Youth: The MaximumDoubtfulyetGorgeous Moment in LifestylesWritten by capacity of Qing On June 1, 2016Earlier this month, BTS rounded up their popular and acclaimed The Most lovely Moment in Life cycle with the unlock of a distinct album and 3 MVs, bagging wins from all 3primarytunepresentations they carried out on regardless ofthe quick one-week promotion period.
The good fortune of this series stems in section from the stylethe crowd has been advanced since their debut in 2013. From the outset, BTS has been promoted with thematic and stylistic consistency, with a focal pointat the hip-hop genre. Because of their prestige every bit an idol group, their legitimacy as hip-hop artists has been called into question. However, a closer glance at their music unearthsa part of socio-cultural relevance and resistance that characterises hip-hop culture and music. Many in their songs specialise in social problems and critiques, striving to voice the troubles and mind of their generation.
In addition, BTSs releases up to nowhad been following a enlargement trajectory, starting amongstthe faculty trilogy with the name tracks Not more Dream, N.O, Boy in Luv, and Only one Day. Those shifted to a darker, more angsty symbolat risk and War of Hormone. In The Most Lovely Moment in Life series, the team demonstrates more nuance and emotional maturity, without wasting sight of their purposeto prevail in out to their generation.
Given this feeling of improvement and BTSs objective of voicing the thoughts of adolescents, its no longerunexpected that The Most Gorgeous Moment in Life cycle chose to listen on the theme of youth. This isnt the primary fourth dimension in contemporary K-pop history that youth takes centre stage. The theme underpins either one of AkMus albums, Play and Adolescence Vol.1, and well-received pop culture works like the Answer Me drama series and the flicks Sunny (2011) and Twenty (2015). The preferred reception against such works suggests that there'sanything or so youth that continues to fascinate us. What makes youth so attractive and intriguing?
BTS suggests an answer: youth is the most exquisite moment in life. The cycle explores the stories of youth—friendships and relationships, dreams and hardships—in a complex way. The Most Beautiful Moment in Life series balances good looks and grittiness, keeping upa feeling of ambivalence and subjectivity in their portrayal of youth. The result, althoughevery now and then perplexing, is neither overly dramatic nor too romanticised, but striking and poignant.
Much has been done by the fandom to piece in combination the narrative of the I would like U and Run MVs and 화양연화 on level : prologue. In contrast, less has been written about the classy and literary worth of the series. Via examining one of the vital videos and thought photos, I can exist discussing the motifs and picturetactics that the production team have used to increase and remark on the theme of youth.
Many of the motifs and logos in The Most Beautiful Moment in Life cycle have gave the impression in a an identicalshape in other cultural mediums, and the guidelines and messages about youth conveyed here aren't new. But it's milesinfrequent for somebody in K-pop to employ and grow them with such consistency and finesse, to this type of profound and poignant effect.
A closer exam of the visual fabricsshows how aesthetically coherent the cycle is. The 1st video in the series, Comeback Trailer: 花樣年華, introduces a couple of key motifs. Cross-cutting is used to intertwine two sequences: a boy gambling basketball after college and running beyond a river and across a bridge, and a flower blooming. A surreal effect is created by the twilight glow and vacancy of the scenes with the boy, and by the unnaturally rapid speed at which the flower blooms.
Finally, the 2 sequences converge when the boy leaves the realist environment to arrive in the fantasy space, now framed by cherry blossom branches, where the flower is in complete bloom. The instant he stops, the flower wilts, and cherry blossom petals rain down from the sky. These sets of motifs—fast movements, water, flowers, and sunsets—recur in later videos and principlefootage to form a complex, bittersweet portrayal of youth.
Youth is gifted in a complex methodby way ofpictures that raise ambivalent meanings. One quality highlighted is energy—the way youths solidapart reservations and laws to pour their center and soul into what they do, be it having amusing with pals or chasing their dreams. The BTS boys run a lot: through tunnels and underpasses, across fields, toward the sea. But their reason why for running is incessantly unclear. Are they running towards something, or clear of it?
The act of running itself holds contrasting ideas. It'llconstitutepower and resilience, as expressed in the refrain of Run:
Let’s run run run again! It’s adequate to fall down
Let’s run run run again! It’s k to be injured
But at the similar time, running consumes power and pushes the runner towards exhaustion. It isn't a sustainable state that one can repeatedly stay in, and the line Let me run more conveys a sense of desperation to hangdirectly to it.
Fire is some other motif that brings out an identical paradox. It turns out that in more than a few forms: the campfire the ladstake a seat about and the sparklers they play with, the discarded cigarette at the petrol station, and the flames in Sugas hotel room in I Want U; Suga idling flicking a lighter off and on in the prologue video; the piece of paper and the photograph Jimin burns in I Need U and Run; the guy who combusts and the exploding room in Fire; and the flames licking up polaroid photographs in Young Forever. Like running, fire represents energy, but also recklessness and destruction.
Running is not the only realspeedymove that dominates the videos; there are a lot of images of spinning as well. This motif is presented subtly in I Need U: Jungkook is swung in a circle by his attackers; the crane shot of an subconscious J-hope on the bridge rotates slowly as the camera pulls away; and Jin drives a vehicle in circles around Rap Monster and V. It also seems in Rap Monsters verse in the song:
It is goingcircular round, why do I stay coming back
I go down down, at this point, I’m just a idiot
The spinning motif is later used more intentionally to create a sense of chaos. This effect is first established in Comeback Trailer: Never Mind. The video follows a boy, most probably the same one from the first trailer, as he chases after a butterfly. He runs through a tunnel at rapid speed, and the checkered development creates the disorienting phantasm of the tunnels walls spinning in contrary directions.
