Jason Mittell (2001)Jason Mittell states that industries use certain conventionsfor the audience to acknowledge what genre the music videois and to make references to society.This theory is true as music video have to show the genre in some sort of way for the audienceto know what music video it is. The genre gives the music video an identity for the audience toacknowledge this and to show conventional uses that the audience are already aware of andnotice this.In the destiny’s child video ‘Say My Name’, this is clearly shown as the artists are represented ina way in which the audience can immediately understand this music video is an R&B video. Forexample, the artists are very glamorous and there are background dancers to represent theR&B genre, as everything is in sync to each other as that was a great importance. This looksvery unnatural and that background setting is fake, just to match the outfits and song well, butit does not look natural.However, if you look at artist’s in more modern videos, there is no set narrative and artist’s donot have to always look so glamorous and ‘dolled up’ to show their genre. There is always ashow of expensive materials in an R&B video, however in modern videos they are shown andrepresented in a more natural day-to-day basis way. For example in ‘Nicki Minaj – Right By MySide’, there are scenes which are very natural, in the street, her house, in the garden, and itlooks more realistic to suit today’s society and can relate more to the audience from their ownknowledge.
Christian MetzChristian states genres go through changes throughout timeand as life changes.This statement is true as throughout lifetime, artist’s perspectives and genres change throughsocial change and as things adapt in society. There is not one specific way to identify the R&Bgenre as over the years is has rapidly and hugely changed. For example, the R&B genre musicvideos from roughly 10 years ago consisted of certain elements which were similar to nowadays,however there is a clear different.In the music video of ‘Destiny’s Child – Say My Name’ it is very synced together as thebackground setting and outfits all match colours and the scene looks very faked out, and looksvery odd to how people would act in today’s society. Whereas, in contrast to that video, themusic video of ‘Rita Ora – How We Do’ is a great representation of how society is today and manyyoung teenagers and people can relate to this particular video. The dancers and people withinthe video are acting more natural what the audience would be able to understand and enjoyseeing, as they may be able to relate.You can see a great contrast in both videos, but can see the same genre because the uses ofcertain elements in the video. This proves Metz’ statement is correct and does changethroughout the lifetime of the genre itself.
Todorov’s TheoryHe suggests that the narrative has a set pattern or storyline to the video. He believes it begins with normality and then become disrupted, and when resolved it is then concluded.His theory summarised:- Equilibrium and stability within the main focus- Source of disruption caused by ‘agents of disruption’- Recognition of disruption- Attempt to resolve source of disruption- Back to equilibrium or stability restoredIf Todorov’s theory was applied to music video of ‘Rihanna – Take a Bow’ there would be no link in the narrative pattern whatsoever. There is some sort of storyline, however it does not follow Todorov’s theory. The video is simply cuts and shots of the main artist but does not show the video with any set narrative.
Levi Straus’ TheoryStraus believed in the binary opposition theory that the narrative consisted of ‘two sides’ within the story, as there is always some sort of opposition.He says, “tension and drama in the narrative comes from conflict or opposition between two sides.”If Straus’ theory of binary opposition was applied to the music video of ‘Rihanna – Take a Bow’ it matches and link with his theory well. Within the video there is a source of opposition where the girl has been cheated on by her boyfriend, and has not had a good relationship with him. This causes friction and hatred towards one another which causes the binary of opposition, as both characters become against each other. Throughout the video, the artist is portrayed in a way that she is fully against the male character, so this is a clear indication of Straus’ theory.
StereotypesStereotypes are caused by labelling within certain situations and circumstances within media as society has been able to adapt from many different contexts of media, as therefore the audience are able to stereotype certain things, simply by seeing the same representation from different videos. For example, people are able to stereotype what is ‘good’ and what is ‘evil’ within media videos.The stereotypes that have been used in the video I am analysing are the stereotypical male and female roles within an R&B music video. For example, the boyfriend has ‘typically’ cheated on the female character, and stereotypically shown within R&B music videos, the female character tends to show attitude and a portrayal of how it does not bother her, is also shown which is in the music video of ‘Rihanna – Take a Bow’.
GenderGender is shown in a certain way within R&B music videos. For example the male character is always conventionally masculine and a very ‘sexy’ looking character. Whereas the female is also very good looking and there is a lot of show of the female body to show off the ‘sexiness’ and represent the beauty of the artist and to also appeal and interest the male viewers.This is represented well in the video, as Rihanna is the sexy female character with a show of her body and figure to show off her ‘sexiness’ to the viewers and also for the male character, he is shown to be very masculine and macho, with his ‘built body’ and very ‘sexy’ looking appearance.