What Up Yo.
“U2: Rattle And Hum” is a documentary concert film chronicling the bands 1987 “The Joshua Tree” tour.
Shot in (glorious) Black and White and Color film and directed by then Steven Spielberg protege Phil Joanou (“State Of Grace”, “Three O’Clock High“), the film captures a moment in time that would otherwise be lost, the very rare and meteoric rise to superstardom of a rock and roll band in the prime of their careers. And the film does it with grace. The footage and photography is beautiful, the performances are historic for the band and, being a film snob, I just downright love the fact that it was captured on 35MM (& 16MM) film at all.
I read on Wikipedia that the band were originally going to finance the film themselves and show it in a few small theaters here and there…but the film went over budget ($5 million) and Paramount Pictures bought it and distributed it world wide in 1988 in tandem with the accompanying album, “U2: Rattle And Hum”.
I’ve included a few videos below:
A teaser trailer for the film, which Incidentally I first saw in 1988 on the videotape release for “Eddie Murphy: Raw“, 1987. It shows the band walking out onto the stage while the opening of “Where The Streets Have No Name” plays. They appear as silhouettes against a blood red backdrop. This trailer and the music…drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. clacking his drumsticks together …are seared into my mind forever, I watched it over and over again back then, it just turns me on.
Another is a performance by The Edge, just him playing his electric guitar & singing a song he wrote in tribute to the Irish Poet John Boyle O’Reilly who was sentenced to prison on “Van Dieman’s Land” in Australia for being an Irish revolutionary and fighting against British rule. O’Reilly escaped captivity and after a 6 month journey, evading British capture, came to America. The Edge’s performance of this song is another moment from this film that has never left me…it’s beautiful and haunting. I felt compelled to share it.
The third is the performance from the teaser trailer of “Where The Streets Have No Name” from Arizona’s Sun Devil Stadium in 1987.
Listen. Thank the gods for YouTube…but if you are a fan of U2 and by some chance in hell you haven’t seen this film yet, you need to get the Blu-ray, put it on a nice large screen and blast it. STAT.
Happy Turkey Day.
“Van Dieman’s Land”:
“Where The Streets Have No Name”: