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Commentaries on this Media!

Tell a Story with Husbands

by Videographic Criticism

This storytelling exercise asks participants to select a continuous video sequence from their media object (three-minute maximum, although they could manipulate the clip’s duration) and tell a story over it. What kind of story? That was up to them to decide. But as we all know, telling a story successfully demands attention to vocal delivery.

Melanie Kohnen, whose media object was the web series Husbands (YouTube, U.S.A., 2011–), sang a nineteenth-century German folk song, ‘Horch was kommt von Draußen rein’ (literally, ‘listen to what’s coming in from the outside’). It is about someone (presumably a woman) wondering if the noise she hears from outside the house might be the man with whom she is in love. The second stanza suggests that people are gossiping about the inappropriate nature of this relationship and the last line says ‘I can love whomever I want’. There is the marked contrast of this very traditional folk song—one a woman might sing to herself while cleaning—with Husbands, but also a resonance because Husbands’ second season is all about the media criticising the inappropriateness of how Cheeks talks about his relationship with Brady in public, with Cheeks and Brady deciding in the end to just be who they are despite the criticism. In this example, the voice works against the image in a way that made vocal delivery less crucial than the suggestive relation between what was being spoken/sung and what was being shown.

Husbands Storytelling Voiceover

A Videographic Storytelling Exercise Using Husbands

from Husbands (2015)
Creator: Melanie Kohnen
Posted by Videographic Criticism