Francis Lawrence and Dave Meyers
This chapter addresses questions of music video authorship through an analysis of two directors. Dave Meyers’s work succeeds through semiotic overload, sometimes overturning viewers’ expectations about sexuality, gender, and race. In his “Bombs over Baghdad,” Outkast frolics among some of the most stereotypical images of blackness—gospel singers in purple robes, blaxploitation’s dancing heroines, even orangutans and chimpanzees. But perhaps Meyers’s imagery against these songs creates new meanings. Francis Lawrence’s classical and restrained attention to a song’s musical surface, on the other hand, and his concern with the history of visual representation within music video, provides a counterpoint to Meyers’s work.
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