“La La La” by Shakira (featuring Carlinhos Brown) was the theme song for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Its music video’s editing effectively enhances the song’s lively, powerful beat. Researcher Carol Vernallis claims music video editing employs quick, noticeable and disjunctive cuts on the beat to emphasize the rhythm of the song (1). The video for “La La La” is a montage of clips cut in time to the song’s rhythm, further enhanced by a very slight offset between image and sound. The dancing, drum-beating and mouthing of lyrics are visual cues of movement that match the rhythm, and thus engage the viewer and maintain continuity throughout the video.

The people and animals running and acrobats flipping behind Shakira exemplify diegetic associational montage, whereby various images are juxtaposed within the same space to convey a meaning. They reflect both the energy of the song and the soccer event it represents. Moreover, the video features many famous soccer players, which can be considered a montage extension via celebrity endorsement. I am not as convinced by the colorful explosions (2:26), nor the ball shattering ‘glass’ (2:49), because these images appear to be more obviously computer-generated, which I think detracts from the nature-oriented, tribal themes in the video.

Generalizational montage is also applied, whereby the sequence of images of faces, bodies and flags of several nationalities conveys that “everyone” is involved. This successfully communicates the world coming together for the event, united by this common goal (pun intended).

Works cited:

(1) Vernallis, Carol. “The Kindest Cut: Functions and Meanings of Music Video Editing.” Screen Vol. 42. No.1. (2001): 21-48. Print.


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