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Music Video "Shakedown"

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I will forever be a fan of the city, the metropolis, as a setting. Don't get me wrong, i also love the country, but the city is a strong symbol of civilization and man's mark upon the world. It can be a palace of dreams and promises or a harbinger of man's demise and  with its maze of back alleys, unexpected intersections and dead end streets, the city can be filmed as an overwhelming and indifferent setting. This quote really set the tone for me as a starting point:

"Observe the mighty beast, mankind's riskiest experiment. A sprawling, soaring monster with a steel skeleton and concrete overcoat. Some brilliant Frankensteins learned how to pump electricity through its arteries; now it lurches and crackles and spews non-stop. On its daylight streets you'll witness the most courageous of human endeavours: the will to co-exist. But when the curtain of night falls, you'd better head for home. Or learn first-hand about our truly ingrained trait: the desire to devour." -Eddie Muller, The Dark City.

The song, "shake down" is a love song about a man's willingness to give up everything he has to be with the woman he loves. As the video was for my gothic horror class I needed to take the story to a horrific level. So the woman becomes the monster, the femme fatale. The femme fatale is much more than a dangerous woman, she represents male anxieties over emotional exposure. Which tied in nicely with the declaration of love in the lyrics. Which brings me to this reading:

"The femme fatale is an articulation of fears surrounding the loss of stability and centrality of the self, the 'I,' the ego. These anxieties appear quite explicitly in the process of her representation as castration anxiety…. The power accorded to the femme fatale is a function of fears linked to the notions of uncontrollable drives, the fading of subjectivity, and the loss of conscious agency… But the femme fatale is situated as evil and is frequently punished or killed. Her textual eradication involves a desperate reassertion of control on the part of the threatened male subject." -Marry Anne Doane, Femme Fatales.

 to unpack that reading a little: The woman, as femme fatale, is menacing because the man losses all control, driven by love and desire, he looses himself within her world and thus losses control, identity, and inevitably his life.

The idea of identity, in this video, is symbolised by reflections in the mirror.What was an interesting subtext was Carmilla's ability to be seen in the mirror after she consumes the man. I wanted to play with the vampire myth and we are never really sure if she is a real vampire or just a killer that follows the pattern, but at the end of the video she has no reflection. So what does this say about her identity? Does she only have one after she consumes a man? is it this that drives her relentlessly to consume one after another? what does this say about femininity and modern relationships?

i won't answer those questions.