Thursday, 1 September 2011

Music Video Deconstruction 6

Song: You Want Romance?
Band: Funeral For A Friend
Year: 2006

  • Funeral for a Friend are a Welsh post-hardcore band, from Bridgend. Formed 2001, they have released five studio albums, five EPs, sixteen singles, one DVD, and one compilation album.
  • This song is released from one of their early singles as a B-Side, the Escape Artists Never Die EP. 
  • The video for You Want Romance? is entirely narrative base, with no band performance at all.
  • The video itself continues a theme that Funeral For a Friend used to implement quite a lot during their early years; the front cover for their first proper album, Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation, depicts two figures, a man and a woman sitting on the Welsh countryside (FFAF's home area) facing away from each other, "Casually Dressed" and with cloth masks over their faces; the band continued this theme with a few single artworks, such as their singles for Juneau and Bullet Theory. 
  • The video itself begins with some very brief establishing shots, there are two shots of the moon under a grey skyline, and the camera quickly transitions to a long shot of a car driving up a country lane in the grey environment, reminiscent of the band's album cover.
  • There are several shots following the car, both close ups and medium shots as well, and we then see the driver, who is the masked woman from the band's album covers and other videos. 
  • Very soon after she is shown, the second character from the band's ongoing theme is depicted, shown by a close-up low angle of his legs as he walks directly in front of the car.
  • Another thing that this character does is use his index and ring fingers to make a gun with his hand, as if it was a real weapon, and threatens the woman driver. There is a distinct over-the-shoulder shot of the driver here, and also a long shot of the man. This metaphor for weaponry has been used in Funeral For a Friend's video for Bullet Theory as well. 
  • A tracking shot is used here as the camera follows the man as he gets in the car and forces the woman to drive. There is absolutely no speech or dialogue in this video, yet it is still very apparent what is happening during it. 
  • There is then a high angle shot depicting the car driving off into the distance, with the sun shining over the horizon, shown through a long shot.
  • The two then get out of the car and recreate the album cover for the single itself, i.e the mirror on the docks picture. Here, CGI is used, as the reflection is different to that of the person standing in front of the mirror. The pair then also recreate the cover of FFAF's album Casually Dressed In Conversation, as they strike the same pose as is done on the cover. Similarly, the two masked figures also dance in a way reminiscent to the video for Escape Artists Never Die, except the dancers in that are dressed normally. 
  • The lyrics of the song also tie into the video, as Matthew Davies-Kreye sings "And you heels look so beautiful against the carpet" as the woman dances with heels on.
  • The two then proceed to kiss intermittently in a series of strobe-lit flashing close ups, and the cloth masks are removed subtly, revealing another mask below, which seems to be a porcelain one, once again similar to the one in the Bullet Theory video. This, of course, creates a narrative enigma as the two figures are never identified or shown properly. Bizarrely, the next masks are then taken off then lit on fire, yet the identity is never revealed. 
  • The man wakes up with his mask back on, and, shown through a variety of tracking and panning shots, searches for the woman, then, in slow motion, takes off his jacket and shoes and jumps into the nearby lake, perfectly asynchronous with the drummer hitting his snare and cymbal as the last part of the song plays. 
  • A number of transition shots showing the man struggling in the water with some sort of box are done with quick cut editing, and then using a zoom-out shot, the man opens the box, showing, even stranger, a faceless baby boy; the masks and the facelessness obviously show some connection and link between identity.
  • The man then staggers backwards in shock after he opened the box (again using slow mo and asynchronous editing, and slams the box shut as the song ends, with no transition out, in place a straight cut to black. 

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