Sunday, 4 December 2011

BH- How To Destroy Angels- Space Between

Artist: How to Destroy Angels
Director: Rupert Sanders (Snow white & the huntsman)
Genre: POST- Industrial
Audience: 24-35 (15-24)
(The video was only ever released online as such only those with a prior knowledge of Reznors work would have heard of the band)
How to Destroy Angles (HTDA) is a group with Reznor, his wife Mariqueen Maandig & Atticus Ross, with a very electronic sound, one that differs from nine inch nails significantly and yet is another outpost for Reznor & Ross' dark electronic sounds.

Judging from the style of the video I'd say a HD camera was used, the clarity and camera work would seem to indicate this.
It's a very narrative video, well not that much happens, the scene is one of a hotel murder, of a bride and groom I assume who've been killed on their wedding night, played by Mariqueen and Trent respectivly, whilst being watched by Atticus Ross and a blonde woman as a fire starts and engulfs the scene as Atticus and the woman watch on calmly.

appearing at 0:36-38, a reveal of what's in the
hotel room. 
The first 7 seconds of the video feature a hallway shot, the number of doors and the tacky carpet signify a cheap american style motel, as does the window at the end of the hall, a small and cheap one with the curtains blowing. The camera work here is a slow zoom- tightly frames so that the walls just are in view.
We then jump forwards with a swift cut to the window and a door slightly open at the side of the frame, indicating danger.
A performance aspect is introduced through the corpse of the bride singing, something that becomes quite macabre as she begins to set alight and burn slowly. They've said the way that they've done this was to have her singing them impose her face onto a mannequin- although the effect isn't all that well done it certainly adds to the video and takes nothing away.
What's interesting to note is the messing around of focus on the camera with the 'depths' changing so what was blurred becomes clear.
The blood effect is used brilliantly in this video with the blood looking realistically dark and maybe ever so slightly desaturated.
One example of a really well framed shot would be the one you see to your right. The lighting in the window is done so that it glows in ever so slightly, the curtains seem dirty, not overly so but enough to fit with the 'vibe' of the video. The bride laying against the bed, with the bed ever so slightly jutting in the right of the shot and behind her, the corpse of the groom, their attire a white, frilly dress and the grey well fitted suit would indicate a wedding. The lighting here is typical of the genre, dark and moody with heavy use of shadow.

Shot of a candle appearing at 0:48
The candle seems to be a common aspect, appearing at 0:48 seconds and staying onscreen for a good 2 seconds before vanishing, the candle blowing gently in the wind, the idea that something somewhere is causing a breeze which then lends itself to the aspect of intrusion, someone having come in and killed the occupants of the hotel room.  It could also indicate a sense of fragility, the wax gently protecting the flame. It also shows that some amount of time has passed in the room seeing as though the wax has clearly been worn down, adding to the theme of decay that features in the video.

The sense of mystery continues in the video, with several shots focusing on the fingers, or the hands or someone smoking. Sometimes not even body parts but instead objects, gently spattered with blood to indicate that something violent has happened, such as at 0:53, we have a womans hand (painted black finger nails) with what looks to be a broken glass just out of reach and covered in blood- indicating a struggle and the closeness of the object showing that it was maybe a self defence wound, either way the violence of the video is pretty heavy and it becomes much worse when the bodies and the room begin to burn, with heavy use of special effects to show the lip syncing even as the body is burning, they used a mannequin to burn with a wig then superimposed Mariqueens face onto it to get the desired effect, i.e one to shock and disturb the viewer.
Overall the video is one that seems to be much more modern that prior industrial videos and is clearly following a narrative and the editing clearly draws the viewer into the scene that's unfolding on screen. 

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