Thursday, December 01, 2011

Heartless Potpourri

HEARTLESS (Cover) by The Fray Official Music Video
Located on Youtube:
Uploaded September 28, 2009

This music video is an excellent one for potpourri week, I think, because it so effectively blends multiple themes from this class. In a cover of Heartless, originally by Kanye West, this music video provides a glimpse into the life of a young boy in class (algebra, from the look of his notebook) who does not appear very pleased with the course of his love life, particularly as it pertains to one brunette student who looks way too old for him.

The reason I selected this video, besides being such an eclectic blend of animation, online-based media and music videos, is the way animation itself is used. The story line depicted in the animation contains one of the boys' drawings, a little anatomically-accurate heart, trudging along having terrible thing after terrible thing happen to him. I love the effect of what is essentially a short film within a short film, illustrating the sort of corny cliches that we would never accept if they were in live action. If, for instance, the boy were to walk under a cloud and have it rain only on him, we as the audience might be inclined to yell at the screen "OKAY, we get it, he's sad!" However, by using a child's doodles, it seems only fitting.

This also allows for other things that would be difficult on film, such as the 2 cameos by Kanye West where he is shown wearing those ridiculous glasses and bobbing his head, which add to the overall entertainment value of the film. They also, (although perhaps this just reflects how much I am the daughter of an English professor who never let me watch Barney because he plagiarized people's songs), seem to use those cameos as further acknowledgement of the songs' original artist. I appreciated the gesture, whether it was actually meant that way or not.

Ultimately, it's impressive that the secondary character line (the heart) is integrated it so fully that it never strikes a viewer as odd. I think it's important to note that whether for practical reasons, optimal entertainment value, the ability to provide animated in-text citations or just to provide variation and visual interest, the use of a short within a short is just plain cool.

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