U2 Pop Culture Database
Writer and Director:
Phil Joanou [Rattle & Hum (Live U2 Film); State Of Grace; Wild Palms; Heaven's Prisoners; U2: The Best Of 1980-1990 (Video Compilation)]
Jake Walsh . . . Stephen Dorff [Judgment Night; Blood And Wine; Blade]
Stella . . . Judith Godreche [Ridicule]
Pia . . . Kelly Macdonald [Trainspotting]
Claire . . . Lauren Holly [Band Of The Hand; Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story; Sabrina; Beautiful Girls; Turbulence]
Kevin . . . Jon Tenney [Mr. Terry Hatcher; Equal Justice; Guilty By Suspicion; Tombstone; Beverly Hills Cop III; Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home; Fools Rush In; Brooklyn South; Homegrown; You Can Count On Me]
The Chairman . . . Hector Elizondo [American Gigolo; Young Doctors In Love; The Flamingo Kid; Nothing In Common; Beaches; Pretty Woman; Taking Care Of Business; Frankie And Johnny; Beverly Hills Cop III; Exit To Eden; Runaway Bride]
Evan . . . Kathryn Erbe [The hot death row inmate in Oz; MichaelVox's Number One TV Drama Homicide: Life On The Street; What About Bob?; George Wallace; Stir Of Echoes]
Tagline: The hardest thing to do in life is direct your own.
U2 Pop Culture Reference:
[Starting Film Time: About 3:30]
[We are being told a story in flashback. After the screen graphic says "One Year Earlier", the scene opens in a well-appointed office where Jake, the narrator is meeting with someone the screen graphic calls "The Studio Chairman".
Studio Chairman: Jake, I'm sending you to New York to make our film. Now you've done some interesting work in the world of rock videos or so I'm told. Particularly with that band...that, uh...
Studio Chairman: You?
Jake: U2. The Irish band?
Studio Chairman: You think I don't know who U2 is?
Jake: Oh no, sir. I just though...
Studio Chairman: Let me be clear about one thing, all right. You are no longer making soft-focus art for a bunch of booze-addled, brain-fried pop stars. I am giving you the opportunity to make a film. Now we at [name of studio deleted in film] Pictures are taking a huge risk on you. You will be answering to us. You will be working for us. If you go over budget, if you lose control, I will have no problem replacing you.
Jake: Look, I know you've taken a huge risk on me with this project. I know I've never directed a movie before. [Jake stands] But never forget the words of that immortal filmmaker, Ed Wood, when he failed: "Next time, I'll do better." [Jake sits]
Studio Chairman [After long pause]: Are you drunk?
Jake: No, sir. No. I never really drink.
Studio Head: Good.
[At this point, background music begins which is Adam playing during a PopMart sound check]
Studio Head: That's all for now. Good luck on the film.
Jake: Thank you, sir. Thank you for your support.
[At this point, the we hear Edge join Adam in the background music. We cut to an outdoor stadium in full sunshine. Jake and Bono are walking towards the mainstage on the b-stage ramp. The camera is on the main stage at the point where the ramp touches it. The camera is shooting towards where the crowd would be. This is the soundcheck on March 16, 1998 at Greenpoint Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa. The barriers on the field are different than any that I saw at the PopMart shows I went to. There is an extra barrier going from the b-stage to the stage left direction. If you were standing, facing the stage, and you tried to walk around the b-stage to the right, this barrier would stop you and force you to walk directly right until you got to where a track would be if this was an Olympic stadium. Crew members can be seen in the background on the field making adjustments. One of the big DISCOTHEQUE skylights is visible, as are a collection of Port-O-Potties. Bono is in black pants, a blue hooded sweatshirt, and his red-orange PopMart shades. They are walking side-by-side towards the camera.]
Bono: Booze-addled. Brain-fried pop stars.
Jake: Something like that.
Bono: Sounds about right, have to say. But I mean, like, the real question is, are you in love?
Bono: I mean, are you in love with this movie? Or is this just gonna be work?
[Bono and Jake step onto the main stage]
Bono: You know what I mean?
[Handheld camera pans left, then moves in front of them while they walk to center stage]
Jake: Well, all I really know is work. I mean, everything's been happening so fast--I haven't really thought about that.
