Who’s watching it? A look into the subjective POV.
This is not going to be a long piece – but I want to write a passage about this: The use of subjective point-of-view. I discovered a new music video, which uses this technique, that is worth watching. I found this one through TickleBooth, so kudos to those guys (a brilliant site for discovering web video gems). Anyway, this is a video for the band Cinnamon Chasers and their song “Luv Deluxe”. The band was not familiar to me before this, and the music isn’t actually that great. But the filmmaker, Saman Keshavarz, has in his video brought back this particular visual storytelling choice that is both fun and fascinating to watch, when utilized in a good way. (Video examples embedded after the jump…)
Here’s what the Cinnamon Chasers and Keshavarz have cooked up:
I liked the video a lot, and the choice they made to re-tell and rewind their story twice works well, at least as long as the song is quite boring. This video also brought to mind a novel memory of mine from the decade that defined my pop-culture consciousness: The 90s. The breakthrough video for this kind of POV-use is (of course) Smack My Bitch Up by The Prodigy, directed by Swedish filmmaker Jonas Åkerlund. It is a stunning piece of work, if not also one of the most provocative and shocking (in a good way) music videos of the 90s. Behold a music video masterpiece, NSFW:
Massive. I love that ending. Has anyone of you readers got other examples of this sort of use of subjective camera? I’d love to know. I know the 1947 feature film Lady in The Lake was one of the first films shot like this, but I haven’t seen it (yet). When it works, this kind of inclusive, intense film language can truly put you inside the story. Succesful examples includes a recent feature film like Julian Schnabel‘s Le scaphandre et le papillon and a beautiful short film called Last Day Dream by Chris Milk, embedded here: