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Epistémologie et esthétique

The Unnatural and Impossible Storyworlds of Michel Gondry’s Music Videos: The Mise en Abyme of “Bachelorette”

Les storyworlds non naturels et impossibles de Michel Gondry : la mise en abyme dans « Bachelorette »
Warren Buckland
Translation(s):
Les storyworlds non naturels et impossibles de Michel Gondry : la mise en abyme dans « Bachelorette »

Abstracts

The first half of this essay identifies key rhetorical and narratological conventions video artist Michel Gondry employs to create unnatural and impossible storyworlds in three of his most iconic music videos: “Come into My World” (2002), “Deadweight” (1997), and “Let Forever Be” (1999). The key conventions identified include: antithesis, similarity, reversal, displacement, duplication/ repetition, magnification/ reduction, substitution, superimposition, embedding, and mise en abyme. The second half of this essay focuses on Gondry’s creation of a complex storyworld in his 1997 music video of Björk’s song “Bachelorette.”

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Editor's notes

An earlier version of this essay was presented at the “Watching Music: Music Video Cultures” conference organised by CEMTI (University of Paris-8)/Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris Nord, and held at the Paris Philharmonic on December 2-3 2016.

Text / excerpt

Cairn

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Outline

Unnatural Storyworlds
“Deadweight”
“Come into My World”
“Let Forever Be”
“Bachelorette”
Simultaneity and complex storyworlds

Text / first lines

Commenting on the process of creative writing, Raymond Queneau argued that “the inspiration that consists in blind obedience to every impulse is in reality a sort of slavery. The classical playwright who writes his tragedy observing a certain number of familiar rules is freer than the poet who writes that which comes into his head and who is the slave of other rules of which he is ignorant” (quoted in McNulty, 2014: 5). Rather than think of creativity as a purely intuitive process based on blind obedience to impulse, Queneau instead conceived it as a controlled process that follows conventions and rules, which can be measured in terms of formal-rhetorical-narrative structures and their transformation. Michel Gondry is one of the most innovative directors working within the music video and filmmaking creative industries. His productivity and success (especially in the 1990s) is due in part to his ability to structure the visual and aural worlds of music videos and films using a fixed...

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References

Electronic reference

Warren Buckland, « The Unnatural and Impossible Storyworlds of Michel Gondry’s Music Videos: The Mise en Abyme of “Bachelorette” », Volume ! [Online], 14 : 2 | 2018, Online since 26 April 2018, connection on 24 September 2020. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/volume/5689 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/volume.5689

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About the author

Warren Buckland

Warren Buckland est professeur en études cinématographiques à l’université d’Oxford Brookes. Il a récemment publié Film Theory: Rational Reconstructions (Routledge, 2012), Hollywood Puzzle Films (Routledge, 2014) et, en collaboration avec Edward Branigan, The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory (Routledge, 2014). Il vient de finir avec Daniel Fairfax l’édition d’une anthologie d’entretiens donnés par Christian Metz (Conversations with Christian Metz: Selected Interviews on Film Theory, Amsterdam University Press, 2017).

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Copyright

L'auteur & les Éd. Mélanie Seteun

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