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Thread: The Visualettes

  1. #1

    The Road Chronicles

    So, I started this analyzation months and months ago and never finished it.

    It's no secret that Tori's "visualettes" are, for the most part, crap. However, I do believe there is some deep symbology interspersed throughout. That coupled w/ the fact that she was using these visuals as a medium through which to deconstruct her previous concept and "bring it all back home" makes me, if not like them, then at least appreciate them.

    Here's what I found in some of the visualettes. Again, this is not about praising them for their craft or beauty, but about really trying to see what she was trying to do.

    You folks are deep and read into things A LOT. I'm sure some of these symbols mean something:

    Last edited by Fast Horse; 01-01-2011 at 01:09 PM.

  2. #2
    ^ That's what I have so far. ...I love the symbols and ideas and possibilities - I get what all of it means to her, personally - I just wish she had executed it differently. Made it less about her face and fashion, and more about the stories in each song/visualette. Hell, even if she had to go the animation route.

    Nonetheless, there is some crazy shit going on in each vid, regardless of the execution.

    I might finish the above up, though I will admit, I'd have to buy another copy of the LE AAtS, seeing as mine got scratched and lost long ago (I thoroughly enjoy the album, though I don't physically cling to it like I do something like Pele, lol).
    Last edited by Fast Horse; 01-01-2011 at 01:12 PM.

  3. #3
    :: dutch oven :: wout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Horse View Post
    there is some deep symbology interspersed throughout.
    No there isn't. You might want there to be, just so that they're not completely stupid, but there isn't.
    And even if there is symbology, it's not deep at all, just tacky.
    post28!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Wout View Post
    No there isn't. You might want there to be, just so that they're not completely stupid, but there isn't.
    And even if there is symbology, it's not deep at all, just tacky.
    That's your opinion. It seems as if you're just as capable of reading into things when you want there to be meaning in them as I am or anyone else is; in fact, I think that's the point of this forum and many others, so it's nothing new.

    To you there may be no symbology and, when there is, it may be "tacky", but that doesn't detract from the fact that the symbols are there. Point blank. Whether or not she executed the use of those symbols artistically or even coherently is up for debate (I can usually agree w/ those who'd say "no").

    To say there is no symbology, however, is just plain ignorant (and dull-minded, I might add).
    Last edited by Fast Horse; 01-01-2011 at 02:31 PM.

  5. #5
    Fast Horse- great thread. I'm sure there will be a few interested in this, but yeah. I see these visualettes as nothing more than a vanity project, and an afterthought. I seriously couldn't even be bothered to sit through these and find ANY meaning, much less read about them. My friend and I tried to sit through 'em with a couple bottles of wine and ended up just really losing a bit of respect for her. Some of the shots are great, but holy hell woman, could you be any more narcissistic and out of touch? AND BORING.

    Is her ego really so big that she thought "My fans will sit through nearly an hour and a half of me walking around in couture looking completely devoid of any soul or human emotion. No, seriously, they'll go ape shit for this".

    What she should have done (oh! yeah, i'm going there). Cut AATS down to about 12 tracks, released it with the bonus ADP DVD using this footage and then offered an EP of the rest of the songs as a download or sell the EP at shows.

    What a waste of her fucking money and time.

  6. #6
    :: dutch oven :: wout's Avatar
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    To say there is DEEP symbology is wanting and trying too hard.
    post28!

  7. #7
    so what if i like pretty things Bryan Alan's Avatar
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    I've never been able to sit through the visualettes. There is absolutely no point to them whatsoever. I can't imagine what she thought people would think of them or why she would think anyone would want to watch them. Or interpret them for that matter. Talk about a snoozefest. However, clearly some fans find them worthy. That's beyond me though.
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  8. #8
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    When she first spoke about them (in an Oct.13, 2008 interview in The Independent) she referred to them as "silent films," and in the pre-AATS promo various other things were bandied about (I believe Mike Leigh was referenced in a European interview.) My interest was piqued. I found the footage from the SW DVD not earth-shattering but pleasingly atmospheric and I was hopeful for something genuinely artistic.

    I haven't watched the "visualettes" (gah! that word!) for about 18 months (I think I'll have another go soon), and while I enjoyed some of them and thought there were some nice shots, I think any symbolism or deeper meaning would be purely accidental. For whatever reason the Oakland shows filmed for the ADP DVD have not been released (Tori unhappy with her glittery jumpsuit that day? Wonky wig?) and my guess is that a lot of extra footage of Tori walking around dressed as the dolls was filmed and intended as a bonus for the DVD (or interspersed between songs, a la WTSF interviews.) In the event she decided to put the footage as accompaniment for songs from her new album and shot some last-minute footage to make it up. I cannot detect any arc running through them, nothing feels related, it's just aimless walking around in nonsensical outfits.

    She spoke about putting the money into the project herself. It's definitely the big vanity project of her career. Maybe it did something for her artistically, who knows. But from the outside I think most of us would say that that money would have been better spent elsewhere.

