Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I Will Take You and Leave You Alone


A simple yet profoundly beautiful video for Barzin's "Leaving Time"...

VIDEO: "Leaving Time" directed by Vincent Moon

The lyrics of Neutral Milk Hotel's "Two-Headed Boy Pt. 1" come to my mind almost immediately, "catching signals that sound in the dark/we will take off our clothes...now your eyes ain't movin now, they just lay there in their clouds."

Regardless of how you wish to interpret Jeff Mangum's lyrics, the imagery is salient. Barzin's video for "Leaving Time" approximates a series of similarly intimate exchanges, but in the gradual focusing of the pictures the group also implies a commentary on the progression of intimacy within the entire course of a relationship.

There are a number of different women in this video, six to be exact, and though each represents a separate encounter for whomever the protagonist is, they also slowly meld together until recognizing each separately becomes rather difficult. Furthermore, in the beginning of the video two of the girls seem to be looking directly at each other, as if they are in the same room. In many ways our unseen character remembers his past loves in each of his new lovers, and thus they naturally begin to merge in his mind.

At the same time these women become more and more visible. Moving away from the fuzzy close-up of the initial shot, the director slowly zooms out with each new shot, and simultaneously increases the focus on the camera - literally revealing more with each subsequent camera angle. He also begins with only certain parts of the face (the lips, mouth and eyes) and then moves to show an entire face, which Barzin sings is something we often "hide," even in the dark with a lover.

As time moves forward, we learn more and more about each other. Every time that we see more of these women, we get further and further from them. Barzin begins by expounding on the beauty of the eye, but the song itself is a mournful one about the eventual separation of two people - there is a foreshadowing of this from the opening notes. With each of these women, as the comfort level increases, the true intimacy decreases. Yet while the imposition of sexual desire seems to move people apart and turn them into more physical objects, it is also true that in the beginning all that was visible was a small part of a person.

The ultimate lament of the video is that we are often unable to open ourselves completely until it is too late, and that our timidity in these situations leads to an eventual distance between people that prevents them from seeing each other at all. The video works because all of these women are gorgeous in their own way, and sometimes that isn't visible immediately and other times it is. Even as they move further and further into the distance, it becomes apparent that each is individually beautiful and unique. More than anything we should celebrate this singularity in each other, and instead of fearing it, we should promote it - especially when we are close enough to actually hear, feel and see it.

1 comment:

laily said...

there are no words to describe the feelings conjured by this song and video.

Depth of Focus Videographies: Radiohead / Bjork / Michael Jackson / Bowie