Bono: Well, maybe you should because, I mean, you've got this, you know, great chance to do what you do, and you're not looking...you don't look that excited about it--do you? You know?
[Larry is now heard in the sound check]
Jake: Well, everybody keeps saying it's the right thing to do for my career. And, you know, I don't know.
[They stop walking. They are face-to-face right in front of the camera. Jake on the left and Bono on the right. Film scholars will tell you that in any two-shot (like this one) the person on the right is submissive to the person on the left because the viewer's eye naturally travels in that direction. So in this case, Bono is submissive to Jake.]
Bono: Well, if you don't know...you're fucked.
[Freeze frame. Screen Graphic says "The Rock Star".]
Bono [Off camera]: You all right Edge? Try that thing.
[Edge comes in with a solo of some kind while Adam and Larry play a mellow rhythm. They continue this song, without any vocals, for the remainder of the scene. We have now cut away to a camera at the far end of the stadium on the floor. We see Jake walk to the right in front of Adam's amps and to the right of the right base of the arch. He stops at Adam's monitor and sits down on it, right in front of a bald roadie in shorts with his arms crossed who's watching the sound check.]
Jake [In voiceover]: So there I was.
[We are zooming out. We can now see Adam in white hat and light blue pants]
Jake [In voiceover]: On my way to either a brilliant career move.
[Still zooming out, we can now see one of Larry cymbals swinging and Edge with white guitar and white cowboy hat]
Jake [In voiceover]: Or a brilliant mistake.
[Screen graphic says "Tribeca Productions Presents". Tribeca is mostly owned by Robert De Niro. Now we can see both bases of the arch as well as the bottom of the orange barrel center speakers.]
Jake [In voiceover]: Either way, it didn't matter. Because whatever I though then...
[Screen graphic says "In Association with Phoenician Films".]
Jake [In voiceover]: ...I wasn't ready...
[We can now see the entire stage setup including the whole screen, olive, lemon, and top of arch.]
Jake [In voiceover]: ...for what was about to happen.
[We can see a mountain behind the left side of the stage. The film wants us to think that we're at the Meadowlands, but as I've said above, this is actually Cape Town, South Africa. The screen says "A Phil Joanou Film". The camera tilts up towards the sky. The screen says "Stephen Dorff". We continue to hear the soundcheck with no vocals. The screen says "entropy" with the band fading out and the sound of wind blowing fading in on a blue sky and cloud background. ]
[Ending Film Time: About 6:45]
[Starting Film Time: About 66:50]
[Jake is fired from the film after principal photography has ended. Also, Jake's romance with Stella has ended. He decides to begin dating again and we get one of those montages where a different woman is sitting at the same restaurant saying something stupid. He puts a single bullet in a revolver and holds it to his head and pulls the trigger (in a dream sequence). Cut to Jake watching TV in the dark with his cat on his lap. The telephone rings.]
Bono [In telephone receiver]: Hey Jake. It's Bono here.
Jake: Hey you bastard.
[We hear the first notes of a live performance of MOFO.]
Jake: How's the tour coming?
Bono: Well, that's why I'm calling. I hear they've been, uh, bullying you on the playground. So how 'bout coming out and doin' a little job with us?
[Music gets louder as we zoom in on Jake's face.]
[Cut to live PopMart show in Capetown, South Africa. The quick cuts are crazy. They all take place in approximately 15 seconds.]
[Double Bono on PopMart screen.]
[Pan down to show band playing.]
[Close up of Bono in muscle shirt.]
[Bono holding guitar on b-stage in black jacket.]
[Larry on full screen from back of stadium.]
[Edge on full screen from back of stadium.]
[Close up of Bono in hood holding microphone stand.]
[Close up of Adam with no hat.]
[Close up of Edge's hands in muscle shirt playing red guitar.]
[Quick jittery crowd shot.]
[Edge 'pushing' Bono out to b-stage on ramp.]
[Bono on main stage with red guitar, black jacket.]
[Edge and Larry on main stage.]
[Bono on b-stage holding guitar over his head.]
[Back of stadium shot of full screen with four Larrys on it.]
