30 Seconds To Mars From Yesterday Textual analysis
30 Seconds To Mars <ul><li>30 Seconds to Mars are an American rock band formed in 1998. The band is composed of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jared Leto (lead vocals), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>his brother Shannon Leto (drums) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and Tomo Milicevic (lead guitar). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The band has in the past also contained other members including Matt Wachter (now in Angels and Airwaves), Tim Kelleher and Braxton Olita. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>30 Seconds to Mars have currently three studio albums. Self titled 30 Seconds to Mars 2002, A Beautiful Lie 2005 and This is War 2009. </li></ul>
From Yesterday <ul><li>From Yesterday is the third single released from their second album A Beautiful Lie and it is believed to be the first American music video shot in the Peoples Republic of China. It was filmed using 300 Chinese soldiers and 20 horses. </li></ul><ul><li>The music video is over 7 minutes long as is shot almost like a short film . There is actually two versions of the video, the shorter 7 minute one and a longer short film version that is 14 minutes long and includes more details of the story that the video is presenting. </li></ul>
Analysis <ul><li>The video starts with the title of the song appearing in Chinese writing with English subtitles. </li></ul><ul><li>This immediately shows me that the video can appeal to both an English and Chinese audience. </li></ul><ul><li>Later when there is English dialogue in the video there are Chinese subtitles so that a Chinese audience can understand and whenever there is Chinese dialogue there are English subtitles. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The video then shows location establishing shots. The style of the buildings in the first shot and the statue of the dragon in the second shot are again another sign of where the video is set which establishes that it is in China. After researching into the video I found out that the video was shot on location in China. </li></ul><ul><li>“ First American music video shot in the Peoples Republic of China.” </li></ul>
<ul><li>There is then a close up of what appears to be a young boy. This appears for a few seconds and then cuts to a long shot of the boy who we can then see must be quite wealthy, even an emperor. </li></ul><ul><li>It is presumed that this was the Emperor Puyi, widely known as the last Emperor of China. He was Emporer twice at two separate times, his first rein started when he was just 2 years old. </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogue is shared between him and 2 servants who ask him what he wishes for his birthday. There is no subtitles to his reply but after some research I found out he simply replies “The Sound Of Tomorrow”. </li></ul>
<ul><li>It then cuts to the members of the band all dressed in outfits similar to those warn in fencing. They are all in white which is a colour that can portray innocence . </li></ul><ul><li>There are close ups and mid shots of each of the band members which is showing their emotions and what they are doing as they wait to play a show. </li></ul><ul><li>After a woman comes to collect the band and as she turns to leave we see dark images flash up onto the screen. These images are of parts of the video that are going to happen which gives the audience an idea of what they are going to see if the audience can actually spot them when they flash up in the video. </li></ul><ul><li>The woman then leads the band down a white hallway, and at the end the door their suppose to go to is locked. </li></ul>
This first image that flashes up is of the butler that one of the band members run into later in the video. This second image is of the fighting that’s later in to video happens between the four band members and four warriors. This female is dressed in all black with red lipstick. The red lipstick is a sign of danger and the colour red represents love, passion and danger. All of these images use colour a lot as representation. They are contain black which can represent darkness and evil. The colour red is also dominant in these images. The colour red represents passion, love and danger. I think with these images that flashed up it represents danger more but with this image of the female is represents passion a little as this is a female.
While the band members are walking down the hallway the lights start to flash making the room seem like it is going from white to black , from light to dark. This could be a symbol for the good place they are in now is going to become a bad place to them when they get to the end. Going from good to bad. When the band leader gets to the door they see that it has been locked even though only moments before the female in black had gone through it. After a short blackout we see several what seems to be Chinese warriors opening the doors. The colour of the frontmans hair is black and red which is a recurring theme throughout the video as you can see in the uniforms of the warriors.
<ul><li>The band appear coming through the doors. They are all now wearing all black outfits. This is the opposite of the completely white outfits that they were wearing while waiting to play their show. </li></ul><ul><li>This connects to in the hallway. This lights were flashing making there hallway go from light to dark and when the band get through to the other side their outfits have then changed from white to black. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The music to the video doesn’t actually start until 2 minutes and five seconds into the music video. </li></ul><ul><li>There is then a long shot of lots of warriors lines up in two lines of two leading up to a palace. </li></ul><ul><li>Another long shot appears, it is more of an extreme long shot from a higher angle that shows the among of warriors there actually is. </li></ul><ul><li>The band walk up the line of warriors and there is a close up of the band through the line that shows their emotion from a little distance. </li></ul>
As the band are walking up through the warriors there are close ups of each of the band members faces. This shows there emotions and from these shots I can tell that they are all a little confused as to what is happening to them. There are also close up shots of two of the warriors to show what there emotion is like compared to the emotion of the band members
And also with the emotion shots and shots of the band walking to the palace there are shots of the band, mainly the front man, performing the song on location in front of the palace. There is also shots of the band walking up the line at different angles. Most of them range between mid length shots and long shots showing that they are walking up the line.
As they are all walking down, Jared notices a woman wearing a white mask walking on the exterior of the row, unnoticed by the others. The mask that she is wearing could represent that she is just a figment of Jared’s imagination because she is not noticed by anyone else that’s there.
