Thursday, November 6, 2014

Postmodern Music Video: Pensacola

The theme that we chose for our video was the idea of change over time caused by a postmodern society. Although this theme can be found throughout the entirety of A Visit from the Goon Squad, the specific chapter that we were looking at was X's and O's. For those unfamiliar with either the book or the chapter, X's and O's focuses on Scotty H, an aspiring musician living in New York. He eventually discovers that a childhood friend / band member, Bennie, is now a big record dealer. He meets up with the busy business man and has a brief conversation with him. He notices how much Bennie has changed. Another aspect of the chapter is focuses on Scotty's seeming radical views of the world and society he lives in. His internal discussion with himself is centered around the question: if our brains are simply computing machines, interpreting X's and O's, does anyone ever truly experience anything? 

Our thought process for the video was to find both a song that depicts the idea of change over time and a certain celebrity or band or company that has undergone change over time. We found a few songs by Deerhunter that expressed the theme and we eventually picked Pensacola. The public image we picked was Coca Cola. And no, this option was not picked because of the cola in PensaCOLA. 

The next step was to find footage of Coca Cola commercials and to tie them together with the song into a meaningful message that expressed the theme. We did this through the use of comparisons. One instance of comparison that we used was the  polar bears from their Northern Lights commercials. The early 90's commercial depicted a group of polar bears sitting around drinking Coke while watching the Northern lights under the night sky.  The commercial we used in comparison was another polar bear commercial but from 2012. This one depicted two polar bears  sitting in front of a TV and one of them seems discontent so it gets up and walks outside and a group of polar bears lounging around toss him a Coke. We picked these two specifically to draw attention to the difference of the polar bears watching the night sky to the bears watching a TV.

Another one of the comparisons we displayed concerned beach styled commercials. The first one was from the 50's. It showed people walking and sitting on a beach, while drinking Coke and having a nice time. The video we used for comparison was of a 2012 commercial of another beach scene. This one, however, begins by showing a scantily clad women  posing while drinking a Coke. It then shows the aerial acrobatics of windsurfers and finally ends with them drinking Coke. The comparison of the two shows the change of Coca Cola's opinion of a "good time" and also the change of what needs to be displayed to entice an audience in a postmodern society.


1 comment:

  1. Exactly. I'm just gonna expand on a few things here (doing my blog post real, real late, oops!)
    Pensacola is a song about a person who wants to get away, gets away, realizes he wants to go back, but then he can't feel comfortable anywhere anymore because so much has changed. Pensacola isn't necessarily where he wants to go, he just wants to leave again, try to find his new home, because he doesn't feel at home where he once did.
    Get all that?
    Basically, it captures the feelings of everything changing around you and seemingly having no control over it at all. We know things will be A-OK in the end, but it may not feel like that.
    A parallel is drawn here in A Visit From The Goon Squad.
    In all the stories, we find people who don't really know who they are.
    Found Objects, for instance- Sasha once felt at home in her youth, when she didn't steal things, but those days are long gone, and they took the homeyness with them. I get large vibes of her just having no reason to do anything, no drive. It's never said, but that's the beauty of Eagan's writing-- she doesn't have to say anything at all.