Che Fu “Lightwork”

This video is so frustrating to watch. It takes the form of a comic-book story. It’s illustrated with a fairly dark palette so it takes a bit of effort to figure out everything that’s going on. That on its own shouldn’t be too hard for the viewer to overcome, but the video just goes and complicates things even further: it adds subtitles.

It seems to be an attempt to explain the plot of the video. 47 subtitles, to be precise. In both Japanese and English. And a lot of the subtitles don’t stay on screen long enough to be read in their entirety.

The crazy thing is that the plot of the video is clear enough on its own, so the subtitles are pretty much unnecessary. All they do is constantly snatch the viewer’s attention away from the main story. The video might as well have random graphics pop up saying “LOOK OVER HERE!!!!”

But the absolute worst thing about subtitles is that reading them takes mental priority over listening to the lyrics of the song (it’s worth noting that one of the greatest music videos of all time is based around a comic book adventure with no captions or subtitles). So essentially “Lightwork” video has made the song such a low priority that it’s relegated to being a soundtrack to Che Fu’s comic adventure.

Best bit: the 23 second bit at the end without any subtitles.

Director: Shane Mason
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… when to let go.

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