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: 


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