Music Video #3: Daft Punk- “Around the World” Music Video.
Relationship between lyrics and visuals…Unlike the first two videos I analysed, “Around the World” by DaftPunk doesn’t fit into Goodwin’s theory as easily as they do.There is no relationship between the lyrics and the visuals at all. The videodoesn’t amplify, illustrate or even contradict the song. However, although thevideo doesn’t relate to the lyrics, it does relate and illustrate the instruments usedin the song which is unusual and different for a music video. Within the video, there are robots walking around a circle platform. The platform represents a vinyl record and the robots represent the ‘robotic voice’ singing on the record. The “tall athletes” running around represent the ascending/descending bass guitar. The women dressed like synchronised swimmers represent the high-pitched keyboard. The dancing skeletons are there to represent guitars and finally, the mummies represent the drum machine.
Relationship between music and visuals…“Around the World” doesn’t show a relationship between the music and visuals.The song belongs to the ‘house music’ genre which usually consists of up-tempo songs and videos to match. However, although this song belongs to thegenre, it isn’t as easy to place the video within this genre. Throughout thewhole song there is only a total of 36 straight cuts. Most of the shots are heldfor long periods of time, and instead of cutting the video uses mostly trackingshots or panning shots. With the mid-tempo pace of the song, you’d expect thevideo to cut frequently and quickly rather than holding a shot for a long time.Also, when the visuals do cut, they don’t always cut on the strongest and mostnoticeable beats (i.e. the 4th drum beat) again which is unusual for this kind ofgenre. Because this whole video is focused on the dancers, which represent theinstruments, it holds its shots for longer as to let the audience take in what ishappening and notice what’s going on, especially because there are severaldancers on the screen at once.This is comparable with other Daft Punk songs like“Harder, Better, Faster” which cuts much morefrequently, and as the song speeds up the cuts getfaster, which shows a relationship between themusic and the visuals. As a result, this song andvideo would easily be categorised as apart of thehouse genre.
Style and iconography… The main style of house music videos are groups of people dancingin clubs/parties etc. and this dancing tends to not be choreographed,making it freestyle. Whilst “Around the World” does show groups ofpeople dancing, this dance is choreographed and therefore doesn’tfit the typical style of house music videos. Another element that thisvideo doesn’t stick to is the iconography. Typical messages withinhouse music are usually about; love, sexuality, and drugs. However,“Around the World” doesn’t showcase any of this, as the video ispurely about creating the instruments through dance. One typicalelement of house music videos that “Around the World” shows iswith the clothing. Typically, most females in house music are dressedin little clothing as to show off more skin and appeal to a maleaudience. The female synchronised swimmers in “Around the World”wear a swimming costume and whilst this fits into the part they’replaying it also tends to this element of house music videos. Typical house music videos like Fredde Le Grand’s “So Much Love” shows images of freestyle dancing and audiences in a club. Also, within the video, people are shown doing love heart symbols, which shows the iconography of love.
Close Ups… There aren’t any close ups of Daft Punk in “Around the World” because they don’t feature within the video. Likewise, there aren’t many close ups of the dancers in the video because, as the director of the video said, "I was sick to see choreography being mistreated in videos like filler with fast cutting and fast editing, really shallow. I dont think choreography should be shot in close-ups” and this also explains the pace of the cuts within this mid-tempo song. Throughout the whole video there are only around 3 close ups which could be seen more as medium-close ups than ‘close ups’. The most common type of shot is long and extreme long shots. This is very uncommon for house music and music videos in general.
Star iconography… Daft Punk’s image is definitely of mystery along with a futuristic, robotic image. Daft Punk create an image of mystery because there are very few public images ofthe duo that aren’t covered by masks, helmets or had their faces blurred out. Also,if they don’t have their face covered, then they’ll be show as an animation ratherthan themselves. They also create a futuristic robotic image with the robot helmets they wear, withtheir music as it’s electronic house music and in their music videos they usuallyincorporate this robotic image somehow. Whether it’s through the dancing, imagesetc. Another common iconography of Daft Punk is how they never appear in theirmusic videos. These images are carried not only within their music videos but outside of theirvideos as well which helps the audience become familiar with this image. It alsogets the audience interested and curious as to why they wont show their faces andwho they really are. They wear very metallic, cold colours which, along with their robotic helmets, suggest this mysterious futuristic feel. 1. Interview Daft Punk rarely do interviews, but when they 2. Interview do, they’ll cover their faces
Star iconography… Daft Punk also have an consistent logo which they’ve used since they began their music career. This logo appears on every album cover and it helps their audience recognise what is a Daft Punk product/album etc. Along with this, their album covers are always very simplified and only show the name “Daft Punk”, an image they’ve carried on throughout all of their albums. Like their clothing, they use similar colours on their album covers, like metallic, dull colours. Black is the most common colour Daft Punk use.The band members of Daft Punk are from Germany,however, their image has a Japanese element to it. Not An example for thisonly because of the robotic image they present, as Japanese image fromrobots and advanced technology is very popular in two of their videos;Japan, but also within their videos they usually have “One More Chance”animations, Japanese writing and the videos seem like a and “Crescendolls”.moving comic book or programmes like “Sailor Moon”
Voyeurism and Intertextuality … There isn’t really any examples of voyeurism in “Around the World”, nor any other Daft Punk videos, as they never appear in their own music videos. Also, there aren’t any intertextual references within this video either, as the whole video is about describing and interpreting the instruments playing on the track. However, the song has a little intertextuality with it’s bass line, as it’s similar to Chic’s 1979 “Good Times.” This shows that Goodwin’s theory doesn’t apply to all music videos nor does it have to. Not following this theory doesn’t stop it from being a music video, as Goodwin’s theory mentions what is typical of most music videos.
Representation and ideology… The video gives off some typical representations. For example, through the costumes that the dancers are wearing, i.e. the skeletons wear skeleton costumes, the mummies wear typical mummy costumes etc. The way they’re dressed is very typical and helps the audience recognise straight away what they’re supposed to be, as this is the image of skeletons/mummies/swimmers etc that is normally portrayed within the media. Also the way the robots are moving is very typical and they’re stiff and walk quite slowly. Again this is another typical representation used within the video. “Around the World” is a good example of a music video that is showing itself more as an art form than an promotional tool. The way the video uses people to illustrate the music is an unique and creative idea and not something that is seen in a lot of videos. From this you could say that one ideology that this video gives is that people are the music- we’re all musical instruments.
What I have learnt… From analysing “Around the World”, I have discovered that not allmusic videos have to follow Goodwin’s theory, yet they’ll still beclassed as a music video. There isn’t ‘right or wrong’ when it comesto music videos. I have also learnt that we can use our video and be creative andunique with it. We don’t need to be typical and use the visuals toillustrate the lyrics, we can use the visuals to illustrate the music and‘bring it to life.’ I have also learnt, from analysing this and the other music videos,that it is important to develop a particular style and iconography.We need to establish a logo, colour, costume etc. that will beassociated with our band. Lastly, I have realised that it’s not really important to feature anartist within the video. However, I think that when we do our video,we’d need to because if this was a real product, this would be ourbands debut album/video and the audience would need to becomefamiliar with our band. Therefore, I think this is an importantelement we need to incorporate in our video.