Video Review: The Bangles “Eternal Flame”

Against a black background, a light flickers as Susanna sings the lyrics. In the shadows. Debbi walks. It fades into the Michael standing in the center, her hands folded, with Vicki in the background, a serious expression on her face. It fades back again to Debbi and the three women’s faces are blended together.

On a beach, during the sunset, Susanna raises her hands over head and then sits down on the sand.

The flickering light focuses on Susanna’s eye as it fades into Vicki playing the guitar.

At the beach, fireworks go off and the waves crash as the band sits in a circle.

As the light flickers again, it focuses on a side view of Susanna. She touches her heart.

Back on the beach, the waves crash to the shore and more fireworks continue to go off. Debbi appears in the background with Susanna behind her, sitting on the beach.

Susanna kneels in the sand and runs her hand through the sand while the fireworks go off again.

Michael’s image fades into view. She is against the black background, with Susanna’s image behind her.

Back on the beach, Vicki raises her arms and then is shown in the black background. It fades into Michael standing on the beach, hands across her chest. As Susanna and Vicki’s faces fade in and out, Debbi twirls her arms on the beach. All the women’s images are blended together.

At night, the women run together on the beach.


Rating: 4/5

 The video does not go for the obvious images. The candle light is implied, flickering in the background, shadowing the women’s faces. The candle may be burning but soon it will be out. Light is used sparingly, giving the video an urgency and emotional weight, externalizing the doubt that the relationship will continue.

A tender mood filters through the air, as though it were on the eve of a declaration, setting the course for the current relationship. It’s the words left unsaid that can no longer remain silent.

The editing is subtle and flows from one image to another without clashing. At the end, the women are shown one by one in a row and are able to be seen clearly. Current directors should use the video as a guide and study it frame by frame.

Director: N/A  Year: 1989

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