Monday, January 14, 2008

Eminem - Stan (with Dido)

24 comments:

Billy said...

I think that this is a melodramatic video in the sense that the main character (Stan) himself is being melodramatic in what he writes in his letters to Eminem. The video has some melodramatic characteristics in the lighting and colors. The main point seems to be to explain what celebrities go through with obsessive fans, and just to cause the audience to some sort of sympathy for each character, Stan, his wife, Eminem, and even Stan's brother.

charmaine said...

I think this video is very melodramatic. The majority of the video features grim imagery (its always thundering whenever Stan is talking and the last thunderbolt at Eminem’s final realization is especially powerful, any lighting in the video is basically non-existent). The sound of constant rain pouring down and the thunderclaps are foreboding and unnerving. Dido’s voice is especially haunting, which heightens the emotions. I think the song’s argument is not to become so enraptured and obsessed with someone you hardly know and to avoid impulsive and destructive behavior.

Niranjan Kumar said...

This video contains all the necessary tools to be considered melodramatic. The music in the song reflects the mood in the video as well as the lyrics. As eminem sings the lyrics, the video shows Stanley copying all the actions. Further, I liked the transition that the video used in showing the basement. It showed the difference between the sane girlfriend in the house and the crazy mind of Stanley in the basement. Overall, the video followed the entire song, thereby elevating the tone and mood, making it more melodramatic.

Yongwhan said...

Having some critical melodramatic characteristics through music itself, the lyrics, and the accompanying music video, “Stan” seems to be a melodrama; of the many possible definitions of melodrama, the standard dictionary definition will be taken: that is, a melodrama is a work characterized by the predominance of plot and physical action over characterization.

“Stan” seems to fit this definition. There are many evidences of physical actions: first of all, Stanley projects his emotions, particularly his rage, throughout the music video by yelling and throwing papers all over the place. Among many other places, it thunders in a minute and fifty seconds into the music video. The entire scene is taking place in rather dark place, which intensifies the attempts of outpouring emotions by placing the entire story in a rather dark mood. Finally, notice that the primary focus of the lyrics of “Stan” is on the plot, which effectively point out that it is important not to be so obsessive with someone one hardly knows, a stranger. Hence, “Stan” is indeed a work which focuses on plot and physical action rather than characterization.

Tommy Gruenewald said...

Without a doubt, this video is very Melodramatic! It juxtaposes the miserable life of an obsessed fan with Eminem's life as an influential rap artist. The presence of rain throughout the entire video is a metaphor for the internal struggle that the fan, Stan, is having with himself, his relationship, and life in general.
The hate that Stan is feeling as he drives through the pouring rain is also very melodramatic. He is screaming into a voice recorder "going 90 on the freeway". The imagery of his girlfriend helplessly screaming in the trunk is also melodramatic.
This is the first time that I have seen this video, but I have heard the song more often. I can't even believe that they are aloud to show such a hateful video on TV/Internet. Anyways, it is definitely melodramatic!

Richard said...

I would consider the video for "Stan" by Eminem to definitely be melodramatic. All of the elements of the video including the darkness, the rain, the screaming, and even Dido's voice in this work culminates in a very dark and powerful video. In addition, the way Eminem portrays himself as an insanely obsessive fan makes it ironic that this fan named Stan is actually idolizing Eminem himself. This similarity adds to Stan's claim that they really are both very similar people.

Adri Campos said...

The video and the song are perfect examples of melodrama. The video conveys a story in a gripping manner— exaggerating the emotions and events. Eminem uses Stan as his chief tool in conveying this extreme emotion; Stan is not only a fan but a fanatic with a room full of Eminem’s posters and a dangerous tendency to act out Eminem’s fictitious lyrics. The video is another means by which Eminem conveys the emotion of his lyrics. From Stan replacing a picture of his girlfriend with Eminem’s to the scene where the girlfriend is yelling in the trunk, the video is full of intense and emotional events.

Kathy said...

I agree that this video is melodramatic. The music itself is melodramatic, but the lyrics are especially melodramatic. The anger and intensity of the verses builds. The first verse is conversational and pretty normal. The second verse sounds more desperate and Stan curses more. In the third verse Stan is so angry that his lines don't rhyme with the regularity of the previous two verses.

Diana said...

