Regis College Senior Honors Program
Thesis - Open Access
Number of Pages
Enter the cultural identity of Generation X in the form of the band Nirvana and their soon to be iconic front man in the appearance of the video for their single "Smells Like Teen Spirit": The video is a typical live session by the band while they play to a gym of teenage kids. Throughout the video implements distort the scene, including smoke and moving lights, which shine directly into the camera at times, a good visual representation of the music: a structurally typical pop song that is played with the heavy distortion of metal and sung with the quiet verse and loud chorus of a Pixies song by a man who screams with the anger and angst of a punk rocker. At the beginning of the video a group of cheerleaders wearing black uniforms with a red anarchy symbol stitched across their chest perform robotic movements in an attempt to entertain extremely still and disengaged youth. Throughout, the video contains closer and closer shots of the band, smoke billowing in front of them, hair hanging in front of their faces, constant head banging and throwing of their bodies combine to distort the image, the antithesis of disengagement. Through the song the kids become more involved; they come out of their sleep and enter into this distorted reality with a sense of clarity. They begin moving to the music, slowly rising to their feet and crowd surfing. By the end of the song the crowd has moved to the floor of the gym intermingling with the band in a mosh pit. Slowly, while the song builds to its almost violent end, the cameras come closer as the crowd and the band become one in their seeming anguish and anxiety. The video ends with the camera moving rapidly between alternate shots of the youth and lead singer Kurt Cobain screaming in distress, "A Denial".
Date of Award
© Anthony Lechuga
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Lechuga, Anthony, "A Grunge Philosophy, Or: How I Came to Speak a Sub-Cultural Vocabulary Negating Social Binaries" (2009). Student Publications. 501.