Music Video Review: BANKS – ‘Better’

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Stunning

With its unsexualised display of nudity and a black and gold colour scheme, the 'Better' video is alluring and powerful.

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BANKS’ video for new single, ‘Better’, is an artful fusion of black, gold and monochrome shots. It’s an alluring feast for the eyes, permeated by darkness: with only the bodies of the video highlighted for our attention.

The American singer quite literally shines in her video. Her body gently convulses as the light fades in and we are able to focus on BANKS, shining in a matte gold paint that covers her nude torso and face. The first lines of the track, “why you so afraid?” do not permit us to see BANKS in full. Rather, BANKS obtains enigmatic status in the video. Visually, things are kept simple to start with. The focus is on the soft movements of BANKS’ body and the effect that it has on the gold paint she is wearing which becomes almost fluid through its relationship with the light.

Golden BANKS’ image is interlaced with monochrome visuals of bodies, their faces kept hidden too. The camera artfully caresses the movements of the nude, at times androgynous body: without objectifying it. Here, we are to watch and appreciate, not to possess. In ‘Better’, nudity becomes something that is not on display, but something that moves fluidly with the music throughout. There’s something vulnerable about the moving bodies, though. At times they occupy a small space in the frame of darkness, but the attention that they command gives them a controlling power over us. The movements of the bodies within the video are timed to the music with precision, heightening their impact and exposing the perfect construction of the video. Multiple exposure is used to map the bodies out against the black background, creating a myriad of identities, before a return to BANKS and the darkness becomes interchanged with the monochrome visual of cracking powder. The texture of the powder moves in a similar way to the gold paint on BANKS’ body, creating a visual representation of the vulnerability of the lyrics.

With its unsexualised approach to nudity, the video for ‘Better’ is artfully captivating and visually stunning.

Watch the video for ‘Better’ below.

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