such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (m: merlin/arthur [destiny | threelayers])
Amy ([personal profile] such_heights) wrote2009-09-16 10:54 pm
Entry tags:

VID: Handlebars [Merlin]

Handlebars
edited by [personal profile] such_heights
fandom: Merlin
music: Flobots
spoilers: Season one only.
summary: "What would that solve? That would make me a murderer. That would make me as bad as him."
download: @mediafire [43MB .mp4]
stream: below
notes: Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sunnyrea and [personal profile] kel_reiley for audiencing, and [personal profile] avendya for the beta and general support. If you're having trouble playing the file, I recommend VLC.



"If you had, you know, the choice, what would you do? If you had the power over life and death over Uther? Would you kill him for what he did?"

"No."

"No?"

"What would that solve? That would make me a murderer. That would make me as bad as him."

-- Gwen & Merlin, To Kill The King

Indeed, Gwen. Indeed.


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gorgeousnerd: A cartoon Batman from "Batman and Sons" holding his baby Terry, smiling and whistling. (Batman.)

[personal profile] gorgeousnerd 2009-09-16 10:05 pm (UTC)(link)
I'll admit, at the beginning of the video, I thought the song was too specifically modern to work for a Merlin fanvid. But when the song really took off, it clicked for me, and I really enjoyed it. You really have a gift for telling a story through vid form.

woldy: (Default)

[personal profile] woldy 2009-09-16 10:09 pm (UTC)(link)
This is lovely. I've watched it twice & I'm still working my way through the layers, but I love the progression from the playful dynamics between Merlin & Arthur at the start to the darker themes in the series, and Gwen watching Morgana leave. You've chosen great clips for the song, which really draws out the tensions in Arthur and Merlin's powers - the ability to command loyalty in the cause of justice and yet the constant threat they exercise.
shewhohashope: moonlit forest/blossoms (Merlin: Nimueh)

[personal profile] shewhohashope 2009-09-16 10:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow. I've watched this about five times in a row, and it's more disturbing every time! I'm really dense about processing visual information, so it did take me that long to even begin to understand what it was about.

The repetition of the 'look at me!' refrain and how develops from childish boastfulness into something darker. Gah. I only wish Gwen could have gone with Morgana at the end, it's clearly a boy's club on top everything else going on.

[personal profile] ravenflight21 2009-09-16 10:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Thought-provoking and chilling. I really enjoyed it.

How I See It

[personal profile] ex_spacecadet931 2009-09-16 10:36 pm (UTC)(link)
The song throws me out of the setting a little, but I think that it's really because I'm comparing it to a Doctor Who video I once saw and I keep waiting for global destruction at the end and emo Tennant, hehe.

Hahaha, Arthur jumping around at the beginning being all boyish. I should not be giggling.

"Look at me, look at me" and Arthur opens his arms all arrogantly, like a little boy. Perfect.

"I can show you how to do-si-do" Arthur giving Morgana his arm. Hahahaha, oh Arthur. I think she already knows.

"I can take apart the remote control and I can almost put it back together". THIS SHIT JUST GOT REAAAAAL. Sorry. It's a really perfect place to put this scene, even though I never would have thought of it. Like the remote control is his life (or life, period) or control over it or something. Ugh, jealous.

"I know all the words to De Colores" Ahahaha, it looks like Arthur is bragging about this to Lancelot. Thank you for that moment <3

I love that "and I'm proud to be an American" is when Arthur puts on his helmet in sexy slowish motion.

"...me and my friend..." I love that it's him and Merlin. I mean, obviously, but still. They saw a Platypus = GIANT MONSTER. "We made a comic book" and there is Gwen clapping with a '...I hate that I have to clap for this shit' look on her face.

Also love that the rhythm part was about his fighting prowess, I would have had little idea on how to handle that.

Nimueh looking directly at the audience was a nice transition to the more serious aspects.

Yay, Merlin's turn. Being generally adorable and all magicy.

"Me and my friends understand the future" Oh Haaaaaay hbic Morgana. This is a perfect time to see you in your awesome clothes with apt lyrics.

"I can lead a nation with a microphone" I love how this demonstrates the few times we've been able to see Arthur's ability to lead and that it makes it feel so potentially WRONG and awesomely horrific. And now Merlin with his splitting of molecules, and how benign that seems when Arthur can raise armies, even though Merlin's powers will still put the fear of god in you.

The musical breakdown with the ladies and the boys. In my interpretation, it seems like the representation of women here is positive, putting the boyos in a questionable light. I'm fine with that, I find it interesting. They (the girls, that is) are the ones who are forced to deal with the emotions before battle, to hand them their sword and feel powerless, only able to try to turn them with words, to cry when they come back dead.

Morgana's nightmare shots leading up to the climax was very epically and subtly done. The horn as Arthur is crowned makes it seem, again, pretty sinister. Oooh, nice.

