the Japanese man reacting to the giant robot, which is also a common convention seen in giant monster films.
  • From when we get an establishing shot of the giant robot singing, longer shots and slower editing is used for the rest of the video to fit the mood of the song.
  • We get a long, mid shot of three men dressed in white suits and helmets. When they start singing, this signifies that they are the Beastie Boys themselves.
  • When they start dancing, camera panning is used to focus on the band.
  • The suits, giant robot, techno rhythm of the song and the scientist stereotypes signify the sci-fi feel of the song.
  • A low-angle shot with a fish-eye lense is used for when the band are lip-syncing.
  • The video is a mix of narrative and concept, since the story of the video involves a giant robot controlled by three mad scientists coming to Earth, in order to save Japan from a giant monster. Not to mention that most of the shots are focused on the giant robot and the mad scientists.
  • A low-angle shot is used for when the giant robot destroys a shop window by kicking the glass.
  • A fade in transition is used for when the camera zooms into the giant robot's eye to show the scientists inside of it.
  • A low-angle, panning shot is used for when the giant squid monster appears in the city.
  • Fade-in transitions are used quite a bit throughout the music video.
  • There are quick flashes of the fish eye lense during the sequences when the band are performing.
  • The camera zooms in at the band when they are dancing in an underground train.
  • Close ups are used for when the robot is punching and kicking the giant squid monster.
  • Long takes are mostly used in this video when the giant robot and the giant squid monster, which is intertexual to Cthulhu fight each other.
  • An extreme, long shot is used for when the giant squid monster is getting electrocuted to death.
  • The video ends with the giant robot flying into space.

Here is the video: 


    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    AN - Music Video Deconstruction 7: Through The Fire and Flames

    Name of Song: Through The Fire and Flames 
    Artist: Dragonforce
    Year: 2006
    Genre: Power metal
    Director: Unknown

    DragonForce are an English, melodic metal band from the UK, which first formed near the end of the 90's. The band were originally called Dragonheart, however due to commerical problems with an artist of the same name, the band changed there name to DragonForce. To quote the website, Metalstorm, "DragonForce's sound can be best described as a mix of modern melodic power with the fury of speed metal, but the band's influence comes from wide across the metal spectrum." The band is best known for their song, Through the Fire and Flames which is also an unlockable song in the game, Guitar Hero 3 and is to be considered as the hardest track in the game.

    • The video begins with an extreme long-shot of the band.
    • The shot gets closer and closer with each sound of the electric guitar heard in the intro of the song.
    • During the intro, the lights keep flashing on and off, the colour of these lights is red.
    • A binary opposition can be seen between the black stage and the lights, which symbolises the ongoing conflict between light and darkness.
    • There is an extreme close up of the lead singers eyes, this signifies that he is the lead singer.
    • Fast-paced editing is used for the music video, in order to fit the mood of the song.
    • Multiple shot types are used for the band performing, these shot-types include, high-angle and low-angle.
    • There are shots of the lead singer singing, however these shots are taken from the different sides of him.
    • The camera begins to rumble near the chorus, this effect is used to fit the fast-paced, heavy metal mood of the song.
    • The video mostly focuses on performance, since there are no hints of concept or narrative.
    • Looking from the lyrics, there are many possible symbolic meanings to this song. One theory is that the song is about facing the harsh truths of reality, "Through the fire and flames we carry on."
    • Another possible meaning is that, it could be about warriors riding dragons fighting the forces of darkness. It may be a surreal theory, but some of the lyrics might prove this to be true,  "On the blackest wings in hell's terrain, we watch the lands become. In fire and flame, and once again we know"
    • Their shirts are glowing, which also symbolises the conflict between light and darkness, due to the shirts' contrast with the background.
    • There is a sequence in the music video which it focuses on the two main guitarists of the band. A mid-shot is used during this part to show them.
    • When one of the guitarists is performing at the bottom of the screen, there is another screen with an extreme close up of the current guitarist performing.
    • Slow-motion effects are used from the middle of video onwards.
    • The guitarist who isn't performing, spends their time drinking a bottle of beer.
    • Near the end of the video, there are multiple shots of each band member. This feels like a band member profile.
    • The camera zooms out of the band, once the video has ended.
    Here is the video:

