COLLABORATION WITH JUSTIN BROADBENT
Create a visual and written analysis of Justin Broadbent's music video for Planets by Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton.
Article featured in INTERIORS Journal. Special shoutout to Justin Broadbent for providing original content and insight on the making of the video.
Musician Emily Haines multiplies herself in the music video for “Planets,” directed by Justin Broadbent. Perceived as one “continuous” shot, the rigid architecture of the space frames an evolving narrative that reflects on the role of chance, choice, and change in our lives.
Broadbent expands on the contemplative lyrics of “Planets,” with multiple versions of Haines echoing the “multiple dimensions of one’s internal monologue.” A raw and clinical background provides a stark contrast to her blue dress and bright orange hoodie.
“Planets” consists of seven versions of Haines entering and exiting a fixed frame. Broadbent notes that the video was filmed serendipitously; the simple structure and staging of the video involved minimal guidance, intervention, or scripting.
Broadbent’s simple instructions—enter the frame, cross the center of the frame, turn five or six times, and exit the opposite side—yielded a complex field of paths and processions. Haines intuitively responds to the architecture of the space: she guides her movements by reacting to the gridded tile floor, her proximity to the room’s walls, and her relation to the camera.
His improvisational filming was organized in the editing process: he curated the processions so that “Haines did not intersect with herself,” never wanting “more than two images of Haines on screen at the same time.” She enters and exits the frame “faster than humanly possible.” The resulting seven versions of Haines do not respond to each other—they float and orbit across the frame in a meditative, isolated manner.
The viewer’s anticipation similarly grows when two versions of Haines appear at once, when she pauses at the wall, and when she nearly crashes into another version of herself. Haines passively drags a black baseball bat throughout the video, implying, as Broadbent says, "a nonchalant potential to use force." Overall, her movements are inconclusive, with no clear climax or resolution.