Goldie: inner city life
The music video for “Inner city life” shows a representation of life in an urban society. The music video illustrates the different problems and situations people in the urban society are in. The music video begins with an establishing shot of an urban estate full of tall apartment buildings. The buildings are shot from a high angle shot suggesting that the people living in them are vulnerable and seen as inferior to society, this would especially be a Marxists opinion as they believe that this is how people from less well of backgrounds are represented by the media. The dark lighting of the shot suggests that life is hard and dull for the people living in this urban estate.
We then cut to a mid-shot of a female singing the lyrics of the song; this shows the audience that this music video is also performance as well as narrative based. We then cut to a family which is possibly living in the urban estate’s kitchen. We see a woman who is possibly a single mother very stressed doing the dishes, with her kids in the background. There is then a cut to the gas meter and then back to her. This is may show that this lady is having problems paying her bills, which makes sense of her stressed out body language. The kids in the background along with the sombre music invite the audience to sympathise with this lady. The high angle shot she is shot from may symbolise that she is inferior in society because of her working class background.
Next, there is a cut to a youth wearing a hoody, which some may believe is a stereotypical representation of youths, as they are being represented negatively. Marxists would say that this representation of the youths is what the masses also believe in, as this is how youths are represented to mainstream audiences. We then see the youths playing basketball and not being a nuisance which subverts the stereotypical representation of youths. There are then cuts in between scenes to the female singer performing which remind us that this is also a performance based music video. There is then a cut to another youth who looks vulnerable which subverts the stereotypical representation of youths. This shows that this music video is trying to give a positive representation of people from urban estates, for this reason Marxists would say that this music video is good.
The next shot shows a BMW convertible in the urban estate. This car stands out as it does not fit in with urban estate, the dominant belief would be that this car belongs to a drug dealer but as this video is subversive some may be lead to believe that the driver is just passing by the estate rather than living there. There is then a semi-circle pan of the camera to show the car; in this pan we see the driver and passenger disappear this may suggest that drug dealers do not last long in this estate.
We then cut to a clubbing scene which is stereotypically represented as a place where people would be taking drugs and drinking especially in an urban area. But in this music video we see that it is just a place where the people in the urban area are just coming to enjoy music. There is an item which we cannot see at first, being passed around the club. At first the audience is lead to believe that this may be drugs but as the music video goes on we understand that this is a cd, which further reinforces the idea that the people in this club are there to enjoy the music. It also once again represents the people in the urban estate positively. We then see a series of shots showing people we have previously seen such as the mother struggling to pay her bills. One of the shots are interesting as it shows a kid riding his bike from a long shot which is shot behind bars, giving the effect that the kid feels imprisoned.
The editing technique shot reverse shot is used to show a woman in her bed and the vinyl player spinning a vinyl cd. The connotations of the vinyl CD spinning around could be that this woman’s life is repetitive and dull. We also see a shot showing two old men smiling showing that all is not bad in this urban estate and that the older generation have good memories of this area. Following this shot we see a rundown car being burnt possibly to remove evidence as it may have been stolen by someone on the urban estate. This shot acknowledges that there are some problems in the urban estate but not to the extent the masses are lead to believe.
A bird’s eye view shot is used to show a female on her bed who we have seen before from earlier shots. We see a female unable to sleep properly possibly because of pressure as this is a word we here repeated in the lyrics. We see a young child appear and then disappear and then we see a male appear and then disappear. The young child may be the woman’s child who she is struggling to look after, hence the reason she is struggling to sleep. But the significance of the male cannot be easily interpreted; most would probably believe that it is the father of the child who is no longer there to support the child and women. This shows the difficult situations that some people in the urban estates have to live in.
Overall, the “Inner city life” music video gives a positive representation of people from urban estates. It can also be said that this video is subversive and goes against stereotypical representation of people from urban estates. Marxists would say that this is a good video as it represents people differently to how they are represented to mainstream audiences. The video represents youths and people at the clubs positively, even though this may not be stereotypical representations of these social groups.