[Close up of Larry from behind drum set.]
[Bono, alone on b-stage, no guitar, red t-shirt, jacket around waist, crowd going crazy.]
[Further back in the stadium, same Bono alone on b-stage, crowd jumping up and down, no chairs on floor.]
[Shot of screen in full red, but not the intro to WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME.]
[Shot of full screen with Keith Haring men on each other's shoulders.]
[Close up of Bono on stage in black t-shirt, bubble pants, black guitar, no glasses.]
[Close up of Adam with yellow bass, Bono on screen behind him.]
[Sweeping crowd shot.]
[Edge's arm playing greenish guitar in muscle shirt.]
[Close up of Edge's upper body doing a 'rock star pose' with green guitar.]
[Close up of screen with Edge on it.]
[Close up of screen with Larry on it.]
[Close up of screen with Edge on it.]
[Sweeping crowd shot.]
[Edge on acoustic guitar facing Bono who's on his own acoustic guitar. Both men on b-stage.]
[Close up of Bono in red t-shirt from side.]
[Edge on screen.]
[Bono's face on screen.]
[Close up of Bono in black jacket and glasses with microphone.]
[Close up of Larry.]
[Bono in sweat suit holding arms out to sides with hood off, getting crowd to jump.]
[Full screen of fighter plane animation.]
[Close up of Edge's face, no glasses, black cowboy hat.]
[Close up of Adam, in helmet, glasses, surgeon's mask.]
[Edge alone on b-stage.]
[Bono on b-stage in red t-shirt.]
[Bono on catwalk in black jacket holding red guitar.]
[Bono on main stage playing guitar in sweat suit.]
[Close up of Adam.]
Bono [singing]: Looking for to save my save my soul. I'm looking in the places where no flowers grow. Looking for to fill that God-shaped hole. Mother. Mother-sucking rock and roll.
[Freeze frame. Edge, Larry, and Bono are onstage frozen. Jake appears to walk on stage with them. He's holding a pointer.]
Jake: (sighs) So, back into the fray I went. Along with Bono
[Points at Bono]
[Points at Edge]
[Points at Larry]
Jake: And, uh...
[Adam is not in this freeze frame shot. So we have another incredibly quick succession of live shots.]
[Bono in fighter's robe shadow boxing.]
[Bono in black jacket and pants.]
[Edge in white hat and white vest.]
[Bono with USA flag umbrella.]
[Full screen shot of 'POP' with Larry's face in the 'o'.]
[Freeze frame again, this time Adam and Jake are onstage. Jake is holding a film camera.]
[He points to Adam]
Jake: ...And me, once again, rock video director.
[Jake points to himself holding a camera]
Bono and Edge [singing]: Soothe me sister. Move me brother.
Jake [In voiceover]: It seems they needed a music video done overnight. So the boys called crazy Jake.
[Cut to editing bay with Jake pointing out cuts and drinking Heineken]
Bono and Edge [singing]: Soothe me sister. Move me brother.
Jake [In voiceover]: But so had someone else.
[Cut to Jake's apartment where Stella is leaving a message on answering machine]
Stella [On answering machine]: Jake? Jake, are you there? Jake, if you're there will you please pick up? I need to talk to you. Jake?
[Cut back to Live PopMart performance with Jake standing on stage as narrator]
Jake: But I didn't get that message until it was way too late. Digressing, I know. But it'll be important later.
[Freeze frame ends. Crowd shot from b-stage ramp.]
Bono [singing]: Move me brother. Move me brother.
[Cut to Jake with camera looking at crowd while crouched on main stage]
Jake [In voiceover]: The euphoria of working with these guys again and the freedom of being unleashed from the hell I'd just come from along with the wonderful effects of sleep deprivation must have done something very strange to my head.
[Camera pulls back from live show and we see that we're actually watching a video of the concert on a television at a hotel party. The party guests clap as we pan to see them and the credits on the screen say...]
[Director: Jake Welsh]
[Prod. Co.: Palom.......(can't read)]
Jake [In voiceover]: I suppose I should also mention, these boys are very Irish and some minor drinking may have occurred.
