View Full Version : Analysis of the Running to the Edge of the World video

11-05-2009, 04:29 AM
[written Nov. 2, most likely after the video's "test" run]

Marilyn Manson has always focused on bringing different levels of interpretation to his art. His entire body of work is mixed with double meanings and hidden riddles and wordplay. This is no exception to his videos either. What I think is really fascinating is that he made the video for mOBSCENE (in his head) before he even made the song itself, meaning that the visual art aspect of Marilyn Manson is equal if not greater than the music itself.

Running to the Edge of the World is no exception.

Manson continues to reveal his human self instead of painting his emotions through a metaphor. Tour stress, jealousy, frustration, violent lust, all beautifully incorporated into what some people would call a grotesque murder. However, once again discussing different levels of interpretation, it depends on the viewer. This video reminds me of the way he described the Holy Wood artwork. Manson said he found it to be quite beautiful to which I'll bet most people disagree. But that's what's wonderful about art in general: different interpretations.

I'll reserve spoilers until everybody has witnessed it. Feel free to post your analysis and interpretation here.

"...break all of our wings to make sure it crashes."

11-05-2009, 05:34 AM
This is my take having watched the vieo for the first time today:

I just watched it and there are two emotions coming from me, and I hope this is what Manson wanted, if not, it's how I feel anyway.

On the first hand I feel sadness, empathy, at the little boy lost, this man who's emotions are held bare, the lost love, the regret, the despair, hiding behind the veil, almost like a little boy who has searching for forgiveness.

And then revulsion at the scenes in the bathroom, the violence, the disregard for another human being, even when that person has broken your heart. It could be that being a survivor of domestic violence, being hit because I had a leave a relationship where one person's addiction was becoming destructive not just to the love but to the health of myself, is to near the mark.

But then we go back to Manson staring at the camera and despite pain and hurt and anger, he also shares regret, sadness, forgiveness.

A dark and curiously beautiful video.

11-05-2009, 11:13 AM
The video is beautiful, that much is true, and I think there are some ideas in there that are more subtle than you'd assume at first glance. Does anyone remember an interview that Evan Rachel Wood gave to GQ following the release of EAT ME, DRINK ME? Here are some excerpts:-

"We made it [Heart-Shaped Glasses video] for each other. Because that's how we were feeling at the time: Even though ugliness can be all around you, you can literally be in a thunderstorm of blood, if you look past that, it really is just two people holding on to each other. If you're going to have a sex scene, that's what it is. When you're with someone and you're in love, that's usually what happens. It's not always soft. Sometimes it's somebody screaming or whatever. At the end of the video, we're kissing and it's raining blood, and for me, that was one of the most romantic moments of my entire life."

Now, considering both these words, and the phrase "Together as one against all others", I think this video is a response to someone finding blood and screaming "romantic", as Manson tests just how romantic it is when that blood isn't raining from the sky, but gushing from a broken nose --- "I want to smash into your face" / "Watch out your face" --- "Sperm's as cold as ice" / "where they let you come on their faces". Also, Evan saying that it was one of the most romantic moments of her life makes me think that she will be "stained for the rest of her life". Other lyrics from Leave A Scar mimic the Running To The Edge Of The World video and Evan's thoughts:-

"If you're not afraid of getting hurt,
Then I'm not afraid of how much I hurt you"

The book that Manson signs, reminds me of a marriage registry --- "Married to the pain". That also makes me think that there might be deliberate parallel in this film to the Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) video. Manson has on several occasions cited that Smells Like Children is about "abuse given and received":-

"So turn around, walk away,
Before you confuse the way we abuse each other"
"Some of them want to abuse you
some of them want to get used by you"

Also, in Sweet Dreams (relating back to the marriage motif), Manson is wearing a wedding dress, thus embodying male and female and also mirroring the veil that we see in Running To The Edge Of The World:-


In that same video, the "hands on his clock, are starting to shake". Also, consider the light microphone Manson uses. It has been noted on many occasions that this references Ben in Blue Velvet:-


Note how Manson is dressed in comparison, and the use of the light in the face. To further compare, I added some thoughts on Blue Velvet in relation to this era here: Crotchless Wheel Chairs? (http://www.ultimatemansonbible.co.uk/message_board/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1373). Also, were this deliberate, it might help further compound the idea I offered that "blue" can be synonymous with "low"...



The Last Day On Earth
Image Courtesy of Norsefire at celebritarian.co.uk

I perceive the figures in the painting to be standing "at the edge of the world" as it ends. Also, the sea of glittering lights behind Manson in the video put me in mind of the buildings in the painting, and also of the lyrics from 15 [1998]:-

"From the top of Hollywood it looked like Space
Millions of capsules and Mechanical Animals
A city filled with dead stars"

The city seems to be covered in "dead stars" in the background. I think [god]speed has suggested that the "she" we've discussed before, which I proposed as Manson upon mentorship, is once again portrayed here, furthering the notion that "you'll see your star" once she "rushes in". If Evan was Manson's "twin", then is he not killing a part of himself in the video?

"Her mouth was an empty cut" / "Use your fist and not your mouth"

11-05-2009, 11:25 AM
I did actually think about the fact that the sadness and regret is also a depression and a death of it all, or a death of the self. I also found myself focusing on the twinkling lights over his shoulder, or the dead stars as you refer to.

Great analysis again S.D.

11-05-2009, 01:25 PM
If Evan was Manson's "twin", then is he not killing a part of himself in the video?

"Every time I kill you I'm really just killing myself"

11-05-2009, 01:47 PM
If Evan was Manson's "twin", then is he not killing a part of himself in the video?

