Thursday, 13 September 2012

HCT: Analysing 'Celestine' with the Goodwin Model

        When considering the key features of a music video, Andrew Goodwin, Dancing in the Distraction Factory (1992) identified a number of conventions which can be applied to the music video ‘Celestine’ by Spector directed by Jed Cullen High 5 Collections in 2012.

        Firstly he stated that music videos demonstrate genre characters. This video could be categorised as being in the indie rock genre. It is conventional in that the video largely connotes many techniques that are easily identifiable in this genre and style. For example the iconography in the video is very common and contains many genre characteristics. Specifically the costumes they wear are commonly associated with the ‘indie’ scene. Their swept back hair, slim-cut suits, loafer shoes and thick circular glasses are all items and styles we associate with the ‘indie’ look. The performance in the video is conventional in some respects however in others it could be seen as quite an arty concept approach. Certain shots of the band performing together as one, with instruments as if to an audience are convention of this genre where the band would perform in a show surrounding with lights and on a stage. However the location of a desert and minimal lighting is very unconventional of this style as the performance shots seem incongruous and disjunctive.

        The post production seems some what conventional in that it is typical for bands of this genre to be artsy and imaginative however as it is common to be imaginative the outcome is very unconventional in that it is very different. The titles are filed using other colourful shots which makes them seem alive and indented into the visuals. This coupled with fast cutting rates in the chorus and the cheesy magic effect creates both a unique style, increasing the artists meta-narrative and is also reflective of the genre.

        The video employs an artistic/creative approach to conventions in that there are many shots throughout the video that seem irrelevant to any kind of narrative such as the dog, who is appeared over and over. This may also seem unconventional in that much like the band performing; the dog seems out of place in such a location creating it as a pastiche. Also the shots of the steaming liquid present an odd image that cannot be classed as anything other than strange, but intruiging.

        Goodwin discussed the relationship between lyrics and visuals to be an important convention. In relation to the whole video, It is clear that the main singer is lip-syncing the lyrics as well as moving in time to the beat. This reinforces the words and themes trying to be portrayed. However in the chorus sequence it is more performance-based and lip-syncing is shown more loosely. This is because the image of the band jumping and playing their instruments is a much more powerful image that the shots of purely one singer. Especially for the chorus where the song is more upbeat.

        He also considered the relationship between music and visuals to be important conventions. In certain shots we can see evidence of some kind of link between the music and a narrative trying to be portrayed. This is a hard narrative to understand and could also be seen as a pastiche of certain elements such as the European Union. Represented by the EU flag and the Euro sign, We are unsure on the particular meaning of this narrative attempt and therefore quite a lot of enigma surrounds the narrative. There is also emotional colouration of the video as quite colourful and bright possibly representing the music as upbeat and happy.

        He made reference to notion of looking. The particular effect represented in the video ‘Celestine’ is screens within screens. Different band members are seen more than once in the reflection of the mirror re-enforcing their image by forcing to view double of the artist.

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