U2 VidWorks – Two Hearts Beat as One

Today we are discussing the promotional music video for “Two Hearts Beat as One,” the second single from U2’s third album, War. “Two Hearts Beat as One” is a fun, upbeat song and in general the music video follows the mood of the song. There are lots of shots of circus performers, a theme that I personally adore, and lots of footage of the band members smiling and having a good time, which is appropriate for a song such as this. To be honest, I’m not sure what circuses have to do with U2 in general or this song in particular, but I have always loved circuses, so I have to admit that I enjoy this video quite a bit. Besides, as noted above, it is good to see the band members having a good time plying their craft.
The video starts off with some slow-motion shots of the band in action, playing their instruments, interspersed with shots of Peter Rowen walking around Paris, France. I only know that this is Paris because in one long shot right before Bono starts singing, the Eiffel Tower is clearly visible in the background. The aforementioned slow-motion shots feel a bit counter-intuitive on one hand because as the song is revving up we are watching these non-energetic, almost lethargic shots of the band members. On the other hand, I think that this was a good decision because it allows us to focus on the members of the band, get a good feel for their appearance at this stage of the game, and allows those viewers who are not as into the band to familiarize themselves with who is doing what. There is one piece of footage that I especially like, of Larry playing the drums, his hands a blur as the concentration shows clearly on his face.
I mentioned above that Peter Rowen also appears in this video. If you don’t know who he is, Peter was the little boy who appeared on the album covers for Boy and War. His role in this video is mostly limited to walking around Paris, watching the circus performers, but he does turn a couple of cartwheels himself at one point, which always impresses me because I could not turn a cartwheel if my life depended on it. Peter’s appearance at the end of this video has always struck me as slightly ominous as, at the very end of the film, as the song is ending, the camera zooms in his dour little face, giving a more serious ending to the proceedings of this video than I feel it warrants. I almost feel as though it is saying “Yeah, this is fun, but beware of what comes next!” which I guess maybe they were, considering the theme of the album that this song is from.
This is the last in a string of videos that Meiert Avis directed for U2 top start their video careers, but he would return later on for some of U2’s most well-known videos. I have to say that as much as the band had gotten better at appearing on video, his improvement as a director also shows in this film.
Next week, we will be looking at the video for “Pride (In the Name of Love).”

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Ever since I realized as a kid, while poring over the liner notes of the Bob Marley - Songs of Freedom boxed set, that writing about music was a viable career choice, one of my greatest desires has been to write about U2. The band has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute a little something to the fantastic online community that's been built around the band.

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