U2 VidWorks – Elevation

Let me start out by saying that I was not enamored of the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie. When I met the woman who would become my wife several years after this video was released, and she happened to love that movie, we bonded over the fact that U2 had done this promo video for the song “Elevation” which featured one of her favorite fictional characters. Because of that, I have a somewhat different perspective on this video than I did when it was first released. At that time, in May of 2001, I saw this video once and was immediately in love with it. I absolutely adored, and still do, the concept that somewhere out there is an evil version of my heroes. As a fan of speculative fiction, the idea had occurred to me that on some parallel world there might be an evil U2, but I never dreamed that U2 would actually validate the concept by building a video around it. I have to admit that the visualization of the idea is every bit as amazing and fun as I dreamed it would be.
There is another moment in this video that ranks, in my opinion, among the greatest things ever put on film. When Bono is singing the middle eight, and he stops moving as the car explodes behind him. When he is in that amazing center of calm while the world goes to hell around him, that moment gives me chills every time I watch it, still today, all these years later. It is so easy to put myself in Bono’s place there and to imagine that U2 is this protective bubble around me that protects me from negativity and emotional harm. I find myself in that same center of calm when I listen to U2’s music. I suppose that this harkens back to Bono’s comment that when fans at U2 concerts are screaming their hearts out, it isn’t for the members of U2 so much as it is for the songs and the emotions that the fans have attached to those works. My love for this video is similar to that, in that I love it partially because I identify with the sensations, images, and feelings portrayed in the video. There are lots of other great, fun, moments in this short film, and each member of U2 has an opportunity to look cool, Larry on the bike, Adam driving the cab, Edge saving the world with Lara Croft, and Bono in the aforementioned center of calm. Nowadays, my wife and I watch this video together and cheer the band and Lara on as they protect us from the band’s evil selves from the alternate world.
Next week, I will be looking at the North American video for “Stuck in a Moment”…the well-known American football video. I know that many fans really appreciate that video, so hopefully, you will all read and enjoy the article. For now, leave a comment below and let me know how you feel about the video for Elevation, and thanks for reading.

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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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