Welcome to my A2 media coursework blog. My name is Maisie MacGregor (candidate number 0506), and I will be working in group 4 with Molly Sullivan (candidate number 0816), Ellie Brackpool (candidate number 0100), and Mari Leach (candidate number 0440).

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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Semiotic Analysis of a music video

alt-J - Breezeblocks

This video depicts a violent and aggressive fight between a man and a woman played in reverse, starting with a shot of the woman drowned and bleeding in a bathtub, held down by a breeze block that the man threw on her.

The aggressive nature of the fight is also emphasised by the close-up shot of a knife and the forceful way in which the man throws the woman against a bookcase.

The theme of violence ties in well with the lyrics of the song, which are about a person not wanting to let go during a breakup, with lyrics such as "she may contain the urge to run away but hold her down with soggy clothes and breeze blocks" suggesting that they would rather harm the person than let them leave. The breeze block could also be a metaphor for something that is anchoring a person to a relationship. However, the man is wearing a wedding ring but the woman is not, showing that he is married but she is not his wife, so it could be interpreted that he has been involved with this woman and she has discovered the truth. It could be that they are fighting over an entirely different issue, but the song lyrics suggest otherwise.

Later on in the video another female character appears. She is tied up and gagged behind a curtain, and the expression on her face and the make-up smudged from tears show us that she is distressed about the situation. This woman is wearing a wedding ring, so we know that she is the man's wife. As the man bends down to rescue her, the first woman comes up behind him, ready to attack. This puts the woman in a position of power that contrasts to the shots of her being held down and drowned, which emphasises the power switch between the man and the woman.

The fact that the narrative is played backwards rather than forwards is significant, and personally I think it is suggesting that the man regrets murdering the woman and wants to return to before the fight started, as people often feel after an argument. This is also emphasised by the bottle thrown by the first woman shattering against the wall in reverse and re-forming, as if symbolising starting over again. The lyric "break down, now weep, build up breakfast now let's eat" also suggests this, as it refers to overcoming obstacles in a relationship.

In terms of style, the band say they were inspired by Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, owing to the lyrics "do you know where the wild things go?" and "I'll eat you whole, I love you so". In the book, the wild creatures threaten to eat the main character if he leaves them because they love him so much. This reference reflects in the song's lyrics and in the fact that the man kills the woman rather than letting her get away, whether it's for his own safety (she tries to attack him) or because he can't let her move on from him.

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