GERI HALLIWELL – IT’S RAINING MEN A Case Study http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqXUpe3jlkA
• Geraldine Estelle "Geri" Halliwell (born 6 August 1972) is a British pop singer-songwriter, clothes designer, author and actress. She came to fame in the late 1990s as Ginger Spice, a member of girl group the Spice Girls.• The Spice Girls are an English pop girl group formed in 1994. The group comprised five members, who each later adopted nicknames initially ascribed to them: Melanie Chisholm ("Sporty Spice"), Emma Bunton ("Baby Spice"), Melanie Brown ("Scary Spice"), Victoria Beckham ("Posh Spice"), and Geri Halliwell ("Ginger Spice"). They were signed to Virgin Records and released their debut single, "Wannabe" in 1996, which hit number-one in more than 30 countries and helped establish the group as a global phenomenon. Credited for being the pioneers that paved the way for the commercial breakthrough of teen pop in the late 1990s, their debut album, Spice, sold more than 28 million copies worldwide, becoming the best- selling album by a female group in music history. They have sold over 75 million records worldwide, making them the best-selling female group of all time, and also making them the most successful British band since the Beatles• Halliwell launched her solo career in 1999, releasing her album Schizophonic. She has since released two more studio albums – Scream If You Wanna Go Faster and Passion – as well as four singles that reached number one on the UK Singles Chart: "Mi Chico Latino", "Lift Me Up", "Bag It Up" and "Its Raining Men".• As a solo artist, Halliwell has sold 12 million records worldwide, and been nominated for four Brit Awards (in 2000 and 2002)
ANDREW GOODWINS 6 FEATURES OF MUSIC VIDEOSIn His Book Dancing in the Distraction Factory Andrew Goodwin points out characteristics andfeatures that can be found in music videos:• Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics.• There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals. The lyrics are represented with images.• There is a relationship between music and visuals. The tone and atmosphere of the visual reflects that of the music.• The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close ups of the artist and the artist may develop motifs which recur across their work (a visual style).• There is frequently reference to notion of looking (screens within screens, mirrors, stages, etc) and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body.• There are often intertextual reference (to films, tv programmes, other music videos etc)I looked at Goodwin’s six features in relation to Halliwell’s music video.
GENRE CHARACTERISTICSCommon conventions of Pop music videos include:• Performance with narrative – This music video clearly follows the narrative journey of Halliwell’s character at a dance school, from her audition to dancing in the street with other students.• Colourful/ cheerful costumes and mise en scene – As soon as the first chorus comes in – at around 1:48 – the main colours in the video change from blacks to a range of multi-coloured outfits. This also fits in with the narrative and changes the mood of the video.• Close up of a female artist’s body and face – close ups of her body are what the video actually opens with, and then close ups of her face and body are shown repeatedly throughout.• Dance routines – The whole video is based on a dance routine (and the movies Fame and Flashdance.)
A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LYRICS AND VISUALS• Although a relationship between the lyrics and the visuals isn’t the most obvious of Goodwin’s features it does exist in the video.• The most famous lyrics in, and the title of, the song are “It’s raining men, hallelujah!” Obviously insinuating that the artist is overjoyed at the presence of the men.• In the video a lot of the dancers are men and many of them are topless or only half dressed – close ups of their bodies are also shown during the chorus.
A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MUSIC AND VISUALS• The music is upbeat, positive, pop-music and the video really reflects this.• In the opening minute, before the music comes in, comedy is used on more than one occasion – something that would be inappropriate in a more emotional video. An example of the comedy is in the dialogue when there is an OTT sound of the record player squeaking to a halt and silence and no movement follow – followed by the dialogue “can I start again?” The lack of movement from the camera in that moment also adds to the comedy effect as it stays on the spot where the artist should be, when really she has fallen over.• The editing is also very fast paced, matching with the fast pace of the song – again fast editing would look ridiculous in a song like Adele – Someone Like You.
LOTS OF CLOSE UPS (A VISUAL STYLE)• At the beginning of the video there are 51 seconds before we see her face. In these 51 seconds her body is on show with fragmented body shots.• Geri is very much foregrounded in centre frame when the dancers are behind her. Often when a close up of Geri is shown, the background is blurred and shallow focus is used to highlight her.• Throughout the video the camera pans up and down her body several times which also shows the male gaze.
VOYEURISM• Definition for voyeurism: Web definitions: a perversion in which a person receives sexual gratification from witnessing others sexual behaviour.• Voyeurism is in fact a continuous theme throughout the video. In the opening sequence Halliwell is performing a sexy dance for a panel of judges, and soon after a crowd of men gather at the door to watch her dance too. The costume the artist is wearing as well as the camera angles contribute to make it voyeuristic as they both accentuate her body. Many of the camera angles are also from behind the judges so the audience are placed in the position of the person watching.
INTERTEXTUAL REFERENCING • An example of intertextual references in this video is from the film Flashdance. This is seen at the very beginning of the sequence when she auditions, falls over and then starts again. • Another intertextual reference is to the film Fame. She wears a top towards the end of the video in the colours and font of fame logo but the top says famous instead. The whole video is also filmed in an American style dance school like Fame. • This is also done in a humourous fashion, therefore fitting in with the genre of the video and the theme of it too.Top: FameBottom: Halliwell
LAURA MULVEY’S MALE GAZE THEORY I believe that film audiences have to view females from a heterosexual male’s point of view. This is done by the cameras focusing on the female body and it relegates the status of a woman to that of an object.• As you can see from the previous slides – much of the camera focus is on Geri Halliwell’s body.• The presence of voyeurism throughout strengthens the male gaze in this video too, as she is being judged for her performance and for her body.• Although the video is supposed to be focussed around dance, in the first 51 seconds especially, this seems to be over looked and the cameras very much emphasise the artist’s body.