[Jake is sitting on a couch alone. A cute girl with a strong Scottish accent sits down next to him.]
Pia: Cool video.
Jake: You think so?
Pia: Yeah. It's all right.
Jake: How do you know the band?
Pia: I'm in a band.
Jake: Really? What's it called?
Pia: You'd never had heard of us.
Jake: Try me.
Jake: You're right.
[Ending Film Time: About 69:40]
[Starting Film Time: About 72:20]
[That same night, Jake has asked the Scottish girl to marry him. She's said yes and they are about to go to Las Vegas. Jake stops in at his hotel room to fix another drink while Pia gets some things for the trip. Jake is sitting on the couch when the TV turns itself on. It's Bono walking towards the camera in his BULLET THE BLUE SKY hat. The background behind him is bright white.]
Bono: What are you doin' Jake?
Jake: Not much, really. Just fixing myself a fresh drink is all.
Bono: No. What are you doing with the babe?
Jake: Oh her? Getting married in Vegas, I think.
Bono: Jake, you don't even know the girl.
Jake: That's the best part.
Bono: And last week you were in love with Stella.
Jake: Well I'm not now.
Bono: Oh yes you are.
Jake: I'm not.
Bono: I think you are.
Jake: I'm not.
Bono: You are.
Jake: Definitely not. That's over.
Bono: Back in a minute.
[Bono walks off the TV screen to the right]
Jake: All right. I've got a plane to catch.
[Jake gets on the phone]
Jake: Hi. Do you know an airline that flies directly to Vegas? Is that the soonest flight?
[Bono walks back onto the TV screen, appears to be looking out at Jake on the couch]
Jake [To person on telephone]: Could you hold on for a minute?
Jake [To Bono]:Yes?
Bono: Jake? I've locked you in.
[We hear the hotel room door lock]
Jake [To person on telephone]: We'll pick up the tickets in about an hour, okay? Thank you.
Bono: Here's what you're gonna do. You're gonna get some sleep. You're gonna wake up. You're gonna come down to the show tomorrow night. And if you still want to go to Las Vegas, we can work it out. All right?
Jake: All right.
Bono: All right.
[Jake turns off TV and Bono disappears]
Jake: Enough is enough.
[Jake tries to get out of his room, but it's locked. Every time he tries the door, Bono's voice says 'I've locked you in' over and over.]
Jake: Irish bastard.
[Jake goes out on the hotel ledge and walks back to the room where the party is still going on. A man lets him in the window. Woman next to him has a Rattle & Hum t-shirt on.]
[Ending Film Time: About 74:59]
[Starting Film Time: About 80:13]
[Jake and Pia fly to Vegas and get married in a little chapel with an Elvis impersonator. The wedding is videotaped. They fly back to New York. They get a hotel room and Pia falls asleep immediately and Jake drinks more beer and passes out next to her on the bed. We hear the wedding video playing and then we pan towards the TV where we see Bono watching it.]
Bono: He has lost it.
[We cut to see Larry leaning against the bed at the couple's feet. He slowly glances at them but says nothing.]
Bono: I think we should wake him up and knock some sense into him. What do you think?
[Larry says nothing. Bono turns off wedding video.]
Bono: Sad, isn't it?
[Cut to PopMart stadium before the band goes on. The camera is on the b-stage and aiming towards the middle of the main stage. Someone is holding a sign up that says "U2 Under An African Sky". The camera begins to spin counter-clockwise at high speed, but in slow motion, you catch several glimpses of Dallas Schoo who is tuning Edge's guitar on the b-stage. The LEMON remix is playing and the crowd is cheering. The audio is probably taken from the 'ride in the lemon' intermission. We pull back and the whole concert scene is now on a wall. Jake again has a pointer.]
Jake: It's important for you to understand a little of the geography of this situation. Pia and I are here.
[He points to the soundbooth VIP area. Cut to a close up of Pia and Jake holding cups with VIP passes around their necks. Obviously they're not in the actual VIP booth as the house lights aren't on them in close up.]
Jake: Kevin and Claire are here.
[He points to the back of the VIP area. Cut to close up of Kevin and Claire, also with cups and VIP passes. Kevin and Claire are the married stars of the film he's been fired from.]
