Wednesday, 17 October 2007


This is smt i wrote for...well everything i write, i write for myself but this was submitted as a Visual Culture assignment to dear old Pinto sir too..ha has less VC and more me in it on...

Analysis of a music video
Title: Best Of You
Artist: Foo Fighters

At first glance this may seem like any other rock video—the lead singer screams into the mike, the longhaired drummer head-bangs violently and the guitarists do more than just strum along. Then suddenly, somewhere after the first rendition of the chorus, something flashes across the screen. Blink and you miss it! It’s the first of many beautifully photographed images that appears in this ‘ordinary’ music video giving you the ‘Best of the Foo Fighters.’
This video can be overanalyzed to death. I choose to focus on just a few images that captured my attention. Halfway through the video, a pattern emerges. You’ll realize that the locations, characters, or words are repeated at specific points in the song. To make things easier I’ve analysed the text in these sets of images.
Let’s start with the images of children. Well spread across the four and half minute piece, they appear in different moods, costumes and locations. A girl in red dungarees shakes her head at ‘hang my head’, later she is seen running with others in the same costume, laughing- ‘your faith, your hope’. But smiles fade into screams in a dark room where she clutches on to a younger child with hands over her eyes. In another clip all the little girls are holding hands and playing ring of roses on a cliff. But a few seconds later, the girl screams alone in the same location. Towards the end, we only see her legs hanging, giving the incomplete image of premature suicide. The innocence emanated from this child is slowly stolen away from her as she loses her friends and ultimately reels to her death.
The other striking figure of a child is the angel whose fake smile turns into a frown. Notice the red balloons in the background near the window. Later on, the angel is missing and the balloons are bursting indicating ‘the broken heart’.
The baby in the incubator however is probably the most moving image. Its silent scream pierces through the one Dave Grohl echoes in the background.
All the children are left without adult supervision, except for the one who is cuddled in bed with his protective mom. It fact, the mother appears in the very first image to flash across the screen, breaking the monotony of Dave’s mike-kissing drone. She lies on the bed, composed, hands clasped across a bulging belly, as drops of water fall from above. Later, she is seen clutching on to her child while the song says ‘I’m getting tired of starting again somewhere new’. I can’t help being reminded of a mother on the run from a violent husband as she wakes her child before fleeing to new place of refuge. In these scenes the lighting is blue and bleak unlike the other brighter, earthier colours surrounding the other children.
The next set of images consists of animals shown attacking their prey. Arguably the best clip in the entire video shows a snake piercing its fangs into a dead rat. Other images include a lioness rising against large birds, zebras kicking each other and monkeys grimacing at you. All of them depict the basic animal instinct, which cannot be restrained. It urges you to follow your instincts to bring out the Best Of You.
The inanimate yet powerful forces of nature are also expressed through lashing waves, thunder and a strange bright light. Flowers make frequent appearances as well. The most memorable being that of a rose blooming at the beginning of the video, showing the blossom of love. The same rose withers and dies at the end indicating the end of love. This is perfect example of a second order myth.
A lot is said through graffiti on the wall. Words like ‘Pain’, ‘Hope’, ‘Faith’ and ‘Love’ are mentioned randomly, portraying the various themes of the song.
The video culminates in a series of different images symbolising the inevitability of death. The song confesses that life is full of pain and fear yet it breaks away from these mental chains to ask ‘Is someone getting the Best of You?’

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