Self Initiated Contextual Reference: ‘Atlas Hands’

October 18, 2011

The video was directed by Helen Downing and edited by Rod Main.

I have decided to use the music video for the song ‘Atlas Hands’ by Benjamin Francis Leftwich as contextual reference. This is because of how the imagery is portrayed: it’s haunting yet beautifully shot.

There is a lot of scenery included in the film; the people are counterparts to the setting. Shots like the one above are what makes the music video eye-catching, as they are composed well within the frame and showcase the pretty setting.

The characters remind me of the children’s TV show ‘Amazons and Swallows’, and how they worked together to play a fantasy game of tribes. The children in the video are putting together a boat for them to sail into the ocean. They play with ropes that they use to tie together the poles and stretch out the netting they’ll use to catch fish; the adult male looks deep into the distance, and there are beautifully framed up close shots of the characters faces where they look both vacantly and innocently into the camera.

For my personal project I would love to incorporate the idea of innocence and play into my story; the shots of the characters looking directly into the camera worked well because it linked the viewer to them – almost as if they were staring at the person watching them in a sort of paradox, creating a closeness to the work.

Panoramic shots are another aspect of the music video I would love to use in my self-initiated project; they create such a sense of people being a part of the setting instead of being the main point in the film.

Lyrics to ‘Atlas Hands’

“Take me to the docks, there’s a ship without a name
It is sailing to the middle of the sea
The water there is deeper than anything you’ve ever seen
…Jump right in and swim until you’re free

I will remember your face
‘Cause I am still in love with that place
But when the stars are the only things we share
Will you be there?

Money came like rain to your hands while you were waiting
For that cold long promsie to appear
People in the churches started singing above their hands
They say “My God is a good God and he cares”

I will remember your face
‘Cause I am still in love with that place
When the stars are the only things we share
Will you be there?

I’ve got a plan
I’ve got an atlas in my hands
I’m gonna turn when I listen to the lessons that I’ve learned”


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