Welcome to my A2 Media Studies Blog. The brief is: to produce a music video, a digipak cover, and magazine advert for the digipak. Throughout the course we will be learning about conventions (general and genre specific) used for each of these products.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

RM - The Clash - Rock The Casbah Deconstruction

Band: The Clash
Song: Rock the Casbah
Genre: Punk Rock
Director: Don Letts
Audience: 30-55
Year Released: 1981

The Clash performing with the main focus on Joe Strummer
The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” is a concept music video with elements of a performance based music video. In this music video the two elements consist of an Arab and a Hasidic Jew travelling to one of The Clash’s gigs, followed by an Armadillo. The Armadillo also featured in the opening shots of The Clash’s performance. The other element the music video consists of is the band, dressed up in army uniforms, performing the song in front of an oil rig. The band wearing Army uniforms is quite unique and strange for the viewer to watch today as many artists and as well as celebrities have gotten into trouble for wearing uniforms such as the army or depicting war. An example of this is in Rihanna’s “Man Down”. During the entire performance the lead vocalist, Joe Strummer, is lip-syncing.

The Hasidic Jew and Arab passing the band without realising

The music starts at the same time the music video starts. This is when an Arab appears over a cliff face and puts binoculars to his face, thus starting a chain reaction in shot-to-shots between the concept idea and the performance idea. With the audience’s focus switching their attention between the Arab and Hasidic Jew’s journey with the band’s performance. By allowing this the director has been able to allow the concept idea to coincide with the performance. An example of this is whilst the Arab is signalling to get a lift with the drum beat. As well as this the Arab is also listening to the radio which The Clash is being played on. Another example of this is when the band are next to a swimming pool, with the exception of one who is in it, where the Arab and Hasidic Jew pass the band with no notice of whom they were.

During the chorus the focus is on Mick Jones and Paul Simonon
During the performance element the audience focuses on Joe Strummer, the lead vocalist, except for the chorus where the guitarist, Mick Jones, and bassist, Paul Simonon, are the focus. This is signified due to the pair being at the front instead of Joe Strummer. It is a common convention for the lead vocalist to get the focus but not so much the guitarist and bassist, unless lead plays one of these instruments as well.

The Arab and Hasidic Jew at The Clash's gig (Propp's Theory)
At the end of the music video there is also a live performance at one of The Clash’s gigs where both the Arab and Hasidic Jew are attending. This being Vladimir Propp’s theory of storytelling.

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