Music Videos: Animation!

I co-chaired a panel called “Bitches Get Things Done” at the 2008 Flow Conference. At it, professional smartie Jonathan Gray made a really interesting point about how animation creates a strange and complex relationship with the body, perhaps distancing or distorting our conceptions of girl characters’ femininity and femaleness. He was specifically talking about Lisa Simpson; I keep thinking about Connie on King of the Hill, specifically in season four’s “Aisle 8A” when she gets her first period. I also keep wondering what’s going on with the common practice of female actors voicing pubescent boy characters. Hmmm.

For the purposes of this post, though, I was compelled by some animated music videos, all accompanying songs by female singer-songwriters, and how animation may create compelling relationships with the song, the voice, and the videos’ narrative. Here, we have a stop-motion music video that uses fabrics, buttons, thread, sea shells, starfish, and domestic items to tell a story, an animation music video where a girl cuts open animals to put diamonds in their hearts from her ear, and a live action-animation hybrid that tells the story of a young woman using sparrows (literally and metaphorically) as a means of travel and personal growth. Click on the artist’s name and enjoy.

Joanna Newsom
“Bridges and Balloons”
The Milk-Eyed Mender
Directed by Jovana Sarver

Tara Jane O’Neil
“A Vertiginous One”
A Ways Away
Directed by Zak Margolis

Neko Case
“Maybe Sparrow”
Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Directed by Julie and Paul Morstad

One comment

  1. Pingback: Music Videos: Live-action animation « Feminist Music Geek

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