Andrew Goodwin’s theory applied to...Music videos by Stacey Hall Gold Digger- Kanye West ft Jamie Foxx
Andrew Goodwin’s theory how to analyse a music video Goodwin Identified 6 key aspects the audience should look for when analysing music video’s , they are; A relationship between the lyrics and the visuals, with the visuals; illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the lyrics. A relationship between the music and the visuals, with the visuals; illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the music. Genre- related style and iconography present. Star image, multiple close-up shots of the main artist or vocalist. Voyeurism often plays a major part, especially in relation to females. Intersexual references to other media texts maybe present. With Andrew Goodwin’s theory I will apply it to music videos to see if he is correct, that there are similar key features that are present in music videos.
Gold Digger- Kanye West ft Jamie Foxx I am going to analyse Kanye West’s music video for Gold digger. It not necessarily a music video I am inspired by for my own production of a music video but I do like the dance genre music and the simplistic look of the video. The Gold Digger video I believe is a great example of Andrew Goodwin’s theory about key features in a music video which I will elaborate on. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x9i7fx_kanye-west-gold-digger_music
1) A relationship between the lyrics and visuals “Get down girl, go 'head get down (I gotta leave)” “From what I heard she got a baby by Busta” “She got one of yo' kids, got you for 18 years” “WE WANT PRE-NUPT!, yeah”
c “You don’t want a dude to smoke but he can’t buy weed! “18 years, 18 years” “But when you get on he leaves you for a white girl”
Response to key feature 1 When analysing the video I noticed that the lyrics were illustrated by the visuals which makes Gold Digger a Illustrative music video. I have print screened many examples which I have found in the video which illustrate the lyrics being sang. Most of the time the lyrics being sung would appear in bold font writing which appears to be used for a certain magazine title and the mise en scene is reflective of the lyrics, the best example for this opinion is the line spoke; “You don’t want a dude to smoke but he can’t buy weed!, smoke is present and the black is a strong statement colour which contrasts with the usual bright colours used within this video. This could be because the line is so negative the director may of wanted to visually reflect this negative, depressing tone by associating it with the colour black.
I say that Gold Digger is an Illustrative music video but I have also noticed an amplifying relationship to the lyrics by the visuals such as the actors reacting to the lines sang. These two print screen shots a great example of a reaction of the lyrics sang, the first is reacting to the line; “He got the ambition baby look into his eyes.” The second is; “And on his 18th birthday he found out it wasn’t his” the actress reacts by be smug and poking her tongue out to show the audience that she knew this the whole time but she played the man for money which makes her a ‘Gold digger’ this is Illustrative of the meaning of the song. A illustrative music video can be redundant but sometimes being too illustrative transforms a music video to become entropic, I believe this is true when analysing Gold Digger. It is a simplistic but effective music video which illustrates the lyrics, I think by doing this it connects with the audience as they can join in with the song and learn the lyrics quicker which makes both the song and video successful as it is catchy and remember able. The song lasts for 3:41 which is quite a long time so at times the music video become boring and repetitive as there is no clear narrative structure, I would say that this video is reflective of Claude Levi- Strauss’s theory of binary opposites as it seems as though there is a clear division of genders which the women are portrayed as inferior to the men as they are ‘Gold diggers’, meaning that they are after the money as they a skint etc... Amplifying
2) A relationship between the music and the visuals. The print screen illustrates the editing structure of the opening sequence of Gold digger. I have established that Gold digger is an illustrative music video and this applies to the relationship between the music and visuals. The opening sequences is rather redundant as it follows a basic editing structure of following the artist singing his lines then when then is a pause it illustrates the ‘gold digger’ he is portraying then once again goes to Kanye to show him singing and illustrating his lines by doing actions for the line; ‘ But she ain’t messin’ wit no broke niggaz’ by using the gesture no! with him waving his finger from side to side. The artist reacting to the song by doing gestures continues through the video and the best example is; ‘Get down girl go head get down’ (print screen to the Left illustrating this). Also when there is sound of the beat of clapping a shot of Jaime Foxx clapping is used to identify to audience where this source of noise is coming from because at first it seems to be non- diagetic clapping but It is established in 0:35.
