Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Song Worth Watching

One of the great mysteries of the modern era is the artistic purpose of the music video. The commercial purpose is obvious, but is there any other merit to the genre? Generally, I would say no, but in a very small number of cases, a music video is a short film that enriches the experience of hearing the song.

Above are images from two such cases: 1. [top] Lullaby, by the Cure, a creepily cartoonish video that reveals a serious, real-life connotation to the lyric hook, "spider man is having me for dinner tonight". Suffice it to say that Robert Smith seems to have gotten an education beyond the curriculum at his boarding school. 2. [bottom] Hurt, Johnny Cash's heart-stopping version of the Nine Inch Nails song, presented against visions of ancient, rotting decadence interspersed with scenes from Cash's own life.

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