Friday, 6 September 2013

Theories - Andrew Goodwin 'Dancing in the Distraction Factory'

Andrew Goodwin's theory about music videos is that there are three types of them: Illustration, Amplification and Disjuncture. These three types of music videos will be explained in further detail below.


Owl City's 'Fireflies' is an example of Illustration. Music videos that are categorised as Illustration music videos always have music that cuts to the beat. For example, in this video, when the pace of the music was fast, the shots focused from one toy to another very quickly, to keep up with the pace of the music. However, as the pace of the music slowed down, so did the pace of the shots. This is evident in the video above. The images in the music video illustrates the literal meaning or feeling conveyed in the lyrics, often with the artist singing and performing (whether that be dancing or, in the case of the video above, playing an instrument).


Rihanna's 'Disturbia' is an example of Amplification. Amplification videos have music that cuts to the beat of the video, but also cuts off the beat to emphasise particular features. The images in music video amplify the lyrics; a specific narrative may be used, but not necessarily picked up from the lyrics alone. The artist also may take up fictional roles in the narrative (such as Rihanna in 'Disturbia', when she played the role of a trapped captive, seen in the video above).


Daft Punk's 'Da Funk' is an example of Disjuncture. Disjuncture videos cut completely off the beat. Sometimes this is intentional (such as this case, because Daft Punk are well known for having music videos that fit the role of Disjuncture), but other times this is the sign of a poorly made music video. The images that appear in the video do not relate to the lyrics at all (although there aren't any lyrics to relate to in this video); well-known artists/bands can occasionally use this method, as they can afford to take the risk. The artist/band also takes on an image that is very different from the 'norm' (such as this video, because a dog portrayed as a human is as far from the 'norm' as you could possibly get), or something completely different from their expected image. Another reason that this video is an example of Disjuncture is because the artist doesn't directly make an appearance in the music video, nor do they perform. Below are all the characters (in order of their appearance) that have had at least a minor speaking role in the video, yet none of whom are believed to be the artists.


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