The editing pace of the video is amplifying to the beat which is quite popular in pop/ dance videos as they tend to have a quick, sharp tempo to them which a great source for knowing when to cut. Gold Digger is once again a perfect example of this style of editing, as there is a non linear narrative used the video does rely upon the beat of the music to give a pace to the video e.g. When the tempo increases so does the editing pace. A great example of this technique used is from the clip 0:20- 0:24, 1:30- 1:31, 1:34- 1:35 and 2:12- 2:13, in the Youtube video. The repetitive jumpy editing is used when a word tends to be repeated e.g. “Money, Money” These print screen shots are from the repetitive jumpy cut in 1:34- 1:35
As well as the editing pace relationship with the music the actual shots themselves change to the beat of the music e.g. a cut edit is used to slightly zoom in or out of the frame in a blink but I have managed to caption an example from the Youtube video from 2:32. From a mid shot to a long shot in a split second which creates a depth of field shot as this allows the audience to read the text and imagery portrayed itself in greater detail. By the visuals being edited together by the beat of the music is rather redundant as most videos tend to do this but I think it is really effective for this music video as there a strong, catchy distinctive tune which many would recognise just here the first 10 seconds. What I particularly find irritating about this video is the repetitive nature of it e.g. Going back and fourth to the two artist t show them singing their lines which is slightly boring near the end. At times as the beat loses it tempo at times so does the video e.g. When Kanye is rapping it seems to go on a tangent and loses pace with creates dull sections within the video e.g. 0:44- 1:05.
Star image, multiple close-up shots of the main artist or vocalist. In Gold digger the main focus of the video is the sleekness of Kanye West surrounded by these ‘Gold diggers,’ to portray this most of the shot used for Kanye and Jamie Foxx are close up shots of their faces. I would say by using such close up shots it is meant to create a connection between the audience and the artist but in this case it seems as though Kanye is ignoring the audience as he never gives eye contact, as he is either wearing glasses or has his back to the camera as though he doesn’t care. I have print screened many examples of the multiple close up shots of both Kanye and Jamie. This print screen is an establishing shot of the Here is great depth of field bust shot of both Lead ‘gold digger.’ the artist’s, they are both wearing similar costumes which creates a distinctive look to the videoas it shows that they must generally have a close bond.
This is a similar shot to the one on the previous slide I mentioned that Kanye does not connect with the but e.g. bust shot and the framing composition. The audience by looking away from the camera and difference s Kanye is slightly out of focus as the camera covering his eyes by some shades, which is has focused on Jamie, as he his singing his lines. The most important physical feature when singing. These two shots are once again a perfect example of the artist ‘blanking’ the camera, I think this is symbolises the men rejecting the ‘gold diggers’ by them turning away and not seeming to connect and give eye contact with either the audience or the extras in the video.
These two print screens are another great example of Kanye rejecting the ‘gold digger,’ in the first he has turned his back to the camera sideway but yet he does keep turning back to sing the lyrics. I think by doing this he is expressing his ‘not bothered’ approach to the situation by doing hand gestures like; waving his finger and go away ( 2nd print screen.) Finally I have print screened these two shots as I believe that are a contrast to the previous shots used. The first is Jamie, the mise en scene has changed e.g. back ground colour, this is because the tone of the song has changed as it the girl who has tricked the man and green cold symbolise envy. The second is an over the shoulder shot of the lead ‘gold digger’ this shows a Kanye to a stronger presence as he is looking down upon the woman. The mise en scene has once again changed , the lighting is softer with a warm pink tone applied and also the ‘gold digger’ is out of focus it shows the audience that Kanye is the main focus of this framing.
