January 5, 2017

The Blaze take on Masculinity I

With just three videos, The Blaze have made a huge impression on the music video world. Helped, of course, by simple but moving electronic tunage, each of their videos follow men who display masculine traits or feelings that many men might feel but be unable to share in public.

VIRILE

The video is simple. With a steadicam, it follows two tracksuited men living in a council estate in a built up city (based on where The Blaze hail from, I would assume Paris) singing and dancing along to ‘Virile’.

However it is so much more than that. Depending on one’s perspective, it can sum up the intense brotherly feelings two friends can have for one another, or even pseudo-homosexual feelings that many straight men (myself included) are so allergic to.

These are two (one would presume) working class men who are able to dance like mad in their living room, touch one another, grab one another, slap one another, and feel completely comfortable.

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The video never makes it explicit whether they are in fact, partners, and leaves it open to interpretation. Being a straight male, I saw it as an intensely close friendship, one I have had probably only with my real brothers, but one you get from spending a large amount of time with somebody.

One thing the video also made me think of is if the genders were switched, and this was two women, whether it would change people’s interpretation. I think in the culture I come from, it is more accepted to see women dance closely like this, and treat one another with a greater deal of physical affection than men, who might do it only in a joking way.

I think it’s a shame I’m not able to do this, or even feel comfortable with somebody thinking I might be gay. The video definitely brought up some questions:

- Why can’t we express real physical affection, male to male?
- Why is being gay and masculine still such a stigma?
- I remember when I became a teenager and my brothers and I would stop playing like this. Was it our parents’ judgement, our friends, our questions about sexuality or what the girls we might like think?

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Food for thought. Let me know what you thought of the video, either by commenting or emailing me at sam@lapazfilms.com

Cheers,

Sam x

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