  9. #9
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunter Fartlett View Post
    Is her ego really so big that she thought "My fans will sit through nearly an hour and a half of me walking around in couture looking completely devoid of any soul or human emotion. No, seriously, they'll go ape shit for this".
    I had not thought of it this way, but you're right. I don't know what her thought process was about this, or how she thought people would watch them. I can't understand why they were made unless she last-minute scrapped the ADP DVD but decided to put the footage out there in some way. AATS is not even an album that you would think calls for accompanying films. SW is the one that leaps out to me most on that score, and then obviously the whole ADP concept is the kind of thing that would come alive on a DVD. I think the ADP DVD would have been the best thing, and then use this extra bonus footage on that. Even then I think we'd probably go, "why is this footage on here? I just want the concert!" but better there than on a bonus DVD on the album after.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Cunter Fartlett View Post
    Fast Horse- great thread. I'm sure there will be a few interested in this, but yeah. I see these visualettes as nothing more than a vanity project, and an afterthought. I seriously couldn't even be bothered to sit through these and find ANY meaning, much less read about them. My friend and I tried to sit through 'em with a couple bottles of wine and ended up just really losing a bit of respect for her. Some of the shots are great, but holy hell woman, could you be any more narcissistic and out of touch? AND BORING.

    Is her ego really so big that she thought "My fans will sit through nearly an hour and a half of me walking around in couture looking completely devoid of any soul or human emotion. No, seriously, they'll go ape shit for this".

    What she should have done (oh! yeah, i'm going there). Cut AATS down to about 12 tracks, released it with the bonus ADP DVD using this footage and then offered an EP of the rest of the songs as a download or sell the EP at shows.

    What a waste of her fucking money and time.
    I agree with like 85% of this. And even what I don't agree w/ I can understand (that it was intentionally a "vanity project"; I happen to think that she was/is so insecure, every time it looks like she's showing off she's just tragically showing how insecure she truly is). Where I disagree w/ most fans, is when it is assumed that all of this "vanity" and "showing off" is intentional and not just an unconscious slip based on deep-seeded insecurity and self-hate. That's another thread though.

    I just ask that her intent is noted and that she is given credit, if nowhere else, on that level.

    I like that, even fumbling and bordering on disastrous, she is trying to be sincere w/ this album and during this era. She is so trying not to create a concept, but rather just infuse what she is creating w/ things that really mean something to her, w/o battering anyone over the head w/ it (the only time she does this, as I mentioned above, is when her ego is so beside her, it takes over w/o her even noticing: glamour shots, close-ups, etc.).

    However, amidst all the shit there are some clues on Tori's personal and interior life. And it's refreshing.

    I do agree that not everyone wants to or should have to dig through the shit to get a few gems here and there, but, what can I say, I've had a lot of time and a lot of smoke and nothing but boredom. In my hermit stages, I sit through Tori shit, even the crap, and dig for clues like someone collects butterflies or organizes stamps or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wout View Post
    To say there is DEEP symbology is wanting and trying too hard.
    This is a valid opinion. But if you re-read my post, I wasn't criticizing you for not thinking the symbology deep (that's my opinion and others have the right to there own) - i was criticizing you for claiming there was none at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    Using symbolism doesn't mean you used it well. Additionally, your breakdown of many things in the videos aren't really symbols as much as they are props. Which is fine, that's what they are, but props are not necessarily symbols.
    It's almost as if you're implying a symbol can't be a prop and visa versa... um, ok.
    Last edited by Fast Horse; 01-01-2011 at 04:18 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Soda's Avatar
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    Fast Horse your descriptions are lovely, they make them sound very nice and exquisite and like she incorporated the dolls really well.

    Unfortunately, I don't know if the real things are this good. I've only watched the Welcome to England one and um...your description is much better than the real thing. :P I will say I didn't know she had the dolls in all of them, that's interesting. On paper it doesn't sound bad cause the dolls are supposed to be personal but in reality...!

    I don't mind this at all. Even if Tori didn't intend for them to have all these meaning/symbols you've discovered it's fine with me. I think a lot of us have completely different meanings for Tori songs from the meaning she intended. And that's okay, right? We still give the credit to Tori, we don't criticize her or anything. I'm not really explaining this very well but I think you know what I'm trying to get across.

  12. #12
    For someone who claims to be influence by the great artists, her artwork of late sure comes off as synthetic, plastic and soul-less.

    There's no way of knowing if her constant self exposure is due to insecurity, but it certainly doesn't come off that way. It comes off as incredibly narcissistic. Actually, her constant presence in the visuallettes wouldn't have been so bad had she not paraded herself around in hot million dollar fashion and wigs. "Maybe California" is a prime example. This song is supposedly about a suicidal mother, job loss, economic downfall and here she is driving around in couture. WHO THE FUCK DOES THAT? That bleeds insincerity. It bleeds pretentiousness and makes me want to vomit. It's ugly and vulgar and an exercise in conspicuous consumption. "LOOK WHAT I'M WEARING!" I'm walking down Ventura in a $5,000.00 gown singing about poor mothers!". DIAF.

  13. #13
    A Midspring's Nightmare Rabih's Avatar
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    Do not mind me, but I think discussing the vizuwalets is even worse than the vizuwalets themselves. By doing so, you are giving them importance
    /end of rant.

  14. #14
    Hahaha. Don't encourage them!

  15. #15
    :: dutch oven :: wout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Horse View Post
    It's almost as if you're implying a symbol can't be a prop and visa versa... um, ok.
    A prop can be a symbol, sure, but at that point they stop being a mere prop. Sometimes things just are what they are. You were just mentioning random elements in her movies and dubbed them symbols, just because they possibly could be! If you start doing that, where do you stop..? Not everything has to have a deeper meaning per se. A lighthouse can just be a freaking lighthouse with no extra layer of depth or hidden message. Pip ordering a beer is no symbol. Her daughter is in one of the movies, so what, she's not a symbol! You could start analyzing any episode from Sesame Street that way if you wanted to.

    Like I said before, you're trying too hard.
    post28!

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