“Just” is a single from Radiohead’s 1995 album “The Bends”. While the album contains number of remarkable songs (because well…It’s Radiohead), “Just” along with its music video is certainly one of the most discussed ones. The music video, directed by Jamie Thraves, makes every viewer ask the same question, making them to search for an answer while rewatching, and analyzing every detail of both the song and the video.
The video features a man lying in the middle of a sidewalk. The people walking down the street start gathering around him, thinking he might be hurt or drunk. When the man denies their suspicions, they suggest that he’s gone mad. The people continue asking him why he is lying in the street, finally making him angry enough to tell the reason. The whole conversation is written down in subtitles, but in the moment of giving the answer the subtitles disappear. The viewer does not know the answer, but whatever the answer is, makes all the people in the video lie down on the sidewalk next to the man.
Ever since the release of the video fans have been trying to find the answer, suggesting theories and explanations. None of the band members ever commented on what was the real answer, and Thraves only said that, “To tell you would deaden the impact, and probably make you want to lie down in the road, too.” However, I cannot help but think if there is no real answer to be given. Maybe it was done to make the audience think, and analyze the song, or to make the song a little more special. Or perhaps, there is a real answer that will never be found, or one, that was actually suggested by one of the fans.
Of course, a lot of people will find it ridiculous to think so much about a music video, after about 20 years of its release. After all, for them it is just a music video. But for a Radiohead fan nothing connected to the band can be a “just”, and I do think that the theories and discussions about the man’s answer will not end just yet.