Thursday, 3 November 2011
Moving Image Analysis
Above is a video by Nick Hooker for Grace Jones' 'Corporate Cannibal.' Immediately, there is a very eerie feel to the video, opening with a pulsing disturbance across the screen. The strange form has a certain energy to it, it seems alive as it jitters and swells. It is soon revealed that the strange form is in fact living, as Grace Jones transforms on to the screen.
The first feature we see emerge is a singular eye. The eye glares at the viewer and comes across as very territorial and intimidating, a trait which can be associated with cut throat 'corporate' people. This very large eye in relation to a narrow flowing body at first reminded me of the Humboldt squid. These creatures are in fact very territorial, and whether it be coincidence or not, feed on their own kind, linking with the idea of the 'cannibal.'
Another very interesting point to raise would be the distinct absence of colour. The high contrast between Jones' dark skin and the white backdrop in my opinion, suggests that the corporate cannibal (who I believe is being portrayed quite clearly by Jones) causes discomfort with her intimidating and dominating presence. her dark figure in the video is very harsh in contrast and almost projects fear and a feel of the macabre. I also believe that the lack of colour has implications of the 'corporate cannibal' being soulless and empty.
Linking back to the idea of Jones emitting a certain 'presence,' Sharviro, in an article on post cinematic effect, raises an interesting point that Grace Jones is being portrayed as an individual through her strange shape shifting motions. I however, feel that Jones is almost playing a character role in the video, rather than being herself. I believe she is acting the part of the 'corporate cannibal,' and the strange transformations reflect more the villainous tycoon from whom the song title is taken. The way Jones changes form, I believe is an implication that the 'Corporate cannibal,' is cunning and deceiving, shape shifting and mimicking various personas in order to establish power and trust within the industry.
Remaining on the subject of Jones' distorted forms. When I look at 0:35 in relation to the Youtube link, I am reminded of the classic human perception of an extra terrestrial being. Jones has been distorted in my eyes, to resemble a 1950's martian, the kind we see invading our planet in old science fiction movies. Her head is made to appear extremely large, reflecting greater intelligence, again linking back to this idea of the 'Corporate Cannibal' being crafty and clever. This slim big headed figure resembling an alien, has attached to it connotations of invasion and higher intelligence. In essence, the 'Corporate Cannibal' does wish to take over the world, through having control over the media. References to the media are made through phrases such as 'digital criminal' and 'every man woman and child is a target.' In my opinion, these phrases suggest manipulation and brain washing through the media.
Nick Hooker stated that Grace Jones 'started to feel like an oil spill.' I too can make this connection through her heavy dark flowing presence. When I think of oil I think of huge companies desecrating the land for profit. I pick up connotations of carelessness and exploitation. This to me, reflects further on the 'Corporate Cannibals.' lack of ethics and hunger for power. Similarly at 2:26 in relation to the link at the top of the page, Jones makes reference to 'chemical.' As she sings this, her hands appear to melt away. The way in which this movement links with the sound, could be suggesting that the 'Corporate Cannibal' is very much like a chemical, merely a substance with a purpose. a lifeless volatile combination of elements.
In conclusion, I believe that the video is a visual representation of the merciless cut throat business person within the media. There are shades of fear and the macabre which suggest that the 'Corporate Cannibal' is a merciless, shape shifting and deceiving villain.