We’ve just covered the appearance of Jack White on “American Pickers” as he said goodbye to the booth used in the video for the song “Hang You from the Heavens” by his band The Dead Weather. One of the other members of The Dead Weather is Allison Mosshart, who’s best known for her work in her band The Kills. She obviously shares an affinity for photobooths with White, as she and Jamie Hince have used photobooth pictures on at least three of The Kills’ releases: “Keep on Your Mean Side,” “Fried My Little Brains” and “No Wow.”
In an interesting confluence of events, just a few days after the Dead Weather booth appeared on television, The Kills have released a video for their new single, “Last Goodbye,” set in a photobooth. Actress and director Samantha Morton directed the video, and spoke about the video for Nowness:
After being sent a live performance of the track, Morton prepared a treatment referencing an Allen Ginsberg book, the works of Robbie Miller, Jack Clayton’s The Innocents, and photo booths. “I miss the quality of a ‘real’ photo booth—nowadays everything is so cheap and quick,” says the star of such films as Minority Report and Control. “The track felt incredibly nostalgic; the same way I feel about the machines.” Unbeknown to Morton, the photo booth is central to band members Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince’s ten-year partnership: the pair seek out the devices when on tour to record their travels. But Morton managed to renew the experience: “Samantha has this crazy way of inviting you into a fantasy world where you don’t feel stupid or awkward,” he says. “She had dramatic classical music that she’d play instead of our track. It made you perform completely differently. There’s a beauty and magic in it that I could never have imagined.” Here Morton reveals her nostalgia for photo booths and love of monochrome.
Where did the photo booth idea come from?
I liked photo booths and I missed them. I love the fact that when you used to go to a photo booth, sometimes you used to have wait a good 20 minutes. Sometimes, I remember, if they were really crap, you’d have to wait forever. You’d go off for a cup of tea and you’d come back to get your passport pictures. Also, it was quite expensive when we were young. It was a real treat. Now, it’s still expensive, but you just get these horrible images of yourself that won’t last in the same way. The song was incredibly nostalgic and I think that made me feel nostalgic.
Watch the video and see the “real” photobooth for yourself.