"Stan" is definitely a dramatic video. The combination of video and lyrics allows the audience to see Stan as an obsessive villan (towards his girl) and the girlfriend, baby,and brothers as the threatened characters. Eminem tries to be the hero at the end writing to Stan telling him to get his life straight, but he's too late. The drab colors, the stormy weather and the girlfriend's voice makes the video more on the Gothic melodramatic side.

I think the point of this video is that you never really know who's life you are influencing and you shouldn't easily dismiss people. You should also not become obsessed with something not directly in your life and you should keep your priorities straight.

Nelly said...

I think that the story itself of "Stan" is melodramatic. A story of a super obsessed fan who ends up committing suicide is the epitome of melodrama in the way that it is an extreme version of ideology. The lyrics that Eminem sing have a desperate tone to them, especially at the end when Stan is about to commit suicide and murder in the car. The rain that persists throughout the entire song and the "eerie/gothic" sound of Dido's lyrics as the chorus provide a bleak and depressed representation of the events that are occurring. Together, everything allows the viewer to feel sympathy, awe, disgust...whatever it be, they are able to react to the video.

Mundo said...

Stan should be considered as a melodrama for sevral reasons. The video and the music coincide with the obsessive fan "writing" his letters to Eminem. The Melodramatic characteristics are the excessive conditions that Stan was living with: he lived in a run down house, a pregnant girlfriend (who he obviously didnt love), and clear sign of mental issues. I think that climax was when the girlfriend snuck into the basement and was caught by STAN. As a final farewell, in very dramatic fashion, he kidnaps his girlfriend, drinks, and records his final words. These events are to the very extreme and therefore melodramatic. The point of the music video, in my opinion, was for Eminem to tell a dramatic story that overexaggerates the fact that he has crazyfans that beg him for attention, but he doesnt mean to neglect them.

michelle gumport said...

I believe that this video is melodramatic. The imagery is dark and ominous, as foreshadowing of the grim ending. The thunder and rain throughout add even more to the effect. Stan’s mental instability is only exaggerated by the basement dedicated to Eminem, the ever-growing desperation in his letters, and his mistreatment of his pregnant girlfriend. The end, especially, when Stan drives off a bridge with his pregnant girlfriend locked in the trunk, helps to further demonstrate the degree of his mental illness. He is obsessive and expects Eminem to respond positively to creepy assertions in letters from a guy he has never met. Eminem’s urging for Stan to seek help encourages the audience to view him as the voice of reason with the unfortunate burden of mentally unstable fans. In this manner, Eminem causes us to sympathize with him by showing this melodramatic story.

Pilar Wong said...

I really enjoyed this video- it had incredible melodramatic metaphorical imagery. One example of the melodrama within the video that I loved was that the upstairs of the house was the semi-sane area. It was realistic in the fact that the upper floor wasn´t bright and happy, but gloomy with drab colors. It is clear through this appearance that the reality of their lives are being affected by his obsession. Also, when the girlfriend ventures downstairs, its clear from the fact that she has to sneak down in the middle of the night while he is sleeping that she isn´t accustomed to being in the basement. This shows that the basement is his "obsession area", this is where he truly lets his feelings out.
I believe that the song and video were intended to create an affect on the audience that revolved around the idea that violent songs breed violent acts. Eminem has faced years of criticism that his work is too descriptively violent and disturbing. To me, it seems as if Eminem is attempting to refute these comments by saying that in his lyrics he is an artist, he doesn´t actually do any of the things he raps about.

Jackie said...

This music video is without question melodramatic, and very tragic. Melodramas are supposed to profoundly affect the viewer, and I am currently feeling very haunted/ disturbed/sad. The video is melodramatic due to the technical aspects and plot-line. The sepia/ black and white tonality and thunder, lightening storm aesthetically are dramatic. The story is clearly melodramatic, as it escalates and leads to Stan destroying his basement with a bat, and then himself and his girlfriend. By presenting this story in such a melodramatic way, Eminem seems to warn against such perverse obsession, and suggest that his followers should not listen to his lyrics so closely.

Hillary Lin said...

Everything about this video is melodramatic, but I would say it's within the lines of reality. There are fans out there, especially those of Eminem, who may be acting along the same lines. The music works along with the rhetoric of the video - the lyrics are incredibly extreme and the tonality (minor) adds to the effect. The general feeling in the video is that of anger and sadness caused by the feeling of loss and obsession in Stan.

Hillary Lin

Christine Donnelly said...

