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Case Study Music Video ~ Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know

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Lydia Suri

on 8 May 2014

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Transcript of Case Study Music Video ~ Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know

Case Study Music Video
Gotye - Somebody that i used to know

Are there close-ups of the artist and star image motifs?
There may be some subtle references to the notion of looking in the video, such as the singers being camouflaged against the wall. Although the singers in the video are seen to be naked from the waist upwards there is no real sense that the video is trying to be erotic and sexual in any way, although intimate – maybe, as the song is about a relationship, love and love lost. But I feel this use of nakedness is more to represent the vulnerability felt by the singers in connection to the meaning of the lyrics. The camera work is also simplistic, with only the use of close ups to focus on expressions towards the feeling of the song and mid shots/mid close ups of the two singers together; i don't think this doesn't give any indication to any sexual references.
What is the relationship between lyrics and visuals?
The meaning of the lyrics are talking about a bad relationship/break up and this is reflected within the music video through the characters from the facial expressions and body language. As the mise en scene is simple from a painted designed background this doesnt give much towards the lyrics however creates an atmosphere and mood towards the meaning of the song. The backdrop connotes from the colours towards the relationship. There are neutral browns and cream colours with pinks which may indicate a happy love however, in contrast to the green which could indicate sickness - lovesickness.
Insitutional/reference information
Who directed it?
What genre does the music belong to and what broad characteristics of that genre does the video have?
The music video for "Somebody That I Used To Know", was directed and produced by Natasha Pincus. The video shows both Gotye and Kimbra naked throughout the clip, and as they sing, his skin is gradually painted into the backdrop via stop motion animation. The painting used in the video's background, was painted by Howard Clark and is based on a 1980s artwork created by Gotye's father, Frank de Backer, who also designed the cover art for the related album, Making Mirrors. Emma Hack, an Australian artist and skin illustrator and was hired by Pincus to work on the body paintings for Gotye and Kimbra. Melbourne Scenic Artist Howard Clark painted the backdrop. According to Emma Hack, it took more than 23 hours to paint both Gotye and Kimbra to fit with Howard's background. Their painting symbolises their combined relationship. Overall this genre of indie pop is represented from the characters, the lyrics and the colours and artistic approach throughout the video.
Case Study Music Video
Gotye - Somebody that i used to know
Is there reference to the notion of looking?
The video is narrative based as this is based around the concept of a story towards a relationship, that's revolved around the idea of two people who have possibly broken up. This is represented in the video by the camouflage which could be a metaphor for feeling as though they are no longer seen by their partner or perhaps have different feelings as they have been painted in different colours.
Is the music video performance-based, narrative-based or concept-based?
The relationship between the music and the visuals is not obvious. But as the music builds towards the chorus the visuals do speed up and elaborate. For example, at 1:41 you can see how the artists body begins to be covered and camoflaged with the wall rapidly, this indicates the cresenco. The video does sometimes cut to the beat, however this isn't frequent throughout the song. The camera shots also become more rapid as the two artists are singing together. There are no solo instrumental parts to the song that are illustrated in the the video as this is an overall simplistic approach towards the artists and song.

What is the relationship between music and visuals?

There are close ups of the singers face and the artists image is radio friendly and the alternative and in-explicit content of the video gives indication towards this. The record company have allowed the song to be bought via itunes and a link to this is posted on the YouTube video.
the artists image within pop music is slightly alternative and gives an ‘artsy’ feel. There are no previous videos by the artist that are relatable to this video as it's his first music video release.
Who is the audience?
How do they try to attract the audience?
From the music video we can see that the audience would be early/late teenage years to mid 20s/30s as the characters in the videos are around those ages. As this is a solo artist and his first single it is rather experimental within the range of a target audience, however in his song and video he has also used a female artist which may attract more viewers/listeners. From the genre and song lyrics and visual this could suggest the type of audience they may be attracting such as, 'artsy' and to possibly relate to an audience of couples through an inspiration feeling through the lyrics and sound. The artist has gained attraction from the audience for being an original artist from Australia with a different inspirational sound that has said to be 'one of the most successful songs in Australian music history.'
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