The images of spinning are additional developed in the birthday celebration scene of Run. In this sequence, Jimin rolls his head back, a toy mouse whirls around on a playing record, and J-Hope waves his arm in a circular movement as his guests wheel him on a wheelchair. The circling movements are blended with Dutch tilts, fast cuts, and a cluttered, dim, foggy setting. The consequence is dizzying, nearly psychedelic.
The BTS contributors act out a spread of issues that adolescents experience: circle of relatives issues, delinquency, physical and intellectual illness, loss, and loneliness. Their narratives are reinforced by the above-mentioned aesthetic and cinematographic choices—ambivalent images that can not be pinned down to either a favorable or a negative connotation, and rapid movements—to painting the confusion that characterises youth.
Youth, the series additional suggests, isn't just marked by the sensation of confusion; an air of uncertainty clings to it. This unsuretemperis continued by quite so much ofpossible choices in cinematography and visible details. The MVs are ruled by gloomy, dark sun shades like blue, grey, and black, or even scenes with brighter colors are muted. The videos are anachronistic, jumbling up pieces of the narrative and dissolving the borders between reality, memories, dreams, and hallucination.
Uncertainty is a quality found inthe selected visual main points as well. The home of cards, a central image, is precarious and unstable, evoking a sense of insecurity. The motif of water recurs and adds to the unease. In I Need U and the prologue video, the BTS boys run towards and appearance out at the sea.
Traditionally, the sea is related with risk and destruction due to the the threat of drowning that it poses to seafarers. In I Need U, Jimin breaks down as the tubin the back of him overflows with water and starts to refill the bathroom. This appears to link drowning with a mental and emotional struggle. This symbolic arrangement is developed in the scenes of V flailing underwater in Run. Vs struggles frame all of the MV, expanding in frequency and franticness as the mood of the video intensifies.
Given the deluge of uncertainty and negativity, what about youth makes it remain the most beautiful moment in life? There are a few chances that give an explanation forthe superb thing about youth, despite the truth that whether they qualify the superlative—most—is ambiguous.
The first explanation the videos be offering is that the pains experienced serve as a reminder of the nice times. Although the MVs are in non-chronological order, they start by appearing the boys in isolation. The prologue tells the viewer that the sequences of the boys together usually are flashbacks. The scenes of the boys having fun together are juxtaposed opposed to shots of them suffering with their afflictions and being beaten by anger, sadness or despair. As the videos blur the lines between truth and the mind, it isnt a stretch to argue that the community scenes are satisfied memories being recalled by each and every of the boys in tricky times. When contrasted with moments of loneliness and despair, the days spent with peerstransform evening more beneficial and beautiful.
The 2nd explanation relates to the theory of transience, expressed by the ordinarypicture of cherry blossoms. The Blooming concept photos in The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Part 1 depict the boys beneath blood-red flower trees in full bloom, whilst the first comeback trailer and I Need U involve shots of falling cherry blossom petals.
Because they are beautiful but short-lived, cherry blossoms are noticedto symbolize how fleeting life is. The Most Beautiful Moment in Life cycle uses them as a symbol of youth, suggesting that youth is in a similar way beautiful but transient. The data that it is going to fade away makes youth more loved in spite of hardships faced.
Just as just right things dont remain forever, so too bad things won't last. This concept is brought out by the motif of the butterfly. The drastic exchange that a caterpillar undergoes to develop into a butterfly has made the butterfly an impressive symbol of swap and rebirth. By putting images of butterflies all throughthe concept that photos and videos, the visual director is likely drawing parallels between metamorphosis and youth—a duration of change for a person—and suggesting that a new origin awaits.
In addition, butterflies normallyseem in Korean folk art as symbols of happiness and prosperity. Although the I Need U and Run MVs are dominated by anguish and pain, the latter concludes with some optimism: sooner than the credits roll, Vs battle ends as he emerges from the water.
The certain note that The Most Beautiful Moment in Life cycle ends on is expressed obviously in the hope-filled EPILOGUE : Young All the time MV. The MV opens with a crane shot of a huge, elaborate maze, an evident metaphor for youth with all its trappings. The camera follows Rap Monster as he wanders throughout the maze; the mist, the austere coloration scheme and the blue tones paintings together to awaken a sense of uncertainty.
When the camera cuts to Jin, however, the mist has cleared up, and the sun starts to shine. Flashbacks to earlier MVs are now captured in polaroids which are in flames, literally taking out fragments of the past from the present. The feathers that float towards Jungkook are a sensible looking callback to the pillow fights in Run, and they appear to trace at the assumption of flight. A match-on-action displays Jimin and V running, this time with a clearer motive than in Run: to get out of the maze. Turning for a lastexamine the twists and turns that he has effectively navigated, V steps out of the maze to check in for his friends. They take off towards the sundown on an unobstructed runway, and an aeroplane takes flight.
Under the flower petals falling down
I run, so lost in this maze
Even when I fall and harm myself
I maintain running toward my dream
Perhaps what is most beautiful about youth is this: knowing that it wont last, and facing adversity, but still having the courage and resilience to triumph over challenges. To be able to hold this spirit into the long term would mean that one can, indeed, be young forever.
(BigHit Entertainment by means of YouTube, Images via BigHit Entertainment, Choi Goun: Flowers and Butterflies – In Very bestCohesion Exhibition, Erika Takeda: Importance of Sakura, Joslyn C: Dragonflies, Butterflies Mythology, Radio Palava: On B-Free, BTS, and the kpop-hiphop nexus, Wikipedia: Hanami)