Dreamworlds 3

1 January 2017

Locating the stories and images of music video in a wider context, the film explores how American popular culture, more generally, encourages and excuses men’s violence against women, and argues that we need a wider range of stories about femininity, masculinity, and sexuality. Special Note: This video features images of graphic, sexualized violence. It is important that educators preview the film prior to screening it with their students. It is also advised that ample time for discussion of the impact of these images is allowed at each screening.

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 Do you watch music videos? Why or why not? When you do watch them do you enjoy them? What are some of your favorite music videos? Why do you like those particular videos? 2. Have you ever thought about how music videos portray men, women, and sexuality? What are your initial thoughts about this? How do you think music videos define and portray “femininity”? What stories do music videos tell about female sexuality? How do you think music videos define and portray “masculinity”? What stories do music videos tell about male sexuality?

For example, in Jackson’s now-infamous 2004 Superbowl appearance — which provided our culture with the concept of a “wardrobe malfunction” — where, notes the director, was the censure against Justin Timberlake, who actually tore Jackson’s clothing off? This criticism, he proves, is not proffered because Timberlake was filling a now-accepted role as man-as-aggressor/woman-as-object…. ) Dreamworlds 3, as can be imagined, contains perhaps offensive language, violence, and sexual imagery. Thus, it is inappropriate for younger or sensitive audiences.

In short, though, any real criticism of the film is something like nit-picking. Dreamworlds 3 is an important and useful work. For its study of the interplay between the larger culture and music videos, it is highly recommended for collections that focus on pop-culture; for its investigation on the objectification of people, it is essential for women’s or gender studies; for the deconstruction of narrative and film techniques, it is important in film and media studies; and for anyone at all invested in the debate regarding the media’s influence on culture, it is highly recommended overall.

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