Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Siren, Part 2: Let Me Enfold You

The very same year that Elizabeth Fraser sang her songs to the Siren and Lorelei, she also was seen singing the eternal classic "Pearly Dewdrops Drop" in this video. This is my Cocteau Twins, from the period when they alchemically recombined post-punk hammering and piercing, otherworldly yowling to bring ecstatic, gut-ripping beauty into this miserable world. I could listen to this song for the rest of my life and not get sick of it.

Startlingly, the imagery summoned by "Song to the Siren" and "Lorelei" is made manifest here. Fraser is repeatedly seen as a spectral figure hovering over the water, summoning the men on the shores to swim with her in the ancient and eternal waters forever and forever, so mote it be.

This shot is like something from a King Arthur picture, with Fraser as the Lady of the Lake. Yet the cuts go by so quickly you don't even notice the juxtapositions.

Time and again Fraser's image is superimposed on water, or on mythological figures such as saints or angels.

The juxapositions the director creates using fades and dissolves in this video create the impression of a narrrative. At 2:06 he zooms in on a fish in the stained glass, the next second he zooms in on a woman's face, then fades in on Fraser.

I wonder what he was getting at?

In the end, what the director seems to be saying with these overlaps is what nearly every receptive individual was thinking at the time:

"This chick ain't from around here."

Astonishingly, this homemade video draws upon the very same themes. Though not quite as smoothly as in "Pearly," Elizabeth Fraser's face is dissolved back and forth into the image of a dolphin. These things just seem to take on a reality of their own, don't they?

Next: Jeff Buckley seeks out the Siren....

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