Closer (Angel vid)

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Vid
Title: Closer
Creator: sisabet
Date: 2003
Format: digital vid
Length: 3:28 minutes
Music: Closer by Nine Inch Nails
Genre: constructed reality, slash
Fandom: Buffy, Angel
Footage:
URL: for download.

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Closer is a Spike/Angel vid by sisabet that premiered at the 2003 Escapade vid show. It predates its more well known cousin, the Star Trek vid Closer by Killa.

Reception:

"Sisabet's Angel/Spike vid – I was hesitant when I saw the song choice (Nine Inch Nails – "I Want To Fuck You Like and Animal"). But I loved the parallel story telling – the use of similar and complimentary scenes of both Angel and Spike to illustrate that the two men are very much alike. The use of the voiceover/sound in the middle of the song was jarring at first and hard to hear. But by the time we got to Angel's repeated line: "I am not an animal" the voice over worked very well – both technically and, of course thematically. I agree with Sandy Herrold who yelled after the vid: "I think I need a cigarette." ~ Morgan Dawn, comments on the Escapade 2003 vid show, posted Feb 26, 2003 to the Vidder mailing list. Quoted with permission.

Vidder's Notes

The vid appeared later in the WOAD Society DVD and sisabet added the following notes:
"So Kita, who runs Slashing the Angel and has provided me with hours and hours of entertainment, innocently asked me to make a Spike/Angel vid to this song, I (also innocently) accepted and spent the next six months tearing out my hair and accosting everyone I have ever met, known, ever, for help. Strangers on the street were not safe. It wasn’t pretty. I could get certain things to work—but the vid as a whole just wasn’t what I wanted it to be. Unfortunately, I had no idea what I wanted the video to be.

This is a problem. And eventually we (‘cause it was really a group process with this vid) arrived at a theme of duality. I knew the focus would be on Angel—because, hey, my vid—but I wanted Spike to also be part of the POV. This is not so much Angel thinking about Spike, as Angel not getting away from Spike, because they are the same, and if Angel is thinking it, then ya better believe Spike is there as well. If Angel feels it, than so does Spike. And, considering Spike becoming souled at the end of season 6—the duality became very attractive to me.

So I had the theme of duality—but I needed more—I needed a story.

The answer was obvious. It even goes back to “In the Dark”—what do they want? What is all this about—what keeps them going if you take away Buffy (and in this vidverse she doesn’t need to exist) and it goes beyond any physical desire—They need forgiveness. Redemption. Closer to God. But—wait. God doesn’t want you. Either of you. There is no redemption—because they are damned. So that leaves only the other.

The voiceovers were a risk, one that I don’t think I would take if I was making this video today, but I remember at the time, they were crucial to me. I wanted them interacting—even when they weren’t on the show. Angel speaks and Spike answers. Angel protests, Spike clarifies. Big huge thanks to my betas who went above and beyond and viewed multiple versions for months: Luminosity, Kamil, Valerie, and Bonibaru.

See also: * Closer vid commentary, Archived version by sisabet (2004)


Reactions/Reviews

The first thirty seconds of this vid had me yelling, "FUCK YEAH!" and the last minute, "Oh my GOD, YES!!!" I don't care if you like the Angel/Spike pairing or not. This. will. blow. you. away. Buffy? Who the hell is Buffy?

I wasn't sure about the dialogue track interrupting midway through (I'm not sure about it in any vid, really), but the second time it comes in, during Spike's "it's always got to be blood" speech, with Angel's "I'm not an animal" cutting between as a refrain, it works perfectly. The whole damn thing is near perfection -- great understanding of Angel and Spike's mirrored journeys, with careful attention to the history of their relationship, both emotional and physical (and I do mean physical).

Also, I want to rhapsodize about the fantastic editing, because I think that provides a good part of the vid's power: quick cuts, quick zoom-ins to effective pauses, visual echoes between the two characters, everything perfectly matched with the music (and come on, this song is Spike and Angel). This is what's meant by "visceral experience" -- this vid gets inside you, pounding in your blood, making you move, making you feel. Awesome stuff.[1]

References

  1. on vids: hesychasm, Archived version