According to Goodwin’s TechniquesMusic Video ResearchBy Hanan Mohamed 13KMHRAMBLING MAN- LAURA MARLING
Genre Characteristics Both the narrative actor’s expression as well as Marling’s are either blank or appear to be deep in thought. This is seen in Calgary, Boy With A Coin and other folk videos indicating the actor and singer’s introspection. The inclusion of nature is another common folk rock characteristic – in Bon Iver’s ‘Calgary’ a couple climb up through the earth from swamps through soil and here a man is walking through the dirt and pebbles barefoot. It’s folk rock music, often relating to history and or the country side and so it’s natural that nature would have a large part to play in music videos. The main setting is natural, on a beach with rocks and sand and sea. Costume is quite simplistic, casual everyday with the man’s beanie hat. Make up on Marling is simplistic, no bright colours just a quiet lipstick and mascara – this shows the emphasis here in folk rock is not glamour but the mundane, the complexity of every day life.
Relationship between Lyrics and Visuals ‘But give me to a rambling man’ and the screen shows a man walking in his beanie on the beach, on rambles and then later into the sea in his trunks – the lyrics following the visuals and so being illustrative. ‘let it always be known that I was who I am’ – at this point the man dives into the sea, and here the lyrics amplify as if he is making a dive for freedom, he is making a choice and is autonomous and he is who is: therefore ‘I was who I am’. This is a dive, a plea for individuality and the freedom to choose who you want to be – freedom in the great outdoors, the great unknown.
Relationship between Music andVisuals The music has a fairly steady ‘one two’ beat against which the visuals keep in time fairly easily, the birds flying and the waves lapping with the man’s swimming edited in time with the music. The music being in time to the visuals helped amplify it e.g. The speed increasing nearer during the middle and near to the end when the man finally took a leap for freedom into the sea, creating more action within the video.
Demands of the Record Label Many, many close ups of Marling’s face which has been made up with make up and it cuts between her and the man throughout. Her hair is a subdued red this time, and her look seems to change with every music video. However for this reason make up has paid attention to her face – her hair is styled in waves and loose curls to hang around her face with a breeze, possibly manufactured. She’s wearing noticeable although still simple classic make up, black mascara and a darker shade of lipstick. This really sells Marling as an artist as the constant focus on her face makes her face much more memorable and likely to be remembered and recognised by the public. She becomes a brand in and of herself. Wearing fur, earrings and make up make her a stark contrast to the very simple life of the man . Although the style and fur all makes her look very middle class, because she has chosen to downplay it in her stark surroundings make the man’s costume even more simple – showcasing his humility and simple lifestyle.
Notions of LookingVoyeuristic Treatmentof the Female Body There was a reference to the notions of looking in the beginning when the man regards himself in the mirror – once again showing self awareness in a music video (see Boy With A Coin). He is looking at himself as others might see him via the mirror, as he really is instead of his own imagined perception of himself. There is no voyeuristic treatment of the female body within this video as the only female is Marling whose close ups are all on her face, and the man’s skin is bared in a non sexual manner. When he walks barefoot on the rocky beach and when he dives into the sea etc; the camera treats all of his actions then as very matter of fact, doing an everyday thing instead of treating it as stolen glimpses.
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