Criminal

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There seems to be a bit of a duality playing out in the music video between the audio and visual aspects. If you listen to the song without the music video, it more or less eliminates the heroin chic theme exhibited when the audio and visual portions are experienced simultaneously. The message of the song seems to primarily focus on how she messed up and feels she deserves to be punished justly. It's most certainly not the happiest or most upbeat song, but it does not seem nearly as bleak and depressing as when viewed with the video. The video on the other hand, gives me a low-level case of the heebie jeebies. Watching it without any sound leaves the video focusing on the haggard appearance of the women present, giving things a decidedly drugged out and rape-ey tone. Specifically the point at which she is sitting in the closet, she exhibits a numb and apathetic demeanor, which is a defense mechanism sometimes utilized by victims of sexual abuse to distance themselves from the situation in an attempt to reduce the emotional damage. I don't think it was the original intention while filming, but I feel that the static displayed on the television that rises out of the floor could be interoperated as a symbol of this emotional detachment from reality and protecting oneself behind a blank and unresponsive demeanor, emotional static, if you will. Despite this, the television then displays a brief recording of Fiona in what appears to be a compromising position, showing that for all one's psychological defense, the memory of being sexually abused persists. When the audio and video tracks are joined, things start to clash in interesting ways. The juxtaposition of her song of guilt and deserved punishment onto the carnally vulnerable environment of the video could be interpreted as a commentary on the absurd bias that some of the public seems to hold about women and rape. Essentially, that it is the job of woman to avoid getting raped rather than the job of men to just . . . not rape. This subtext is probably the single most unsettling aspect of this video for me.

1 Comment

After reading your post, I did what you suggested and listened to the sound with my eyes closed. After doing this, I completely agree with your post. It is very interesting that our senses, specifically sight and hearing, work together to create an image. Separately, they create a different image, but when used together, they combine to create a much different story. Additionally, I find your view on the meaning of the television very interesting.

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This page contains a single entry by kersk002 published on December 11, 2012 11:57 PM.

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