I agree that the video is melodramatic. Both the rap sections by Eminem and the Dido sections contribute to this melodramatic effect in different ways--Eminem's angry lyrics combine with the flashing lighting and sinister images to evoke feelings of fear, violence, and hopelessness, while Dido's voice contrasts with the bleak images to create a haunting feeling. I think that Eminem's purpose is to depict the extreme lengths to which his depressed and obsessive fans go, and to show that the actions of his fans aren't really his fault: these people were already crazed to begin with.

michelle said...

I think that this video was very melodramatic in all ways. The lyrics, the visuals in the music video and melody made it extremely melodramatic. This shows the dark side to being a celebrity and that you don't have control over your fans and that they don't have control of their fans.

huey said...

The video is melodramatic in that it portrays what can happen to a person who oversteps the boundary between a fan and an obsessed follower. The melodrama is more in the message of the video itself, that the public seems to have an unhealthy fixation with those in the public eye and puts them up on a pedestal. The video takes this idea and dramatizes it to exaggerate this point. The lighting, thunder sounds, red/black/blue coloring, screams, etc. in the video serves to heighten the effect of the video and its overall message.

Lydia said...

"Stan" is unquestionably melodramatic. Eminem is obviously trying to evoke an emotional response from the audience- the events are so shocking and upsetting it is hard not to be affected by them in some way. Even the cinematography is melodramatic. All the colors are dark and muted, save for a couple of shocks of white- notably the characters' hair. The video also fits with Poe's description of a good story. It even includes the death of a beautiful woman. Eminem seems to be trying to make the story as tragic as possible in order to move the audience and make them see how celebrity worship can go horribly awry. The video, in an incredibly melodramatic way, is warning listeners not to take everything an artist says to heart, and not to blindly worship anyone.

Drew said...

I think this video is melodramatic because it shows, in an excessive light, just how obsessed fans can become and how they can follow an artist's message verbatim. When Eminem said, "I just drank a 5th of Vodka, dare me to drive?" or "I slit my wrists," in his previous songs, he was clearly joking. However, Stan, due to psychotic tendencies out of Eminem's control, accepts these jokes as a way of life. The most melodramatic element of the song/video is how Stan incorporates Eminem's jokes into his own suicide showing, again very excessively, the dark sides of a joke. Finally, the dark and eerie film set enhanced the already melodramatic elements of the song.

Stephanie said...

This song and music video exemplify certain characteristics which are undeniably melodramatic. The entire video is filled with an angry, frustrated tone which makes the viewer feel slightly uneasy. It grows increasingly agitated as the story progresses. The mood foreshadows the horror which concludes the video. With every unanswered letter Stan grows more irrational in his actions until it occurs to him that the only solution to his increasing madness is to end it all. In this twisted logic, melodrama takes hold of events as they unfold. If melodrama is defined as a narrative that makes us feel sympathy for the character involved, then this audio/visual narrative certainly fits the mold. We are compelled to feel sorry for the deranged fan, his pregnant girlfriend, and finally for Eminem himself who feels slightly responsible for what happened.

diego said...

This video is melodramatic. The Stan dude, what a character he is. Seriously. I mean, he took the confirmation bias phenomenon to an extreme, and also the self-fulfilling prophecy theory of psychology. All of his gestures and movements, even the way he wrote on the paper was melodramatic, making huge scratching noises with the pencils. The video elements were also excessive, the amount of rain and thunder as well as the colors used for the background were out of the ordinary.
The song conveys the argument clearly, and it is extensively melodramatic.

Cameron said...

I think that the effect of the duet creates melodrama because it constrasts the anger of Stan with the depression of Dido. Moreover, the video's palette was extremely green creating a sickly feeling to the video. I agree with billy that it does cause a great deal of sympathy to flow to all three characters in the video.

Emily Stark said...

I don't think Stan is a melodramatic song, nor do I think the video is especially melodramatic. Dramatic, of course, especially in the video's color scheme and the contrast of Eminem's lyrics with Dido's. And by Linda Williams's definition of melodrama, Stan definitely is melodramatic, but I disagree with Williams's definition. I think a work is melodramatic only if it has an element of surrealism, if it makes a viewer think "Yeah, right" or "This is stupid," which, to me, is not Stan. I think it's safe to say that for most people the lyrics are powerful rather than silly, and together the song and video make a solid point about the power and danger of celebrity.