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Hozier - Take me to Church

Hozier’s “Take me to church” has a circular narrative as at the end of the music video the fire
is shown with the box being thrown into it, this theory was suggested by Tzvetan Todorov
that something has lead up to this event and usually will show what has happened
throughout the narrative of the video according to Noam Chomsky, narrative is extremely
important throughout the video as it is a way in which the audience are able to process and
understand what is going on therefore meaning that the music video is more appealing to
watch. The scene with fire in is also shown throughout the music video with a particular
editing style known as “Cuts” or “Flashes” therefore suggesting to the audience that these
specific actions are in fact leading up to this part even though at this point the audience do
not know why there is fire or the significance of it this still works effectively because, fire has
clear connotations of violence, danger and even death suggesting a non-pleasurable
outcome for the protagonist. This also acts as an enigma code as you see the box be thrown
onto the fire and it makes the audience wonder “What is in the box?” shown at 0.10 this
theory was suggested by Roland Barthes as it intrigues the reader to follow on in the music
video to the end.

At points 0.36 there is a clear link between lyrics and visuals as the lyrics read “Only heaven
I'll be sent to, is when I'm alone with you” this theory was suggested by Andrew Goodwin
who suggested that lyrics and visuals can work together to amplify the music, therefore
giving clear meaning to the audience to what is going on in the narrative.

At points 0.40 - 0.43 you see a character staring at the two protagonists with the lyrics “I was
born sick. But I love it” This point clearly has links between visuals and visuals to what they
are doing is “sick” and at this point clearly supporting Levi - Strauss’s theory of Binary
oppositions therefore creating an imbalance with good and evil therefore driving the narrative
forward.

As the narrative progresses at point 0.50 you can see the protagonists smoking, this has
connotations of stress and danger therefore suggesting to the audience that something is in
fact about to happening

At points 1.00 to 1.03 you see a crowd of masked people marching together, then through
parallel editing it is clearly shown that the character is packing his bags with clothes. This is
a clear action code, suggested by Roland Barthes, that there is something about to occur
and alerts the audience to the danger that is soon to follow.

At points 1.54 it is shown that a plane is above them, clearly show through the camera
technique of a tilt. However this is also an eye line match as the characters are looking up at
the plane simultaneously, therefore suggesting that there characters are somewhat envious
of this and leads the audience to think that the characters do in fact want to get away from all
the danger. Through the manipulated narrative after this scene you can see the “evil”
characters are holding a Molotov aimed at the protagonist’s house. This creates a somewhat
cause an effect feel to the narrative, that the characters specific actions have caused this.

However to the audience it doesn't seem as if the protagonists have actually done anything
wrong therefore strengthening the enigma code to make the audience ask the question
“what is happening?” What is particularly interesting about a Molotov being used is that fire
can be associated with cleansing, this a very stereotypical prop used in a horror movie to
“Burn” or “Destroy” the “Virus”, “monster”, “alien” etc.… Therefore suggesting to the
audience that this homosexual couple are actually dangerous and bad. This may seem
strange to the audience as homosexual couples are widely accepted in modern day British
society however through the mise-en-scene and the black and white colour scheme it is
clearly not a British society, black and white having connotations of being “Old” and being in
the “past” is strengthened by stereotypical iconography.

At points 3.36 you see the character being dragged away with the lyrics playing “When the
ritual begins” therefore the lyrics amplifying the visuals therefore amplifying the action codes
that something is in fact about to happen.

At the end of the music video the fire is shown then a cut to a long shot of the protagonist in
the foreground who has raised his hands above his head once he had seen the box been
thrown into the fire via a point of view shot. This shows that he is in fact distressed over the
box being destroyed rather than his partner being beaten up. Therefore at the end of
the music video never answering the enigma codes.