Music Video of Ride (2012) : Can music video be a new mode of cinema?

The characteristics of Music Video in contemporary period seems to be repetitive scenes follow the  rhythm or lyrics, non-narrative visual effects,  the reflectivity of music video makes it become a almost synonymous of postmodernism. It is like a kind of thing that stems from cinema but at the same time destroying cinema. Vernellis points out a kind of aesthetics of music video after 19080s which is called as ‘mixing board aesthetic’, it it characterized by new digital technologies, new kinds of cross media authorship and new trans media potentials for expression (2013,P5-6). Those elements in the tendency of music video’s development make it even goes far away from the conventional identification of cinema. However, Music video shows its potential to be closer to the concept of cinema in recent decade.

Ride is a sony by Lana Del Rey which released in 2012, what makes me interested in that is the music video of this song. The duration of this song is about 4 minutes, but the music video of that remains 10 minutes long. The basic editing method of this video is montage but this video shows a clear sense of traditional narrative model of cinema because of the long monologue of singer before the music. It even makes it become that music itself is subordinated to the story in the video that the director tries to show, but at the same time, this kind of mode does appeals strong empathy of audiences both about the scenes and the music, therefore, the story in the video and the music of this video together creates a new way to connect with audiences which is different from mere cinema or MTV. If, in a fundamental way, music and cinema actually are all about expression, maybe Music Video provides a new direction of people to express in a more coherent way.


Carol Vernallis (2013), “Music Video’s Second Aesthetic” in: Unruly Media, New York: Oxford University Press

By Yi Zhang


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