"Jackie's Strength" Video

MTV 120 Minutes in the U.S. debuted the Jackie's Strength video on Sunday night, August 16, 1998. (MTV Latino had debuted this video several weeks earlier.) I have several screen shots from this beautiful and highly effective black & white video, which was shot by James Brown (who also directed the "Spark" video) and which includes documentary footage of Jacqueline Kennedy. I really loved the part of the video where Tori is interacting with the younger version of herself. Incredible...Below the screen shots you will find comments and a description of the video from various Toriphiles, and comments Tori herself said about the video during an online chat. The video has appeared at least one more time on MTV 120 Minutes and has also been spotted on VH1. The video can also be seen on the U.S. Jackie's Strength single, which is an enhanced CD.

Click on thumbnail to see a larger image.

During an online TVGEN chat that took place on August 5, 1998, Tori made the following comments about this video:

An interesting fact about the shooting of this video was posted to the rec.music.tori-amos newsgroup by Marcus Lambert:

Here are various comments and decriptions of the video from various Toriphiles:

Jo Wagner reports:

I just saw the Jackie's Strength video for the first time on 120 minutes, and I just wanted to say that I love it. Tori looked great, and I liked the part at the end, where she meets "young Tori". Anyway, the video was done beautifully, and if I remember correctly, James Brown directed this (right?), and he did an excellent job, again. He is a very talented director. I just wanted to share my thoughts on it...

Giovanni reports:

Well, I feel really happy to be the first to say have seen the new video for Jackie's Strength! YAY! MTV Latino premiered the video last night on a show called XPO, and if you live in Latin America and get MTV Latino, this show will be on again tonight, tomorrow night and on Sunday morning.

First, let me start off by saying that this video has as many sides to it as any Tori song and it can (and will) be interpreted as though it was a song on itself. What a wonderful video. I have watched it over and over again just so that I success at trying to give you all an idea of what the video looks like. So this might get a little long.

The video starts with old footage of Jackeline Onassis and J.F.K.; their wedding, he getting on an airplane, she walking, and them both together on the presidential limo. Then a woman (Tori's "mom" on the video, I assume) comes in the room (the images were being shown on TV) and takes her baby (which I suppose is Tori) to their front lawn... then, a taxi is shown and Tori (34 year-old Tori; wearing a bridal gown!) is on the backseat; the baby on the front lawn has grown and is now a cute little girl, and Tori (on the cab) is looking out the window while the cab moves, then they show a couple on a car (the video is pretty 60's) and they are kissing, but when Tori's cab passes them by (Tori is watching all that happens outside from the backseat) , the woman (japanese-looking woman) turns her head around. **The guy that is kissing the woman looks like some kind of politician to me**. Then they show a flag of the U.S. and you can see it is hoist. So you can assume it's Independence Day, I guess. Then they show some people at what seems to be a church, and there is a guy with long hair who I assume is a groom looking very nervious, like desperately waiting for the bride to arrive. They do a close-up of his hands while he's grabbing his head and he has tattoo on his wrist. He looks like he is recriminating something to an older guy, perhaps the bride's father. Remember Tori is watching all of this happen from the cab; BUT here she doesn't look out the window, she looks as though she is trying to hide. Then they show a woman (and the woman stares suspiciously at Tori's cab) and she is walking towards the front door of her house and when she turns the key to open the lock, they show the woman's daughter who is with a guy on her bed (they look very young but not like teenagers; they both have their shirts off; it's easy to see they were sleeping together) , both getting up in a hurry; they don't show the girl's face but her chest and she has locket (I'm sorry here, I don't know if I'm using the right word; but I can tell you that it's a medallion where you can put a picture inside) hanging from her neck. Then, they show the long-haired guy (the one on the girl's bed; I think it's the same who was seen desperate waiting for the bride to arrive) getting on his motorcicle in a hurry. Then they move on to another situation: they show young girl burn her hand with a lighter (?) and there's a baby crying in front of her. Tori is still watching all of this happen from inside the cab. By now we are in the **only popular with anorexia** part of the song. Then they show a young girl in a bathroom taking a home pregnancy test (the camera focuses on a box that says "home pregnancy test") and suddenly the girl's mother (they are both chinese/japanese-looking people) starts knocking on the bathroom door violently and trying to break in. Then they show a really old lady with a couple of pills on her hand; she looks at a clock on her wall, then stares at the pills on her hand, but doesn't take them... she puts them on a table; like she's giving up or something. Then Tori's cab stops in a corner waiting for the traffic light to turn to green, while they're waiting you can see the reflection on the car window of an old woman on a wheelchair, which is being pushed by a little girl (her granddaughter, I assume), then the cab makes a left (or right) turn and Tori stares at the old woman and the little girl. But suddenly, you can see someone's feet running, then Tori (on the backseat) turns around and looks out the rear window; you can see the young girl (the one who had a guy on her bed) running behind the car, Tori (on the cab) waves goodbye and so does the girl... but then the cab stops and Tori gets off it, she runs to where the girl is, the girl turns around and guess who it is? Well, it's young Tori. She looks very cute and kinda innocent here; her hair is all messed up. They are stading in front of each other, young Tori lifts up her arms and looks like she's trying to grab the bridal veil (the white veil on Tori's head; remember she's wearing a bridal gown), they do a close-up of young Tori's chest and the locket that hangs from her neck opens and there's a picture of Jackie Onassis inside. but 34 year-old Tori lets go off the veil and then it is up on the air. Here is where the video ends.