Jake: And Stella is here.
[He points to the crowd in front of the VIP area. Cut to close up of Stella walking through the crowd which appears to be above her on some kind of bleachers, making it impossible for her to be where he just pointed.]
Jake: Little did I know that I was being tracked. That my friends were planning a surprise for me. A surprise that would send these three forces...
[Close up of Pia and Jake, then Kevin and Claire, then Stella.]
Jake: ...onto a collision course from which there was no return.
[We zoom in until the concert footage fills the whole screen. Marilyn Monroe is on the big screen as MYSTERIOUS WAYS begins. Bono is wearing the bubble outfit and bending over almost to the floor. He is on the main stage.]
[Cut to close up of Pia and Jake against VIP railing]
Bono: You can run, but you can't hide. But I guess it'll be all right.
[Crowd cheers as the band kicks into MYSTERIOUS WAYS. Suddenly we cut to a camera at the back of the floor. The screen is filled with Jake and Pia's wedding video. Bono is on a riser way to the left of the stage with a spotlight on him. The plastic shell is above the center of the stage. Adam's outline is visible to the right of the stage. Cut to close up of Bono.]
Bono: Hey! Hey!
Jake: Oh shit.
Bono [singing] It's all right, it's all right. She moves in mysterious ways. It's all right, all right. She moves in mysterious ways. Yeah yeah.
[Jake starts walking, Pia follows him, they run into Stella]
Jake: Stella, what are you doing here?
Bono [singing]: Johnny take a walk with your sister the moon.
Stella: Looking for you. What's that on those screens.
Bono [singing]: Let her pale light in to fill up your room. You've been living underground. Eating from a can.
Jake: My wedding.
Bono [singing]: You've been running away from what you don't understand. Love.
Stella: And this must be...
[Stella motions to Pia]
Jake: My wife.
Bono [singing]: She's slippery.
Pia: Thanks. I suppose.
Bono [singing]: You're sliding down. She's gonna be there when you hit the ground.
Stella: Goodbye Jake.
[Stella storms off]
Bono [singing]: It's all right, it's all right, it's all right. She moves in mysterious ways. It's all right, it's all right, it's all right. She movies in mysterious ways.
[Jake chases after Stella]
[Kevin comes towards him and yells]
Kevin: What the fuck have you done!
[Kevin motions to the screens]
Bono [singing]: Come on child. Come on child.
Claire: Where have you been? We've been trying to reach you.
Jake: What? Why?
Bono [singing]: Johnny take a dive with your sister in the rain.
Claire: They want you back on the film.
Jake: They do?
Kevin and Claire: Yes!
Bono [singing]: Let her talk about the things you can't explain.
Kevin: What's this shit on the screens?
Bono [singing]: To touch is to heal, to hurt is to steal. If you want to kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel. On your knees boy.
[Jake is getting upset with the screens. He begins walking away with Pia.]
Bono [singing]: She's the wave, she turns the tide. She sees the man inside the child. It's all right, it's all right....
[Fadeout. Notes on the concert. The band must have really been playing in front of the screens playing the wedding video from the film. Bono and Edge share a microphone and the video is clearly behind them on the screen. See below for Willie Williams' diary entry for this show. I've read reviews from this show and no one mentions the video or seeing Dorff or Joanou on stage. The scenes with the actors by the VIP area is pretty laughable. We all know that the VIP section for PopMart was in the exact center of the stadium floor, but the actors are all seen walking below a set of bleachers. We see extras looking towards red and green and blue lights as if they were at the show. Many of these extras have the lemon PopMart t-shirts on. There are a few extras with plain black or white t-shirts with the plain word "Security" on the front.]
[Cut to a TV with Kurt Loder on it during an MTV News break. The TV is being watched by Jake's sister Evan and brother-in-law Wyatt.]
Kurt Loder: And in other news, U2 video director Jake Walsh got married in Las Vegas last night after meeting one Pia Ross of the English band Zenotrash only 24 hours earlier.
[We see clips of concert with wedding video on the screen]
Kurt Loder: The band got hold of Walsh's wedding video...