Voyeurism In 1975 Laura Mulveypublished her essay titled ‘"Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.”’ The essay established the male gaze presented in cinema, below I have coped and paste the summery of the essay from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Mulvey/ “Mulvey's article engaged in no empirical research on film audiences. She instead stated that she intended to make a "political use" of Freud and Lacan, and then used some of their concepts to argue that the cinematic apparatus of classical Hollywood cinema inevitably put the spectator in a masculine subject position, with the figure of the woman on screen as the object of desire. In the era of classical Hollywood cinema, viewers were encouraged to identify with the protagonist of the film, who tended to be a man. Meanwhile, Hollywood female characters of the 1950s and 60s were, according to Mulvey, coded with "to-be- looked-at-ness." Mulvey suggests that there were two distinct modes of the male gaze of this era: "voyeuristic" (i.e. seeing women as 'whores') and "fetishistic" (i.e. seeing women as ‘Madonna's). Noticed that the eye line is matched to the next shot so when kayne id looking left a girl will appear with the camera looking left ect... “
Voyeurism often plays a major part, especially in relation to females which is present in this music video. Voyeurism definition (Wikipedia); “In clinical psychology, voyeurism is the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviours, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other activity usually considered to be of a private nature. In popular imagination the term is used in a more general sense to refer to someone who habitually observes others without their knowledge, with no necessary implication of sexual interest.” Gold digger contains sexual voyeurism throughout the video. Imagery of beautiful half naked women acting provocatively are present through the video which creates a sex appeal toward the them which is stereotypical of the R&B genre. The camera positioning is objectifying the females as sex objects, this is done by the camera giving the point of view shot from both Kanye and Jamie’s point of view. I noticed when analysing this video that if Kanye was looking to the left the next shot would be of a ‘gold digger’ with the camera positioned from the left. Gold digger is a great example of Laura Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze but this is in a music video not in a Hollywood film, I argue through that the video is set to look like a old film because the opening starts with opening titles which sound like they are being projected from an old film projector and also the letter boxing frames
Gold digger is a great example of Laura Mulvey’stheory of the male gaze but this is in a music video not in a Hollywood film, I argue through that the video is set to look like a old film because the opening starts with opening titles which sound like they are being projected from an old film projector and also the letter boxing framing is reflective of old films. As it meant to look like an old film I think the director has gone for the stereotypical sexualising of women, this is done by the camera acting as the male gaze. The camera objectifies sexual parts of the woman; lips, boobs and bum (print screens.) throughout the video the tilts up and pans up and down the women as though it is Kanye’s point of view ‘checking out’ the women. The way the women are dressed is very provocative but yet is still done in a classy way by them being dressed as 1950’s pin up girls, this reflect the tilt of the song Gold digger as they are trying to attract rich men to scrounge money off by using their sexuality.
. Here are two print screens which I believe shows the main ‘gold digger’ using her sexuality to get male attention but yet still look classy by wearing a peal necklace and sexy lingerie. The mise en scene is also very sensual as the lighting is flattering on the female form by exaggerating the curves, the pink and black compliment each over to create a sexy tone to the shot which also matches the colours of the lingerie worn. These two print screens stand out for me in the video as they are not so sexualised like the previous shots above. The male gaze has concentrated on the beautiful smile and piercing eyes, this is because it symbolise that not all gold diggers are so in your face with their beauty instead they can be cunning by using their natural beauty to get what the want. The extreme close up shots create a mysterious aura towards this woman as at first glance you think that this is a sweet girl because of the soft lighting and turquoise background but when you look in detail e.g. In her eyes you can see she is cunning.
These print screen shots are other examples of voyeurism, the first is a low angle close up shot of a pair of heel. This is could be because this is a very sexual portrayal of femininity and the mise en scene is reflective of a sensual tone due to the dark red and shadows casted . The second is exploiting the woman by making her lye on her back in a sexual pose. The third and fourth concentrate on the mise en scene, both have the gold diggers in a spot light to draw attention to them and to also create a soft tone to the shot. The costumes worn are typical in R&B music videos as the tight fitting and revealing, mostly the legs. Both camera angles are slightly low as this creates the illusion that they are powerful which amplifies the song.
The voyeurism in the second print screen seems a bit sordid as it as though the audience are watching her lour a rich man, this point of view is not from the male gaze which is unusual in this video as the rest is from the males point of view. It seems that we are following the gold digger and actually the audience especially the female audience start to warm to her as she is in control and strong.
The camera is acting as though it is Kanye eyes which is his point view. The camera pans up this woman to create the male gaze which Laura Mulvey came up with the theory.
Here I have printed screened a sequence from the video which is great example of the male gaze. The camera pans down the woman, first looking at her face but then starts ogling her toned body. This is done to show that these women are stunning, beautiful and can be classy but they use their body to drawn the rich male attention by flashing flesh. The mise en scene of this shot is important as it how she is presented that catches the audiences eye. The pink background is bold and striking and contrasts well with the matching costume and text as it creates a feminine look to the shot as it sexy yet angelic by using the colour white. The soft spot lighting behind the ‘gold digger’ also creates a angelic tone to the woman which is contradicting to the her as she is a dark, cunning character.
It is obvious that Gold digger have intersexual reference to the pin up look and even pornographic imagery. I have print screened every different magazine to illustrate that this video has been inspired by the 1950’s pin up girl magazines. The is such detail in ever shot of e.g. Price of the magazine, volume and most importantly the title which is the either a lyric being sang at the time the cover appears or it amplifying the lyrics being sang such as; ‘White girl,’ ‘ Pre Nupt’ and ‘Woo’