<ul><li>The music is stopped for a while and what appears like a title is shown. This technique makes the video seem like it is being shown in episodes. The writing is in red on a black background which is making the colour themes continue all through the video. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The next part of the video is in the palace. The Emperor Puyi is sat in the centre with many servants around him all dressed in traditional Chinese costumes. </li></ul><ul><li>While the band members are being handed their gifts, 3 of the 4 members notice someone. We later see that the person they notice is someone that that member will encounter later in the video. </li></ul>
We assume this is a guard/servant of some kind because of the costume that they each are wearing which looks very Chinese tradition with lots of red and other bright colours. Again the colour red can symbolise danger here because the band members do not know where it is they are being taken to. After receiving their gifts, each band member is taken by what seems to be a guard or servant to a place where they have to prepare their gift. There are lead through the grounds of the location which can be seen in the locations shots at the beginning of the video.
This long shot of the band performing is the first shot in which you can see the whole band as previously only shots of a single band member performing was shown. As well as the band members performing there are other people in the shot. Behind sitting down in the Emperor. As the only one dressed in yellow he stands out from everyone else in the background of the shot. Again the main colour in this scene is red. The red is a symbol of danger as by now the audience can start to assume the worse as the band has been separately lead away from each other. The other colour that is dominant to me in this video is the colour yellow. Yellow can be a symbol of happiness and joy but on the other hand yellow is the colour of cowardice and deceit. The Emporer is happy that he is getting the gift that he wants and the band might be cowards and want to get out of what they have to do.
There is then a shot of each of the band members putting on the same masks. The masks are used so that the band members do not know who is who when it comes to their gift. Each of these shots are close ups and one shot it of a different angle than the others. This is of the bands front man and this makes him stand out from the others. Next there are several different shots of the band being dressed by guards into what looks like Chinese armour. These shots include close ups of the band members and guards as well as mid shots that show that they are being dressed and not dressing themselves.
Next there is two birds eye shots of firstly just the band members coming out and looking at each other. It is assumed that they recognise each other. The next shot is of 4 other soldiers coming out into the corners making a square of 8 soldiers. All 8 of them are all in the same costumes and therefore it can become confusing as to who is who in the next events of the video.
Images of all their masked faces are shown to show the audience that each person is unidentifiable. These images flash up in time with the music which make the scene more memorable to an audience. All 8 of the soldiers in the alleyway draw their swords and meet in the middle kind of like how competitors in Karate bow before fighting. In now becomes obvious to the audience why they are wearing the same costumes and masks. The music stops for this and there is a short fighting sequence without the music play making this part of the video seem like a film.
The music then comes back in as clips are shown of each band member encountering what is believed to be Chinese traditions as they are being let to prepare for the gift. Jared Leto, the bands front man, accidently runs into what seems to be a lot of masked men sacrificing 3 young woman. 3 different shots are shown of this, one is a long shot of the 3 girls in a middle of a circle of men, the next is a close up of a confused Jared’s face and the last is a close up of the 3 girls so the audience can see what is happening to them. Again the girls are dressing in Red which symbolises danger but as there are woman is can also symbolise love and passion. Next we encounter Shannon Leto, Jared’s brother, running into what seems to be the guard that he noticed at the gift giving, being breast fed. Again this is shown in a few shots showing the event and also showing the emotion on Shannon’s face when he sees what is happening and realised who the man is.
While performing the song we see Matt Wachter notice the butler that he noticed at the gift giving, whipping himself. Like the others there are different images of the tradition and a close up image of the emotion on the band members face. Tomo Milicevic finds a dead woman that is lying on a bed. He watches as someone moves on to putting a small black ball in her mouth. This ball is a ball of mercury which is a Chinese custom. Just like before there are different images of the event and a close up shot that is showing the emotion of the band member.
In one of the tradition encounters, the one that Matt Wachter sees of the Butler whipping himself, for a brief second an image of the butler with a rabbit costume head appears. This image literally flashed up for a millisecond and goes mostly un noticed by an audience. I believe that this image of the rabbit is a reference to a previous video that the band has filmed where someone dressed in a bear costume is seen. The video that this is seen in The Kill which was the video released before From Yesterday by 30 Second To Mars and this video Is also a narrative video.
This is an extreme long shot of the palace that features the band performing the song. It is night time in this part of the video now. The emperor is still visible in yellow in the centre of the video. There are fireworks being released which an audience might associate with Chinese new year to add with the other traditions that were shown. Even though this is an extreme long shot a lot of red is still visible as well as other bright colours that feature in the Chinese costumes. At either side of the band performing there are statues of dragons that an audience would also associate with China.
Throughout the rest of the video while the traditions are being shown there are scenes of the fighting that are going on between the band and the warriors. These shots are mainly close ups and mid shots of the fighting which shows the details and skill of it but as they are all wearing marks the audience do not know who is winning or loosing.
As well as the fighting and the Chinese traditions being shown there was also clips of 30 Seconds To Mars Performing the song in front of the palace. Again red is a dominant colour in this video as well as a hint of yellow on the flags and on the emperor These shots range from long shots to close ups of them as well as medium shots of the members playing instruments.
The music ends when this shot is shown. This is what is known as a stalemate which means that not more moves can be made by the players/fighters. When the stalemate has been realised the four remaining warriors stop to take of their masks. This is when it is revealed that the whole band has survived this ‘gift’.
Conventions <ul><li>After carrying out this analysis I have noticed the following conventions in a narrative story. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The video contains images that flash up on the screen. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Colours are used as a good representation of feelings and of themes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They can have a title. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The music doesn’t have to cover the whole video, it can be stopped for dialogue etc. </li></ul></ul>