I am still amazed by the brilliance of this video.

Important fact: the video is all in Black & White. It was directed by James Brown (he directed "Spark" as well). If you thought "Spark" was great, just wait until you see this one.

A few conclusions: **I got lost on my wedding day** takes meaning on the part where they show the nervous groom, and remember Tori hides here. I'm still confused, but certain is for me that: this is kind of a chronological story being told here; in flash-back way. Baby Tori watching Jackie's wedding, her **Mama laid her on the front lawn**. Then the baby grows up and Tori is now a little girl (the little girl is chubby and cute, :). Then they show the **lost on my wedding day** situation. The groom that is shown here is the same that is seen later on young Tori's bed. So naturally you can assume that they're getting married. But Tori is hiding during that part. In the end, young Tori and 34 year-old Tori re-encounter. And the other situations take place in parallel to the main story...

I wish I could make pictures of the video, but I don't have a video card. :(.

Tori looks the most beautiful I've ever seen her on this video. I especially adore the way she looks on the **I got lost on my wedding day** verse. She IS singing during all the parts of the video (on the back of the cab) where she is shown, and even in the end, young Tori sings the closing lines, and also the final **hmm** of the song. She looks extremely beautiful here.

The B&W quality of the video enhances the images and the 60's look.

Excuse my poor english, I did my best trying to narrate the story.

I hope MTV US starts showing the video soon; I am now going to start requesting it on MTV Latino, and I will also start requesting the Raspberry Swirl video which I have yet to see. "Spark" in on heavy rotation on MTV Latino. Don't you just love them? :)

On the part where young Tori and a guy are on her bed, they show him getting out the house through the window, and the camera focuses on his left hand and he has the same tattoo that the nervious groom has on the other scene. So this confirms my theory... the groom is waiting for Tori to arrive to their wedding, but instead she is on the taxi, like hiding from him.

Andrea Cleaver reports

just saw the video for Jackie's Strength on Rage TV. it was very nice, all in black and white, directed again by james brown.

i didn't see the beginning, but my boyfriend said that it started with old black and white Jackie O clips.

tori is mostly seen in a taxicab wearing a white wedding dress and veil. her makeup is wonderful, her eyes are lined all around with black eyeliner.

doesn't seem as though there is much symbolism in this video, but there certainly is some. i probably shouldn't address it though until i've seen the video all the way through.

Homogenik reports:

The video is in black and white and is directed by James Brown. It begins with old footage of Jackie Kennedy's wedding then we see the a small girl (Tori, probably) watching T.V. where we see that infamous day where the President got shot. The mother takes the girl away and lays her on the front lawn (like in the song). After that we see Tori in the backseat of a taxi, singing the song and looking at people, dressed in her wedding dress. The video is surprisingly unsatisfying since it only shows small clips of various people having nothing to do with the song (as far as I know). I really can't see what Brown had in mind; maybe it'll come after I see it a few times. Maybe it's about how all these individuals (all of us) show their strength through tough situations (pregnancy, aging, etc...) just like Jackie Kennedy did when her husband was shot. Aside from that, the visuals are very clean, classy and Tori looks incredibly gorgeous. The highlight of the video is the end, by far. I couldn't wait for Tori to get outta that damn Taxi already! She finally did. When she sees herself on the street, younger, in her teen years. She comes out of the Taxi and both Toris meet warmly. The younger Tori takes the other's veil off and throws it in the air. I let you figure out what that means. Seeing 2 very different Toris was really interesting.

Please give me feedback, comments, or suggestions about my site. Email me (Michael Whitehead) at mikewhy@iglou.com