Music Videos You Should See #2: Mountain At My Gates by Foals

Hello again, and welcome to Music Videos You Should See! I’m Audrey and I am here to introduce you to a truly magical experience of a music video. A couple weeks ago we explored alt-J’s music video for their song Breezeblocks. This week, I am focusing on Mountain At My Gates, a song by the band Foals. Where last time I looked closely at story telling within a music video, this week I will be analyzing the tech behind making Mountain At My Gates.

First, let me guide you through how to watch the video. It’s not often when one must have a tutorial for viewing a video, but Mountain At My Gates is unlike any other music video I’ve ever seen. In the video above you will notice a round (what I like to call) thingamabob. It has four arrows going in each direction. When the video begins it zooms you into this world, as if you are a bird. Once the image fills the screen and you begin to see the actual band members playing, this is where the real fun begins. Go up to the thingamabob in the upper left hand corner and click on the arrows. Like magic, you seemingly move the camera to see more and more of the video. You can go in literally every direction and fool around with this video for a long time, just watching as the band members move between frames and interact with themselves in a different angle. It’s pretty awesome.

This video was filmed using a GoPro Spherical, which is a pretty recent GoPro invention that takes video in 360 degrees. Using this camera made it possible to create a sort of virtual reality that the video is in. I can’t imagine how epic it would be to watch this video with a VR headset. Okay… Now I really want to do that… Anyone have one I can borrow for a few minutes?

Music Videos You Should See #1: Breezeblocks by alt-J

Hey there everyone! My name is Audrey, and welcome to my new blog series, Music Videos You Should See! There are so many amazing music videos out there that a lot of people have never seen. I have many of my own favorites, and I thought I would share them with you all here. I figured I would start this series off with my favorite one of all time. Not only is the song itself incredible (I swoon every time it comes on the radio), but the music video is genius. Here, how about I put the video down below. You can watch it, then read the rest of this article.

Alright, now, I’m hoping by now that you’ve watch the video. If you haven’t, be warned, SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Okay, we good now? Awesome. So, pretty amazing, right? I know. The video was directed by Ellis Bahl who has directed many music videos and some short films and sketches. The narrative that he has managed to create with this video alongside the song still manages to hook me, even though I’ve seen it about a billion times. So what is the director, along with the band, attempting to say in this video?

When the story starts (or ends, whichever way you want to look at it) we seem to be watching a young woman getting chased down and killed by her husband. As the story unfolds, we see more and more of the fighting between them, but the woman is fighting just as much as the man is. They fight over the breezeblocks (or cinder block as it is known in the U.S.), but he ultimately picked it up. Then we see that she threw a glass at his head and attempted to trip him up by grabbing his leg as he tried to get away. We watch as they fight with one another, getting thrown all around this small apartment. The mystery is still there though, who are we, as the audience, meant to be rooting for?

Suddenly another woman comes int the frames, obviously very emotionally upset. If it was tough for you to understand this part, I’ll break it down for you. The man comes home and finds who seems to be his wife in the closet with tape covering her mouth. Then the woman who we see throughout the rest of the video comes out from hiding with a knife and attempts to stab the man, setting off the chain of events that leads us back to the beginning. It also helps sometimes to watch the reverse of the original, to see everything happen in chronological order.

So why tell the story like this? Well, I believe that Bahl along with alt-J was trying to bring a message to their audiences. Don’t always assume you know who the ‘bad guy’ is until you know the whole story. We start by seeing a man seemingly abusing and murdering his wife. But as the story unfolds we see that this woman had his wife trapped and was going to murder the man. As the audiences, we don’t have anymore information about what led up to this. Who is this woman? They both seem to know her. Perhaps she is an ex-girlfriend of the man’s. We just don’t know. But the point is that we need to be shown the entire story before we can make our own conclusions. Was he defending himself, or should he have called the cops? It all happens to quickly.

Anyhow, I hope you all enjoyed this week’s video as much as I do! Make sure to check in next week as we take a gander at Mountain At My Gates by FOALS.