Thursday, June 03, 2004

found some good books...

Have found a few good books to use as a starting point for my essay:

‘Rocking around the Clock’, E. Ann Kaplan, appears to be mainly a textual analysis of music videos. It does look into broader societal issues, but it takes an ideological and Lacanian Psychoanalytic perspective. I'm not sure at this stage if it's exactly what I need but it does have some interesting things to say. The chapter entitled "Ideology, adolescent desire, and the five types of video on MTV" attempts to create a schema of archetypal video types. This is a massive project and considering it was done in 1982, is somewhat outdated. The types outlined are; romantic, socially conscious, nihilist, narrative and post-modernist. I know that this last category is quite a contentious one. The author draws a great deal on Baudrillard's ideas about the transition from "the old, hot, sexual obscenity of the world of Freud" into the "cold and communicational, contractual and motivational obscenity of today", ie., the postmodern. By this they mean that through the world of television we have entered the realm of narcissism networks, complete interconnectivity and the loss of intimacy. I think this might be taking things a bit far. Another example of theoreticians getting caught up in their own brilliance.

He goes on to suggest that the revolutionary beginnings of rock are lost in the format that MTV provides, while an individual 4 minute clip may contain subversive material, its message is lost in the ubiquitous flood of commercial messages that is the reality of the non stop format of MTV.

'Music Television and Popular Culture', Andrew Goodwin.
In analysing music videos he sets up two themes that colour the entire book;
1. music videos are fun to watch
2. mtv's success is largely due to its commercial structure - it was a format ideally suited to cable TV, someone else paid to make the videos, ie, record companies.

He also suggests that the organisation of music and media industries sets limits and places pressures on the content of clips, basically because they are a promotional tool. I have heard debates between directors of music video directors opposed to advertisement directors, the former claims they are true artists because they have freedom to produce what they want, maybe so but only up to a certain point, they are still constrained by the larger commercial structure of the industry.

He also points out the importance of the concept of synaesthesia, (he describes it as the process of visualising music), I mentioned this in my posting about the Qld Art Gallery. I also think it is a concept that can be tied closely to what Michel Gondry has been doing in a lot of his film clips, ie, closely matching the visual action to the music. I think a lot of music videos are structured this way.

The third book I'm interested in is 'Thirty frames per second', published in 2000, so hopefully a bit more relevant to what's going on in video clip production now. But the UQ library doesn't have it, so I have to wait until tomorrow to view it at the state library.


  • Yeah, Andrew Goodwin is great.

    By Blogger jean, at 5:54 PM  

  • try the book has a number of chapters focussing on music video creators, and music video influencing feature film and other moving image areas.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:20 AM  

  • Thank-you!! To whoever the anonymous posting was from. (very mysterious) The link to 'the end of celluloid' is great, it will be very useful for my assignment. I have made it a link from my main blog page.

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