Thursday 23 October 2014

Music Videos Don't Have To Be Offensive!

Over the past decade (or more!) there seems to have be a trend towards music videos having to include half naked black women shaking their asses. I for one am not OK with this! Even if you don't acknowledge the blatant racism and sexism, you've at least got to admit that it's getting boring, right? I don't want to get into a whole debate about this (I'll save that for another post), but I just want to share some videos made by people I think are doing it right. Music Videos, in my opinion, are an art form, but as chart music is getting more and more generic, so are the videos. Did Michael Jackson teach us nothing? 

The following artists show how videos can be great, without the need for objectification (but if you need a bit of objectification to satisfy you, stick to this). These videos make you feel something (other than anger), whether it's awe or confusion, jealousy or sadness, these are videos you participate in, you don't just watch them passively. These are 5 minute short films that can be watched over and over again. 

3005 | Childish Gambino

This video utilises a technique that you can pretty much only do in music videos (and I guess short films) - it is filmed in one single shot! That means this video must've taken a while to rehearse, but more importantly, it makes it quite disorientating. What I like about this video is that it makes you think. It's interesting! Every time you watch it you pick up something new. It's also very beautiful (the lights, not Donald Glover's face, but that's not too bad either). Bino's other videos Sweatpants and Telegraph Ave are also excellent examples of what can be done with Music Videos. 

Hideaway | Kiesza

This is another example of a one-shot video, but gives a very different effect to that seen in 3005. In this video the camera is moving about 75% of the time, and is still the rest; the opposite is true of 3005. This video is all about movement, and has me in awe every time I see it. I hate to think how many 'dress rehearsals' there were for video.

Won't Look Back | Duke Dumont

This video does something totally different, it's funny! I'm not sure what else to say about this video, but that scene where the guys are pogo sticking along a busy street with their masks on in slow motion is gold. To me that is art. I'm also a sucker for slo-mo.

Marry The Night | Lady Gaga

I wanted to include Marry The Night, because the first time I saw this video I cried. Granted, I'm an emotional wreck, something you know already, but I couldn't get over how perfect this was. This is the kind of video I'd like to make. Now, I definitely prefer the video after about the eight minute mark, i.e when the song begins, but everything before that is still pretty great. It's like a look into the wild, genius mind of Gaga. Plus, you need those first minutes to set up the rest. I like how every set up is perfectly styled and executed; it's epic. I also wanted to include this particular Gaga video to show that female nakedness doesn't have to be sexualised or objectified, something people seem to forget all too often. 

Don't | Ed Sheeran

This video, like Hideaway, is all about movement and dance, something that goes hand in hand with music. However, it manages to do it in a completely non-sexualised way. See, it IS possible! 

OK, I couldn't go through this whole post without calling out some of the worst offenders:
  • Taylor Swift 'Shake It Off', not only does she have these twerking black women has her back up dancers, she has the cheek to laugh at them and shrug their performances off as 'WTF'
  • Wiggle by Jason Derulo - urgh
  • Lily Allen 'Hard Out Here' - I don't even have words, she's just the worst. Again, urgh.
Writing this list is making me too angry, I'm going to have to finish here. 

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