Music Videos: Silent Protagonists, Resistence, and Horror

Kill Bill's O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) has a silent bodyguard Gogo Yubari (Chiaki Kuriyama) who lets her weapons do the talking; image courtesy of

My friend Curran is working on an article about quiet girls in cinema that I cannot wait to read. The essay is a product of a project he did on Badlands and girl narrators for a girls studies course we took together in graduate school.

Without speaking for him, he’ll be looking at how girls who choose to be mute telegraph their silence differently across race and genre. Thus, the silences of The Breakfast Club‘s Allison Reynolds, The Quiet‘s Dot, andThe Color Purple‘s Celie Harris. One overcomes her shyness by being welcomed by the popular crowd at her high school, gaining a boring boyfriend and losing her iconic bag lady look in the process. Another is configured as terrifying because of her silence. The last example comes to her silence by oppressions both personal and systemic.

Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy at far left) has more fashion sense than Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald, right) can possibly bestow upon her; image courtesy of

This project and popscribblings’ recent I Fry Mine in Butter post about rock stars’ child avatars in music videos got me thinking about girl and scary female protagonists in music videos. I thought I’d share a few with you today. Enjoy!

13 Unlucky Numbers
Directed by Spike Jonze

“Come On My Selector”
Big Loada
Directed by Chris Cunningham

The Horrors
“Sheena is a Parasite” (yes, that is Samantha Morton)
Strange House
Directed by Chris Cunningham

Toro Y Moi
“Low Shoulder”
Causers of This
Directed by Elisha Smith-Leverock and Chris Murdoch

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