"Every time I kill you I'm really just killing myself"

Precisely, I think this is something else that [god]speed has referenced, and puts me in mind of the "yourself" discourse between Manson and Evan in the Heart-Shaped Glasses video.

11-05-2009, 08:17 PM
I've already given my interpertation of the video in the news thread, so I won't extemporize on that. What I want to adress is the voluminous amount of people who have just seemed to focus on the brutal climax. I enjoyed watching his facial expressions, and the use of the veil quite a bit. It made the whole feel of the song seem so much more agonizing. Him alone, singing into a hand held camera, while a casualty of his love lay slain in a back room. I've never been a fan of overlayered glimpses that flick rapidly in videos. This one takes its time. You know it is coming, we know what "happened", but you can't disregard the first 4 minutes or so of the video just because it isn't embedded with tons of imagery, and costume changes. It is a bleak, tragic, and poignant confession. I think he captured it perfectly. Sometimes less is more.

11-05-2009, 11:00 PM
Early Portrait of an American Family imagery parallels? Just something that sprang to mind strongly with me:


Image courtesy of archdandy.com

11-06-2009, 03:14 AM
Shangri-LIE, I think your description is perhaps one of the most astute that will be written concerning this video's content. If we compare the composition of Running to its predecessor (or any other Manson video for that matter), Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin'-Geddon, the almost blinding cuts and continuous flashes of Manson's face make it difficult to focus and get an idea of what is supposed to be happening, but here, well I think this might be the most exposure Manson has had in one place or time that we've ever seen.

And INJ, that's also a good comparison, the fact that Manson has been creating images of violence and brutality for years now, even explaining how it was done in his biography, and suddenly it's a new thing? How is this video any different graphically from the shots of him suffocating that girl with clingfilm? How quickly people forget.

11-06-2009, 03:26 AM
The fact that the Evan look a like starts caressing her breasts when she is drenched in blood supports S.D.'s theory of her finding it romantic, just thought I'd throw that in there seen as no one has mentioned it.

11-06-2009, 06:14 AM
The violence is not a new thing - BUT it's how raw it is here. Now I understand the use and so am not condemning Manson for it. I may have expressed revulsion, but that's mainly because as I said, it cuts close to the mark, BUT I think what gets people is how in his expression of hurting one and actually yourself he does it with the brutal depiction of violence towards the 'Evan' lookalike. You'll have to forgive that not everyone in the world understands the deeper meaning that Manson is conveying, that the violence is a metaphor and almost a self flagulation.

And of course as humans, and I think in part Manson is saying this, e are brutal, and self destructive, we hurt - hurt the one we love the most - we inflict pain on others and in doing so hurt ourselves the most.

Manson in his eyes asks for forgiveness at the same time as seeks revenge for the pain done unto him and the pain he does himself.

BUT I do think we should not be too harsh on those that may be questioning the violence. Their questions come in part of self remembrance, not wanting to admit that they themselves have reached inside and found that giver of pain even if it is for fantasy only, and those like me who have seen the destruction of one upon another all too clearly.

I said something on one of the videos on FB, about how the depiction, no matter how crude is deeper than this and that no matter how violent, the one thing we know it's a metaphor, Manson is not Chris Brown.

11-06-2009, 09:57 AM
If Evan was Manson's "twin", then is he not killing a part of himself in the video?

"Every time I kill you I'm really just killing myself"

I totally agree, Me and S.D. were talking about the exact same lyrics last night. When I watched the video yesterday, those lyrics came to mind straight away.

Jakob Synn
11-06-2009, 10:09 AM
Is it just me or sometimes during this video do you imagine instead of being a video for Running To The Edge Of The World that it would be more suited for I Want Kill You Like They Do In The Movies? Is it just me?

11-06-2009, 10:16 AM
I don't know, I think it works for this song because of the rawness, the heart on sleeve for Manson in this song. I think any other song would have distracted from the initial part of the video - the sadness etc.

11-06-2009, 10:30 AM
When I watched the video yesterday, around 4.24 into the video, it takes you in through the hotel room and then around into the bathroom, that part of the video reminded me of a scene in The Shining (Stanley Kubrick).

In The Shining there is a scene were Jack goes into room 237, and it just shows the view of the camera going through the hotel room and ending up in the bathroom, which is also the place where there is a woman dead in the bathtub... although she does get out of it, but she is dead.

I'm not saying these are connected in any way, It's just something I thought of when I watched the video.

Here is the clip on youtube, I think some of you will know what I am on about.


11-15-2009, 12:57 AM
Is it just me or sometimes during this video do you imagine instead of being a video for Running To The Edge Of The World that it would be more suited for I Want Kill You Like They Do In The Movies? Is it just me?

It seems almost like a prelude! :) The video seems like it's grabbing Running which would be basically just Manson looking into the camera, and with each of the "distorted" sounds later on in the song, it starts to get bloodier... getting the movie ready for the next track. It's great. If only we knew what the visuals for Blank and White are.... I can imagine WOW as Manson drugged up, sprawled out in front of his bedroom wall, with flashes and clips of his experiences with women.

Seriously, The High End of Low is a FUCKING film. :D

12-12-2009, 03:12 PM
Anybody ever see this. It reminds me of the video sorta. Manson had to be influenced by this some how...


03-16-2010, 01:34 PM
I was sure this was lying around somewhere, but I can't find it, so here we are. A visual parallel:-



03-17-2010, 10:16 PM
Hmm... I can't even see your photos on Provider Module. :/ I will try Firefox, I use Chrome.

EDIT: Google Chrome does not recognize your images. That is strange, Ive never had that problem.