    Wednesday, 3 August 2011

    AN - Music Video Deconstruction 6: Ichirin No Hana

    Name of Song: Ichirin No Hana
    Artist: High and Mighty Colour
    Year: 2006
    Genre: Metalcore
    Director: Unknown

    High and Mighty were a Japanese band which were first formed during 2003, but then broke up during 2010 because of each members different opinions on music and future opportunities. The band are noticeable for the two main vocalists who were male and female. Ichirin No Hana was the band's first single of 2006 and it broke the Top five mark in the Japanese charts, since the band's debut ablbum.
    • The video begins with a high angle shot of the band, while two spotlights pan across the band from both sides.
    • There are then quick close ups of the different members of the band.
    • The intro is in black and white and the first few takes are fast ones.
    • After the intro cuts to black, there is an extreme close up of the female lead singer, lip-syncing to the lyrics. This shot is a long take.
    • Then the clip fades out, to a mid-close up of a guitar, one of the band members is playing.
    • Quick takes are used once more, for when the band are performing and when the lead singer is dancing.
    • Then the performance clips fade out, to a close up of the male lead singer lip-syncing, while there are quick takes of the band members standing near the black wall with the spotlights panning like at the beginning of the video.
    • Extreme close ups and mid, long shots are used for when the male lead singer is performing.
    • There is a quick take done via a close up of the female lead singer posing, while the screen changes from black and white to red and orange.
    • Extreme close ups are used for when the female lead singer is singing, however for the male, besides from extreme-close ups, mid, long-shots are also used when focusing on him. The extreme close ups used for the woman, could possible symbolise her beauty and innocence. While the shots used for the male lead singer, could symbolise his rebellious, free-spirit. Possible binary opposition.
    • At one point, there is a fade shot of both the man and woman while they are singing. This could possibly symbolise the two sides of a person, masculine and feminine.
    • A fade in transition is used to during a long shot of all of the male band members surrounding the female lead singer, besides from showing that she is the only female band member, this symbolises that the male members of the group have more power than her.
    • There then is an establishing shot of a red wall, with all of the band members fading in one by one.
    • This red wall is then seen in the "screamo" sequences of the song, this symbolises the dark nature of the song.
    • Quick takes are also used during this sequence, in order to fit the mood of the song.
    • There are mid long shots used during a sequence where the two of the band members are running. Symbolise maybe? Two young men running away from the darkness that is the screamo sequence maybe? 
    • A panned close up is used for when the female lead singer is crying, while the male band members surround her. Cry = sign of weakness.
    • Then the male lead singer puts his hand out to help the female lead singer up. When she grabs the man's hand, there is a bright light shining from the hands. This links in with the lyric, "If that time comes I'll protect you all-out so don't lose, single flower."
    • Single flower reflects the fact that the female lead singer is the only woman in the band.
    • The video focuses on performance throughout, since there are quick takes of the band performing and fast paced editing is used. However, there are elements of narrative, due to the symbolism that men have more power than women.
    Here is the video:

    This is another song, that was used in an anime opening. The song was used as the third opening theme to Bleach, which is another anime that I'm a big fan of. In my opinion, the song fits the opening, due to being played during the last part of the second main story arc of the anime. Hence fitting the mood of that part of the series, here is the opening: 

    Tuesday, 2 August 2011

    AN - Music Video Deconstruction 5: Tribute

    Name of Song: Tribute
    Artist: Tenacious D
    Year: 2005
    Genre: Hard/Comedy Rock
    Director: Liam Lynch

    American comedy band, Tenacious D was formed in Los Angeles during 1994 with lead guitarist and vocalists, Jack Black and Kyle Glass. The band only released two albums, one of the same name as the band and The Pick of Destiny. Tribute, the band's most famous song, was the most request music video on Kerrang TV during 2002. However, the song has been forgotten by the band themselves since that time.

