Final Music Video

Thursday, 9 October 2014

10. Textual Analysis of Vogue By Madonna

The music video for Madonna’s song Vogue was directed by David flincher in 1990 and was shot entirely in black and white. To accommodate this, the dancers and Madonna wear monochrome clothing, especially black and white so that the colours are bolder and contrast each other more. Similarly, the majority of shots are taken in front of a black backdrop with low and soft lighting.
The main focus of the video is on the dancers and Madonna although there is also a maid and a butler cleaning a grand house, giving the impression of luxury. This idea of grandeur is strengthened through the costume style, with the mean wearing sharp suits and Madonna wearing fancy and stylish dresses and a suit too. Madonna is the main focus and she is a sexualised woman, wearing clothes like the iconic sheer lace blouse and cone bra. The dancers are all male and their dancing puts particular emphasis on their hands. This is known as voguing and is a style of dance that ‘is a highly stylized, modern house dance that evolved out of the Harlem ballroom scene in the 1980s and was invented by gay black and Latino Americans’. Madonna came across this dance and felt that it needed mainstream exposure and from that decision, ‘Vogue’ was born. Voguing takes the model’s poses from the magazine Vogue and puts them into this stylised dance as shown in the first scene of the music video where the male dancers strike poses in time with the beat of the song. This theme runs through the whole video, along with artwork and statues that put emphasis on holding rigid poses. During the song, Madonna is lip synching while she dances and while she walks and poses around different sets. There are about five different locations in the video but the watcher gets the impression that they are all in a grand house, furthering the idea of luxury. Madonna’s style changes throughout the video too, as she does impressions and mentions different celebrities (eg. Marilyn Monroe)
The opening cross-cuts between the men voguing and a shot of Madonna from the back dancing sultrily in a glamourous and bejewelled dress using a cross-fading effect. The shots of Madonna are stationary but the shot of the men is following along the line in a tracking arc shot. The editing varies between fast and slow edits, often being edited to the beat in a way that draws attention to the beat of the song. Towards the end of the music video, there is a shot of a man dancing that has a fast fade in/out to give the impression of strobe lighting and this may also have jump cuts.

The cinematography puts a lot of focus on the hand poses and Madonna’s face as she lip-syncs. To keep the shots dynamic and interesting, the camera zooms slowly and there is a variety of close ups and mid shots as well as different camera angles between shots. 

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