Death Nature Review

Music Video, 3 min

Death Nature explores the struggle for power after a breakup.

 

Poetically powerful, Lincoln and Wijeratne’s music video is one that explores the complexity of a break-up. They are not straightforward moments of “sadness,” but there is anger, lust, violence, tenderness and so many other emotions that have yet to find a form within the English language.

If one were to describe the music video, Death Nature, by Victoria Wijeratne (composer) and Max Lincoln (director), using just one word, it would be “raw.” From the costume and set design, to Tania Dimbelolo and Patricia Hastewell Puig’s dynamic lyrical dancing, there is an emotional power that tears into the viewer with an unapologetic ruthlessness. While music videos about breakups abound on the internet, there are few that strip these moments down to their naked emotional states and that expose the power struggle that ensues. Death Nature is one of these videos.   

Unlike so many music videos that are framed within a larger narrative (for instance, the singer looking at old pictures of a happier time, or walking in the rain after having ended a relationship), Lincoln’s music video is set within the pure context of desire and despair. We do not know who has done what, who is the victim and who is the perpetrator. There are no lyrics to guide us, to tell us how to feel. And yet, Dimbelolo’s and Puig’s combination of grace and strength presents us with a story of push and pull. It’s a story of a hurt and sexual longing that emanate from within and that cannot be contained within the repetitive movements of our everyday lives.

The brisk and cutting dance is matched with a skillful fast-paced editing, one that often plays with the flashing lights and moving shadows to disorientate the viewer. Although the video is filmed in two distinct settings – one in the outskirts of a city, lit up by a golden afternoon sun, and the other in a veiled red room – it is the latter that best reflects the music and dancer’s energy, and that allows Lincoln to explore the use of space to create this disorientating effect. The draped walls seem to press down upon the dancers, engulfing them in a claustrophobic place of pain that refuses them any form of escape. What I found to be particularly successful were the lightening-like flashes that burst through the red veil, giving the scene a sense of danger and urgency that is notably present in Dimbelolo’s acting. All of this, of course, made to match Wijeratne’s experimental music style, which makes special use of its discordant motif and fierce percussion to instill a sense of discomfort and maybe even fear.

Poetically powerful, Lincoln and Wijeratne’s music video is one that explores the complexity of a break-up. They are not straightforward moments of “sadness,” but there is anger, lust, violence, tenderness and so many other emotions that have yet to find a form within the English language.

This article was written by:

Isidora Cortes-Monroy

Isidora Cortes-Monroy

Reviewer, writer

Isidora has written for various student papers, offering articles from film reviews to opinion pieces that often had Latin American cultural events or productions as the focus of the piece.

She has just graduated from her MPhil in Comparative Literatures from the University of Cambridge, and will be going on to do her PhD in Hispanic Studies in Toronto.

She/Her

This article was written by:

Isidora Cortes-Monroy

Isidora Cortes-Monroy

Reviewer, writer

Isidora has written for various student papers, offering articles from film reviews to opinion pieces that often had Latin American cultural events or productions as the focus of the piece.

She has just graduated from her MPhil in Comparative Literatures from the University of Cambridge, and will be going on to do her PhD in Hispanic Studies in Toronto.

She/Her