[Cut to Wyatt and Evan with mouths agape]
Kurt Loder: ...and then threw it up on their giant stage screens in mid-concert to the crowd's utter bafflement right in the middle of MYSTERIOUS WAYS.
Wyatt: There must be a mistake. It's gotta be a mistake.
Evan: There better be a mistake.
Kurt Loder: Our best wishes to these ultra-sudden newlyweds. In other news...
[TV is turned off]
[Jake returns to his apartment to hear the message from Stella and the 55 others that are on his machine. His door bell rings.]
Evan: We're coming up whether you like it or not.
[Jake buzzes them in]
Wyatt: You actually climbed out onto the ledge? Wow.
Wyatt: Sorry, sorry.
Evan: Bono was right. You're drinking like an idiot and you're acting like an idiot.
[Ending Film Time: About 84:30]
[Starting Film Time: About 103:40]
Larry Mullen Jr.....himself
Cape Town Crew
Camera Operators.....Phil Joanou
Besides U2, is it worth watching?
I've got to say no. Without U2 showing up every ten seconds, there is nothing to keep one's interest. As you'll read below, this story is taken from director Phil Joanou's real life. He apparently married a woman he had met an hour before and the band did play the video at Madison Square Garden. In this film, the star meets a supermodel who winks at him at a fashion show and they move in together within hours. If you're fan of the boob, you'll be happy because this model can scarcely keep her top on. It's way too much style over way too little substance. Director falls for model, they break up, he drinks and messes up his life, he gets back on track. That's the entire story. The fast cutting and freeze framing and screen graphics and lead actor in boxers addressing the camera are a few years too late. As a satire on independent filmmaking, it doesn't work. As a young-director-shacks-up-with-young-model cliche film, it doesn't work. As a behind-the-scenes-at-a-rock-show piece, it also doesn't work. Dorff is charismatic and he could be funny given the right material. Tenney and Holly are good sports in underwritten roles. The model just has to look hot and speak with a French accent. I wanted more of the Scottish girl who could have carried an entire movie on her own spunky shoulders.
Getting back to U2, it is exciting to see some PopMart footage used in such a way, but non-fans would probably hate this film all the more because of it. Bono playing himself seemed to bring out the worst of his 'landing a 747 on your front lawn'-type pompousness. For some reason, when Mr. Springsteen did this same type of role (albeit much shorter) in the infinitely better HIGH FIDELITY, it seemed to work better. Bono doesn't really have to act, as he's playing himself, but he doesn't seem particularly at ease. He gets better as the film goes on and the scene with he and Larry in the hotel is genuinely funny. I didn't believe for a minute that Jake and Bono were friends, however. Bono's gonna take time out in the middle of a tour to call Jake because Jake's feeling sad? Come on. There will probably never be another fiction film with so much U2-related content. It's a shame that this is what we're left with.
This is a quote from the March 16, 1998 entry in Willie Williams' tour diary. You can read the entire entry here.
"The show was good, if a little strange in parts due to Phil Joanou doing a spot of filming. Phil of course was the director of the "Rattle & Hum" movie, who gained further notoriety on the Zoo TV tour by flying to Vegas after the U2 show in New Jersey to marry a woman he had met an hour previously at the aftershow party. They flew back to New York the following day, bringing their Elvis Chapel wedding video with them, which we played on the video screens during the show that same night in Madison Square Garden. The tour lasted longer than the marriage, but it was still quite an extraordinary sequence of events. Now, six years later, Phil is working on his next movie which is a story based on his own life. Steven Dorff is playing Phil Joanou, and tonight Phil shot a sequence recreating the above episode. A couple of days ago they’d been to Vegas to re-shoot a version of the wedding video, and this we showed on the PopMart screen during "Mysterious Ways" in tonight’s show. Also during the show Phil was on stage with a movie camera shooting footage of Steven Dorff, pretending to be Phil on stage with a movie camera shooting U2 ...confused? We certainly were, and the audience was absolutely baffled. I’m sure it’ll all make sense in the final edit. Or not.
The film we see Jake struggling to make in Entropy is supposedly based upon his experience filming State of Grace.
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copyright © 2001 Michael Warner Cummins
Most recent update: 8/30/01 5:45:29 PM
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