Hello, I'm
Matthew Romo (1660) from Group 2. The other embers of my group are Harry Kettenis (0390), Josh Stevenson (0796) and Ysabel Hudson-Searle (0331).

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Sunday, 7 December 2014

Semiotic Analysis

The View From The Afternoon - Arctic Monkeys

One of my all time favourite songs and music videos, which after research I rate even higher than before. I found out that it was based on the story of Buddha, who meditated under a tree for days while devils attempted to distract and seduce him, represented by a girl wearing devil horns and thuggish men threatening and intimidating him.

The video, shot in black and white, begins with a closeup on a shopping trolley wheel being pushed along a dirty street in a grey, lonely daytime, representing the world around as troubled and negative. Pushing the cart is shortly revealed to be by a young man - our protagonist.

His cart is filled with drum kit as we are shown a set of high rise council flats in wide angle extreme long shots to further display the dull, lifeless and seemingly unpleasant landscape. It cuts to a high angle MCU of the boy's drum kit, now set up in the middle of a circle of the high rise flats, as he wraps his hands in preparation to play. He takes a deep breath as his hooded face is unveiled and we cut to a symbolic shot of his head in looking up to the night sky, 'up to the heavens' perhaps. Cut back to the present and he begins. 

A series of slow fades and zooms, as well as a cut to the same setting at night clearly evidence that time is passing. Locals above watch from their houses as the boy is quite harshly lit by street lights, indicating the idea that he is being watched all around and in focus, giving an agoraphobic feel of the empty space around him. A fox passes, glancing at him as well as a teenage girl eating a chocolate bar and wearing devil horns, passing with a confused expression. These represent mischief and sin, as well as the thuggish, evil looking men who later attempt to intimidate him up close, throwing food at him and staring him down.  Although the boy appears fearful, he continues drumming intensely through the pain, and with emotional closeups such as him wiping sweat off his face and seeing the blood on this hands we are made to genuinely sympathise with his determined character. 

Ever more time passes - the moon is unveiled by moving clouds in the sky and a cut turns the shot to daytime again. Another young girl approaches, who feeds him milk after a shot of her in closeup displays her with bright like behind her in a saintly, angelic manner, and unlike the others who come to the boy she provides him with sustenance rather than being an obstacle. A shot of him relaxed further relates to the Buddha's story as it represents enlightenment and the cleansing of sin and the embrace of nature as he stops in the 'real world' to catch his breath. His final obstacle is a man with a baseball bat, possibly symbolising the devil himself as he looks up at the sky and the moon explodes, imagery that shows his destructive nature and removing all light as he becomes shrouded in shadow. He prepares to swing the bat but the boy looks up to the sky in the same shot as just before starting, maybe indicating the end of his journey either from some kind of full spiritual enlightenment or by sacrificing his life in dedication to faith, his face and closed eyes and embodiment peace and relaxation as he embraces heaven. 

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