I think it's telling that at the peak of the music, Arthur is in his war gear and Merlin is shown with the potential of the words that he "could let them all die" or "have them all killed".

Then the prison part. Oh, Arthur. "I could make anybody go to prison - just because I don't like them and I can do anything with no permission" That this is what he could become, what it seems Uther will become - that's really the horrific part of this. Poor Morgana. Again, I think that the guys are being painted in harsh reality here. Death of the Unicorn seems fairly poignant at this point, too.

"I could end the planet in a holocaust" Yes, Arthur, you could. Hello, again, swords and Merlin's ridiculous magic and Nimueh's triumphant look. Morgana looks horrified and then everyone exploooodes.

And the gentle music comes back and the girls are there, dealing with the reality of the situation and the emotional, human consequences of the things that the boys are doing.

I would walk the fuck away, too, Morgana.

[personal profile] meri 2009-09-16 10:39 pm (UTC)(link)
First I must admit I fell in love with this song because of Doctor Who vid by Flummery, and after I saw what you were doing, I consciously decided to put that aside and try to view your vid without preconceived notions. But her vid was my introduction to the song, and I have strong associations between the two. The song, Handlebars, is such a great song about the growing into power and growing abuse of power, and I was expecting this to be about one person (Merlin, Uther, Arthur). Instead it's about Camelot, and the ease and friendship, but also the very dark aspects.

I've always listened to the song as a linear narrative and I like how you took the first two verses to show Arthur and Merlin growing into/discovering their own power instead of starting in on darker aspects of the show right off in that second verse. Mirroring Gwen/Merlin and Arthur/Morgana scenes during the horn bridge and adding in Uther and the nightmares at the end, really flipped the tone of the vid, which makes sense since that's when the song truly flips as well. For me that bridge is the difference between growing into power/ growing abuse of power themes in the song and your editing there made the juxtaposition with the last part of the song even more pronounced.

I’m also a little bit in love with your use of prattish, laughing Arthur from the first episode centering around the very dark use of the lines “And it feels so good to be alive and on top.” Something, out of context, that looks as fun as the lines sound out of context, but place them both into the song and the show and they are much darker.
heathershaped: (Merlin: Angel/Katie)

[personal profile] heathershaped 2009-09-16 10:49 pm (UTC)(link)
That... kinda ticked me off.

LOL. Don't take it the wrong way! Because this vid is so brilliant, and I loved it, but yeah. Really makes you think about the message the show tries to send about when it's okay to use magic and when it isn't, when it's all right to kill people and when it isn't. Things can spiral out of control very easily when you're completely confident in your rightness, no matter what you do.

I love the shift in tone and thought it fit really well with the way the song shifts as well, and your editing is awesome.

And oh, oh, girls. ♥ Sometimes I just want to get them both the hell away from there before things go arseways.
youarefree: (lost: juliet braid but you punch above)

[personal profile] youarefree 2009-09-16 10:50 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm another one of those people who was thrown off a bit because the only context I've heard this song in has been that Doctor Who vid, which was specifically about one character. So, I'll admit I was confused at first. I expected it to be entirely about Merlin or possibly entirely about Uther, but not really about everyone. Once I put that behind me, though, I did really like it. Great job!
iambickilometer: (femmeslash otp)

[personal profile] iambickilometer 2009-09-16 11:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Holy shit. That was... intense.

It took me a while to understand what you were getting at here, but when I did it blew me away. And Gwen, at the end, being the one who sees what's going on, with Arthur and Merlin too caught up in themselves and Morgana simply getting out... it's a dark twist to the Arthurian legend, and a fascinating one. I'm really curious; what was your inspiration for making this vid?
purple_smurf: Lilacs and the text "how do they rise up" (Default)

[personal profile] purple_smurf 2009-09-17 12:01 am (UTC)(link)
About to watch it again.. and like a few other people have said, I was kind of put off by the song. I usually avoid vids using this song due to the Doctor Who kind of definitive use of it, but this was... wow. I chose to watch this because I know your vidding would be able to make me forget Doctor Who, and boy did it ever. Will be downloading when my broadband goes off-peak again (15min was just enough time to get the stream right, not enough time to download it all) but this was as amazing and as disturbing as any vid using this song should be.
blacksquirrel: (#1 Ladies' Detective Agency)

[personal profile] blacksquirrel 2009-09-17 12:26 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for this! I've been thinking along these lines for awhile now.
lotesse: (sad!Gwen)

[personal profile] lotesse 2009-09-17 12:30 am (UTC)(link)
that? that is a lovely bit of argumentation. and so so so pretty!

[personal profile] oddsbobs 2009-09-17 02:59 am (UTC)(link)
Ok, so I haven't read the comments yet which means I"m probably going to repeat what others have said, but...

