Monday, December 7, 2009

Pretty Women: The recut vid

Before this reading, I had never heard of a “vid” before, nor am I sure I am aware of what the term actually means. However, in Francesca Coppa’s words, “a vid is a visual essay that stages an argument.” Coppa calls Star Trek the first narrative where vidding really became developed, and through the use of of vids, Star Trek was able to impel female fans to take on not one, but two positions of a role: the desiring body and the controlling voice of technology.

We see a lot of “vidding” in mainstream culture today, specifically thanks to the website YouTube. The article discusses a lot about how vidding is used specifically with women so I wanted to find an example that illustrated that case. Take the “recut” trailer of Pretty Women:

The vid opens up with darkness and prostitutes working the street corners automatically evoking a dangerous emotion within the reader. Julia Roberts is portrayed as a prostitute who does drugs and in apparently in so deep that she is willing to do ANYTHING for money- and Edward pulling up in his car is the guy to make her do this. Instead of asking for directions because Edward is lost, we simply see Julia Roberts stepping into his car looking for "a good time." The vid is recut to make Edward out to be the bad guy who is "making her stay with him," when in the regular clip we know she WANTS to because he is so sweet to her. Roberts' screams of happiness here are cut to seem like screams of agonizing pain and horror. Where there is usually happy and uplifting sounds, we hear suspenseful music and horrifying music. Although there is no impending danger or scary acts in this movie, this video is cut to evoke different emotions and hence, a very different portrayal of this female character. It's very interesting- check it out!

1 comment:

  1. OMG... hahaha. this killed me. sooo funny!