Monday, October 10, 2011

Skullzie's Review: Witch in the Woods

Ok...not exactly a Goth club event review, but rather a music video review.

This newly released video is for a song called "The Witch in the Woods," created and executed by a certain Tommy Brunett. Now, at first, upon listening to the song by itself, you will start to think to yourself "Hey...waitaminute... this kinda sounds like the opening theme song to True Blood!" And you would be somewhat right...the style is very similar to Bad Things by Jace Everett, granted. However, this particular type of dark and gothy countryfied music is gaining some rather well deserved momentum as of late. It's dirty, gritty, and raw, while trying to distance itself from the sugary sweet more popular mainstream heartland music (à la Taylor Swift). your mind, as you look at this video, you will settle on the notion that what Jace Everett is to Vampires, Tommy Brunett is to Witches...and then just enjoy the ride (in a black Cadillac) from there.

The Art Director of this video, and also starring as the Witch, is none other than the ever-talented Tré, whom some of you may know while she was living and working in N.Y.C. a few years back. The art direction, through her eye, is spot-on here, even though she had to work with what has now become  the new cliché of moody and dark music videos: a woman, dressed in a cloak, wandering mysteriously or lost through the woods. But what else could you really do here? It's the title of the song! It's a Witch in the Woods! But see, that's where the creative craftsmanship really took my by surprise here...different elements and visuals all interplay to wean you away from the stereotypical imagery, especially at the song's midpoint where the tempo kicks it up a notch. Fire, candles, rose petals, crackled doll, guitar, car, more guitar, etc., are all expertly woven together and do, in fact, portray the simple story behind the lyrics.

Unlike the the opening credits to True Blood (which, let's face it, has become the official/unofficial "Bad Things" music video), Witch in the Woods isn't beating you over the head with an onslaught of jittery images. At certain points it does soften its pace and photography to allow you to experience the beauty behind it. Who wouldn't want to throw this witch in the back of a black Cadillac, drive to Memphis and let a dark love grow?

The black and white imagery is stark and angular, which in some weird way conjure up pictures of a young Johnny Cash and firearms in my mind. The softer, more sepia and earth-toned images are a welcomed contrast and lends itself to the intent of the direction, under Denver Miller, to juxtapose the serenity and independence of the witch against the frantic desire and impatience to posses her -- the wild bonfire being the desire, the black car representing speed and distance away from the woods she calls home. Meanwhile, the witch's fire comes in the form of tall and linear taper candles which she dangerously plays with, while the structure of rituals, symbols, and artifacts give her more depth and a lovely sense of mystery.

There is no reason why Witch in the Woods couldn't be turned perfectly into an opening theme song to a television series or even a feature length film in the future, but before then, the images and pathos captured in this video certainly paves the way to more commercial means. Color me very impressed, considering it was a low budget video...but don't take my (film student geek) word for it...see for yourself....

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