The “Sophie” video is one of those classic, beloved New Zealand music videos. It won Best Video at the New Zealand Music Awards in 2003 was on the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s list of 100 iconic music videos.
It’s the third of Joe Lonie’s four Goodshirt videos, and probably the best known. In classic Lonie style, it’s all shot in one take and played for laughs, this time with a stationary camera.
The video centres on a young woman. Let’s call her Sophie. It’s her birthday and she’s just taken a shower. Wrapped in a towel, she sits on her couch and puts on headphones to listen to her favourite song, “Sophie” by Goodshirt.
And she really like the song. She’s so wrapped up its pop-rock charms that she doesn’t notice the four cat burglars who break into her flat and steal all her stuff. There’s obviously a strong demand on the black market for quirky vintage furniture.
The burglars are played by Goodshirt, only the singer Gareth wasn’t available for the video shoot so a stand-in was used. Gareth’s absence is why the concept of the black-masked burglars was created.
While enjoying a piece of birthday cake, Sophie turns around and discovers that all her stuff is gone. The bastards even took her toilet paper. She drops her cake in shock. Don’t sorry, Soph – you still have your stereo and Goodshirt CD. And that gift of music is the most precious taonga of all.
The video has nothing to do with the song lyrics (a yearning for an unrequited love), but it picks up on Goodshirt’s charms. “Sophie” is a strong song, but I reckon the video is what really helped get it to number one.
Best bit: Sophie versus the sticky piece of tape on her gift box.
Note: The below version of the video is a bit pixelly and the sound isn’t balanced. But over at Joe Lonie’s portfolio at Fish’n’Clips, there’s a really good quality version.
Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
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