Wow. At first the music and the show didn't quite mesh in my head, but about half-way through I suddenly got it. It was deep and disturbing in a way I hadn't anticipated. There's the good bits - all the good things like justice and helping people and all - and then there's the really disturbing (I keep using that word!) bits that we don't really talk about in Merlin fandom.... they kill people, sometimes without really pausing to think about it. And the music? Makes you wonder how deep they could go. Especially as it seems Gwen and sometimes Morgana are, here, the things that keeps them in check. What happens when their influence leaves? And I'm sure there's even more layers to it that I'm not getting from just one viewing.

Brava!

[personal profile] oddsbobs 2009-09-17 03:09 am (UTC)(link)
Okay, after reading the comments... I just have to let you know that I came into this having no clue whatsoever what the song was. I am unfamiliar with Dr. Who fandom, so didn't recognize it from that.
hollywoodgrrl: &rarr; marylou_gr (Default)

[personal profile] hollywoodgrrl 2009-09-17 03:13 am (UTC)(link)
First of all, YAY I'M GLAD YOU FINISHED! Second of all, I totally love the idea of like every fandom having a vid to this song! Because each one that's made is different, and uses the song specifically and it's just so interesting. I like how you've divided it by sexes, since within the context of the show sex is very important. So yeah, the way you structured the vid fits very well. The fact that the song is so modern didn't really matter because you made it your bitch. FABULOUS!
ext_29272: (Default)

[identity profile] sunnyrea.livejournal.com 2009-09-17 03:43 am (UTC)(link)
:-) Saw the little changes at the beginning also realizing how much I like the "I can keep rhythm with no metronome" going with Arthur and his sword.

And ooooo really like the added sort of 'good byes' for Morgana with each one of them!

I swear, I like this more every time I watch it!
obsessive24: (Default)

[personal profile] obsessive24 2009-09-17 06:12 am (UTC)(link)
It's always been a fascination of mine that Merlin as a show is so antiseptic in its general lack of blood in visuals (except for a little bit in the s1 finale), and yet so blasé when it comes to the moral implications of killing. I thought that was expressed really well through this vid. Thank you for sharing!
ext_17679: (Default)

[identity profile] netgirl-y2k.livejournal.com 2009-09-17 06:30 am (UTC)(link)
So I saw this and went: How on Earth would you even make a Merlin vid to Handlebars?

Which was silly of me, because this is clearly how you'd do it.

I just love the beginning with Arthur and his 'look at me's' and his jumping. And I love the end with the girls when it's all gotten awful. And I love there being Morgana shot to 'me and my friends understand the future.'

Basically I'm rather fond of all of it.
true_statement: Merlin (magic)

[personal profile] true_statement 2009-09-17 07:43 am (UTC)(link)
Fantastic! I'm mulling on it.
yorkshirewench: ([Merlin] Merlin/Arthur colour squares)

[personal profile] yorkshirewench 2009-09-17 08:22 am (UTC)(link)
Wow. That was so bloody impressive considering all the modern-day references in the lyrics. It's a mystery how it works but it does! My favourite bits - 1:48-1:55 when the Merlin/Gwen scenes mirror Arthur/Morgana and the epic build-up to the end of the song. Excellent work!
ineptshieldmaid: Language is my playground (Default)

[personal profile] ineptshieldmaid 2009-09-17 10:05 am (UTC)(link)
oooh...

*stares*
swatkat: knight - er, morgana - in shining underwear (Default)

[personal profile] swatkat 2009-09-17 03:59 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm another viewer who associates this song with one POV, mostly thanks to the Dr. Who vid and also my own conjectures about various characters who fit the song perfectly. So I came in expecting a vid about Merlin alone, and was initially a bit surprised by the POV shifts. But THEN it began to make sense, and wow, what a wonderful job you've done with it! I love the darker twist it puts to Arthur's character, who often gets away uncriticised. I loved the parallel Merlin-Gwen and Arthur-Morgana scenes, and the image of Merlin snatching his hands away from Morgana's grip. I'm not certain if I read the end as Morgana simply walking away (because she can see the future), or a more sinister Morgana walking on a similar path (because of the dying echoes of the chorus). Hmm. Either way, fabulous job. I loved this.

(Anonymous) 2009-09-17 06:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Great video!
The song fits brilliantly; for all that Uther is portrayed on the show as a ruthless king, Merlin actually shows the same ruthlessness and lack of remorse in his killings. And this video explores it beautifully.

nalmissra@lj
evilinsanemonkey: Kiriya standing in the rain, from the back (Default)

[personal profile] evilinsanemonkey 2009-09-17 08:22 pm (UTC)(link)
This worked surprisingly well and you did a really great job with the video :)
fizzyblogic: [Game of Thrones] detail on a map of Westeros (for the love of camelot)

[personal profile] fizzyblogic 2009-09-17 08:41 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow. I - wow. I got to the end of it and immediately had to watch it again, just - wow. (Sorry I am so incoherent! I am stunned by the awesome!)

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