Fiona Apple’s Art is Personal. Is Yours?

I know this is a film blog, but I couldn’t help myself. Fiona Apple’s new album comes out in one week, and you can preview the whole album at NPR! In case you forgot, I finally started listening to her a few months ago and I really love her, but I should still relate this to film some how, right? Well, lets talk about the music video for Fiona’s new single, “Every Single Night.”

Honestly, I don’t watch many music videos, but it’s definitely one of the best ones I’ve seen recently. Why? It’s incredibly powerful and evocative images. Fiona sings, “Every single night’s a fight with my brain!” and the video perfectly captures the instability and paranoia Fiona feels. The images are all over the place, just like her mind. Unlike most music videos, it really makes me feel something. It isn’t just flashy, cool imagery. The images help you feel the way Fiona feels when she sings this personal song. I think it’s a great example of  personal stories being very relatable, even universal. Because these stories are so specific and honest, they look at the world in a way that isn’t superficial, but true. Fiona Apple (and many other artists)  inspire me to make films that are very personal. If I’m not saying something important about my life, or the world we live in, then what’s the point?


Every single night
I endure the flight
Of little wings of white-flamed
Butterflies in my brain
These ideas of mine
Percolate the mind
Trickle down the spine
Swarm the belly, swelling to a blaze
That’s when the pain comes in
Like a second skeleton
Trying to fit beneath the skin
I can’t fit the feelins in
Every single night’s alright with my brain

What’d I say to her
What’d I say it to her
What does she think of me
That i’m not what I ought to be
That i’m what I try not to be
It’s got to be somebody elese’s fault
I can’t get caught
If what I am is what I am, cause I does what I does
Then brother, get back, cause my breast’s gonna bust open
The rib is the shell and the heart is the yolk yoke and
I just made a meal for us both to choke on
Every single night’s a fight with my brain

I just want to feel everything

So i’m gonna try to be still now
Gonna renounce the mill a little while and
If we had a double-king-sized bed
We could move in it and i’d soon forget
That what I am is what I am cause I does what I does
And maybe i’d relax, let my breast shot bust open
My heart’s made of parts of all that surround me
And that’s why the devil just can’t get around me
Every single night’s alright, every single night’s a fight
And every single fight’s alright with my brain

I just want to feel everything
I just want to feel everything
I just want to feel everything
I just want to feel everything

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4 thoughts on “Fiona Apple’s Art is Personal. Is Yours?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Not sure how personal the video really is, though it is great.


    “I told [director] Joey [Cahill] just to come up with a bunch of things and do things to me and put me in situations and surprise me. One thing I wanted to have happen was to be covered in snails. I laid in a bed of soil and they put snails all over me. And then they brought in shit that I would not have asked for. He put a dead squid on my head.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    She didn’t make the video… but she did choose a director known for this style of work (check his other videos). She’s not a video director, but still set parameters: she asked to be covered in snails, said do things to me, put me in situations, and surprise me. She trusted the director to create the same feelings, in imagery, as she created in song — not to simply duplicate images in the song, but the feelings of disturbance and unease. The video does that well. The Criminal video did that, too – it conveyed the meaning and feeling of the song, through images controlled by the director. Both videos are good art, too, although not personal to the director, because they authentically convey the strong personal art of the songs.


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