According to Goodwin’s TechniquesMusic Video ResearchBy Hanan Mohamed 13KMH CALGARY - BON IVER
Intertextuality The rising up out of the ground, coming from a whole hidden world beneath the earth up to ground level is a reference to the film Pan’s Labyrinth. Instead of taking the clips from the actual film itself which other music videos do across genres, instead the label has chosen to recreate the concept of coming from a word underground and filmed it again themselves but with their own model/actors for the music video. Pan’s Labyrinth is about a girl who creates a fantastical world of her own based on myths and legend, royalty and tradition. This in keeping with the common themes of folk rock music which relates back to history and culture. Myths and legends are a part of tradition and culture, stories being passed down to new generations and so the film reference is entirely appropriate for the music video.
Genre Characteristics Lots of nature is present in this video throughout: the bed floating in the lake, the swamp, the lake above ground, hearts set on fire etc. Once again the earth, the actual soil and walking barefoot without any barrier is present as a genre characteristic – this was also seen in Marling’s Rambling Man. Folk rock music often shows nature as it’s all life’s big questions and getting to the roots of things even literally - and you can see the roots of the ground above coming down into the swamp where the girl’s beg was in the beginning. The actor’s faces are fairly neutral and blank as in the other folk rock videos – allowing the viewer to input their own meaning on the actors feelings and meanings of the video. It indicates the actor’s and so by default the song’s inciting introspection, reflection. Again costume is extremely simple, here all white in a basic cut – a dress, a t-shirt and trousers. This allows the viewer to focus on the nature around them instead of the usual selling of the beauty of the actors and dancing as would be seen in other genre music videos e.g. Pop.
Relationship between Lyrics and Visuals The visuals although at first glance may seem rather abstract, upon listening to the lyrics carefully are in fact overall amplifying their meaning. Don’t you cherish me to sleep – and on screen a woman is shown sleeping on a bed. She defies being ‘cherished’ and wakes up. Hair, old, long along/Your neck onto your shoulder blades’ and we see her hair is quite long as she lifts her head, illustrating the lyrics. ‘Hip, under nothing’ and she falls through the bed and lands standing in a lake amplifies the lyrics. Her very foundations are not what she thought they were, there is nothing there and so she must go and seek out the cause of her loss ‘haunt the cause’. This amplifies the lyrics. There’s a fire going out’ and we see their hearts have started burning after floating out onto the lake, already charred in places. It seems that the couple have had a tumultuous relationship in the past and now having come together, come to peace with themselves and one another and so have set aflame their ruined relationship and let go. – oh the demons come they can subside’.
Relationship between Music and Visuals Cutting pace and action in video would reflect pace of track. When the music pace changed and got slightly faster so did the action in the video – instead of lying on the bed moving slowly in time to the smooth slow music, the girl got up and walked to the faster pace with every hit of the cymbal on the drum kit. As the drums became louder and the beat got faster so did she, climbing up above ground.
Demands of the Record Label The artist does not appear at all within the video, defying the conventions of showing and focusing upon the artist’s face and performance in folk rock videos (i.e. See other analysis of Marling and Iron & Wine) The costume is very basic, all white and simple – possibly a running theme by the label in order to stick to the genre of their music so their intended audience focuses on the nature and deeper meanings of the video as opposed to high fashion costumes, ideals over material clothes to aim for. The girl’s make up too is very subtle and naturalistic, hardly noticeable at all for the same reason.
Notions of LookingVoyeuristic Treatmentof the Female Body The beginning shows a woman tossing and turning in a thin nightgown in bed. Whilst not being explicitly sexual in depicting the female body, it is still focusing on the woman as a very delicate and fragile thing in a vulnerable state when she is asleep and unconscious – therefore still voyeuristic to an extent, seeing her at a time and in a state that we normally would not. This is emphasised by the medium close up angle at mid level, an angle from which we would not see her unless lying in bed next to her indicating a level of intimacy – and a degree of voyeurism. Moving her legs under the sheets, running her hand over her thigh absent minded – all fairly innocent actions but the camera decides to linger over her body and bare skin through the sheet – voyeurism.