Sunday, 16 September 2012

HCT: Auteur Analysis

Spike Jonez
- UNKLE- Heaven 

.Slow motion creates a smooth, calm, fluid feel.
.Cutting rate is slow which contrasts the explosions in the background, creating an engaging visual experience.
.Visuals linked with music as explosions are in time with the drop of the song.
-Jay Z and Kanye West-Otis
.Slow motion makes it seem more professional and implies high production values.
.Low angle shot makes the singers seem large and domineering-powerfull.
.Colour is vibrant and clear making it pleasing to the eye.
.The use of a large American Flag is patriotic. 

-Arcade Fire-The Suburbs

.Older stock footage used gives a vintage feel.
.Stills creates a feel of a moment in time.
.The old look represents the indie look.

-Fatboy Slim-Praise You.

.One continuous shot makes it seam realistic and not disjointed from reality. 
.Use of a low quality camera creates a sense of realism and we can relate to it.
. The use of positive movement and expressive dancing creates a link between visuals and music

Fatboy Slim-Weapon of Choice 

.The use of a Christopher Walken is surprising to the audience and creates a link to his past acting roles.
.The mise en scene is quite unconventional for this type of music however we are not surprised to see the actor in this environment.

Chris Milk
-Kanye West- Jesus Walks 
.Mise en scene of the white costumes almost glowing in the dull black and white shots portrays them as almost holy.
.Low angle worms eye view is conventional of rap videos where the rapper is singing into the camera portraying them as domineering and powerful.
Use of slow motion again is visually stunning and engaging.

Martin De Thurah
-James Blake Limit to your Love 
.Extreme close up shot of glass of water shows vibrations and a visual link to the sound track.
.Shallow depth of field creates realism.
.Use of special effects helps show a story and enforces the music via visuals.

The music video ‘Heaven’ by UNKLE is very much an art installation piece with little to know relation to the music on first viewing. With a very large proportion of the song being purely music and no vocal track there is little narrative to go on for making such a music video. There is no clear narrative although the visuals back up the music with slow cutting rates to represent the tempo of the music as well as being shot in slight slow motion which creates a smooth feel-possible what the artist wanted to show. The 
Spike Jonez originally creates this with co-director Ty Evans when filming the Lakai Skateboarding team. The backdrop was this music and they found it had a surprising link with the visuals with the skateboarders smoothly dodging the explosions through the skate park. The smooth camera movement represents the flowing movements of the skateboarders and also relates to the music. The explosions are also related to the music with the first being in time with the drop of the song. Although there is little stimulation for the audience through the music itself. Spike jonez is able to create a visual piece that excites the audience and enforces the music. Specifically the drop of the song when the slow paced start increases in cutting rate as the explosions commence reinforcing the bass line.
The post production work of the colour correction is a nice effect. There are certain colours like the greens and reds that are brought out more than usual to make the shots seem warm and easy to watch, the blues have been drained to further help this technique.
Can music videos be seen as an art form?
There is a debate between people arguing the view that a music video is just a video to match the music or purely an advertisement tool for the band image/ metanarrative. However there is also another view taken in that music videos are an art form that allows the director to express their creative side however it may be. Some believe that the quality of telling a story through the visuals is an appealing trait. Sean Duncan says ‘
I’ve always loved that a music video can tell a story, just like a film. However, in making a music video you also have to fit the tale around a song. It’s not always easy to tell a cohesive story in such a short space of time, but the challenge is the fun part. There are many examples where the director has not been able to create a ‘cohesive story in such a short space of time’ meaning the audience/viewing is left was a video that is either misunderstood or the artist has intentionally made no attempt at any kind of narrative. This is when people consider the video as ‘art’. However the art form category should not be mixed with other videos where there is no narrative but instead the artist performing to the camera but not in an advertisement way.
The music video is a technique of linking the music to a visual representation for the audience to consume. As said before, the director and/or artist are able to show whatever they want. Even if not related in the slightest, so in these circumstances I believe music videos can most definitely be seen as an art form.


  1. Excellent work Henry can you do something with the formatting of this post.

  2. Henry, I love the Otis video - especially the use of slow motion. I believe too that this raises the production values of the video largely and therefore makes it appear to look more professional. I think this is definitely a strong idea for our final music video... What do you think?