Goodshirt “Monotone”

2002-goodshirt-monotoneWhile Joe Lonie’s music videos have a really strong association with Goodshirt, he only directed five videos for the group. “Monotone” was the final, and while it follows the Lonie/Goodshirt style of being a one-take wonder, it’s a lot more surreal than previous Goodshirt videos.

In a gloomy forest clearing, good and evil are having a doubles game of badminton, only they seem to be using a ping pong ball, rather than a shuttle cock. The players are dressed in beekeeping outfits with their player numbers on the back – good are 23 and 42, evil are 13 and 69, of course.

The beekeeper outfits also mean that the players’ faces are obscured, which makes me wonder if the band wasn’t available for the video. Maybe they used pro badminton players instead.

While the game goes on, the camera continuously circles their makeshift court. By the court there’s a table set up to record their scores, with enough room to track up to 999999 points per side.

But there’s not a lot of winning happening. The players are just too good. They effortlessly bat the ball to and fro, with little sign of either team missing. So, four badminton players who never miss, combined with a music video filmed in one take. Well, it’s probably a CGI ball, yeah. Either that or those really are pro badminton players in the costumes.

It’s nowhere near as much fun as the earlier Goodshirt videos. In fact, it seems more like a video art project than a music video. Slow it down by 75%, play it on an old CRT television and there’s your exhibition.

Perhaps this was just the Goodshirt/Lonie partnership coming to its natural conclusion. The next video by the group took a very different approach.

Best bit: the disappearance of the ball after a particularly mighty hit.

Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a dame and a private dick.

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