Kevin Godley has directed some of U2’s best videos, from “The Sweetest Thing,” to “Numb” and the original video for “Even Better Than the Real Thing.” To this list of superior videos we can add the International version of “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of.” This video was, for me, one of several great videos in a row that U2 made in support of their singles in the early part of the twenty-first century. This is one of the most emotionally affecting videos that U2 has offered over the years, and there are plenty of great moments in this video. The first sequence that makes my heart catch in my throat is the shot of the band, sans Bono, trying to make their way across the busy freeway. It is so perfectly descriptive of how life is sometimes, that one seemingly needs super-human powers to get anywhere. You try and try, and you think that you are making some progress, just to find yourself back where you started again. The next sequence that I find to be moving is the repeated shot of Bono being thrown to the ground. I don’t know if they used a stunt double for this or not…knowing Bono, though, I kind of doubt it. Our favorite singer hits the ground hard in these shots, and I love that. Even if he isn’t the one who is being thrown to the ground, the water stains on his coat demonstrate that he was clearly laying down there on the dirty ground, and a lot of diva rock stars would not be willing to even do that much. It just demonstrates that Bono is willing to get down and dirty for his craft, and I appreciate that. I also appreciate the kind of time-warp that takes place in this video. While Bono is laying there on the ground, we can clearly see in the background that he is being loaded into the van again. Stuck in a moment, indeed. Finally, the closing moment of the video is one of the most perfect images that I have ever seen in any music video, as Edge reaches out to clasp his best friend by the hand and help him up out of the tough spot he finds himself in. Sometimes, the only way for us to break that vicious cycle of pain, failure, or misery, is with the help of a good friend. Like Bono himself once sang, “a friend is someone who lets you help.”
Clearly, I think pretty highly of this video, and I do think that it stands up as one of the best videos of the band’s long career. If you haven’t caught it yet, make sure to take five minutes to watch the recently remastered video which is available on YouTube. It is breathtakingly gorgeous…so clear and sharp. The whole band has never looked better! Next week, I will be examining the first video (The U.S. Version) for Walk On, so if you are partial to that video, make sure to catch my article. Thanks for reading.
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