    • The video begins with an establishing shot of a recording booth with Jack Black and his partner having a  conversation.
    • Shot-reverse-shot is used to show that the characters are having a conversation.
    • During the performance sections of the video, a mid,close up is used to show the duo and signify that they are in a cramped, recording booth.
    • The video varies between performance and narrative with the duo singing the song in a diagetic manner.
    • A fade out transition is used when the video first switches from performance to narrative and is used quite a lot during the narrative sequences.
    • A close up is used for when Satan/Lucifer is threatening Tenacious D.
    • A red, orange glowing effect is used on Satan/Lucifer to connote his villainy and denote how evil he is.
    • Lip-syncing is not used that much in the video, meaning that this music video is defining one of the main conventions of music videos.
    • A shining white light effect is used at one point of the video, when the song is at it's chorus. This and the lighting effects used for Satan/Lucifer create a binary opposition with each other, which symbolises the ongoing conflict between good and evil, and light and darkness.
    • The song itself is not just telling the story of how they fought Satan/Lucifer, but it also tells the tale of how they defied fate.
    • There is another establishing shot of the booth from the outside to show what is happening outside.
    • The duo, then perform outside of the booth. This signifies their courage.
    • The old lady attacking Jack Black is used to add comical effect.
    • A third establishing shot is used to show the performance and people walking by casually, one of which is Ben Stiller.
    • A mid-shot is then used to focus on the two men nodding to each other after they defeated Satan/Lucifer.
    • A close-up is used for when the band's CD comes out of the booth.
    • A mid-close up is then used for when the old lady(who was attacking Jack Black) is holding the CD.
    • Then at the end, the old lady's eyes are glowing red and she starts doing an evil laugh. This signifies that she might be the devil in disguise.
    Here is the video:

    Monday, 1 August 2011

    AN - Music Video Deconstruction 4: Colors

    Name of Song: Colors
    Artist: Flow
    Year: 2006
    Genre: Pop-punk
    Director: Unknown

    Flow is a Japanese Rock band which formed during the late 90's. The band is made up of two vocalists, a drummer, a bassist and a guitarist. Colors is the band's fourth single which was released on November 8th 2006.

    • The video starts off with an extreme close up of a keyhole which keeps on zooming in, until it changes into a long, mid shot of the room behind the key hole.
    • The room is completely white, with the name of the band in bold, black font on top of the wall. Then there is a quick flash transition to the same room, however the floor is now orange and one of the band members is lying on the floor with the word voice on the wall and microphone dangling from the ceiling.
    • Then there is another flash transition to the same room with a blue floor with another member of the band lying in the middle of the floor with the microphone dangling from the ceiling and the word, voice on the wall once again.
    • The previous shots signify that the two men are the two lead singers in the band because in the next shot after the third flash transition, you can see that the floor is now red and that the two men who were lying on the floor are now dancing and lip-syncing to the song.
    • There are three more shots which show the different members of the band, along with the different floor colours which signify this. As well as there role in the band being on the role with each member lying on the floor.
    • Fast-paced editing is used in the video to fit with the jazzy mood of the song and the flash transition is used quite often.
    • In the seperate shots of the two lead singers, they act like they're trapped in the room because they look like that they're trying to escape and at the same time, both singers are lip-syncing to the song.
    • Then during a shot of the performance, the floor seems to be moving with the band on it.
    • During 1:00, there is a long, mid shot of a group of decorators putting a sign with the band's name on it and one of them if using a vacuum cleaner to clean the floor. This is a hint at what the mystery of the room is, along with the ling, "The light shines into my room that was once empty."
    • "I'm looking for the answer that should exist." Another link with the mystery of the room maybe?
    • While the video is part performance, it seems that each member of the band is performing separately, in the same room because with each flash transition, a different member of the band is in the room by themselves, the colour of the floor and the writting on the wall signifies this. 
    • Then when the two lead singers are in the same room, a formulae appears on the wall, MC2 as well as a disco ball. The formulae means the mass of an object multiplied by the speed of light squared. Possible intertexual meaning. 
    • The band are wearing casual everyday clothes signifying that the setting is during the modern day.
    • The video ends with a long, mid shot of the room with no one inside it, signifying that the band have escaped from it and then the camera zooms out of the keyhole to signify the end of the video.
    • Overall, I believe that this video is a combination of the three main theories of Goodwin because the performance is one of the prime focuses of the video and as for concept and narrative, I believe that the actions of the band members in the room, signified that there was a narrative and that the colour changing floor is was part of the concept.
    Here is the video:

    This song was also used for the first opening to another anime favourite of mine, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. The song fits with the fast paced editing of the opening and the narrative of the show because the show tells the story of an individual who plans to rebel against the Britannia Empire, in order to create a utopia of his own liking and the lyric, "I feel the moment that changes the world, right here, right now and here" links in with that fact.

    Here is the opening: