"Get Out of Your Own Way" (Animated Video) [03:35]
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The first video released for “Get Out of Your Own Way” is an animated video, designed by Broken Fingaz, who were also responsible for the lyric video for “American Soul“. “Broken Fingaz” is the name of an Israeli street art crew. The group is known for their stop motion videos shot in urban environments, and is made up of four different main members and a number of associates. Universal Music initially contacted the Broken Fingaz to make a lyric video for U2’s “American Soul” but gave them a tough deadline, they would only have one week to complete the project in November 2017. The group also created new video content which was played on the screen while U2 performed on Saturday Night Live in December 2017. This video for “Get Out of Your Own Way” is the third video that they have completed for U2. The video for “Get Out of Your Own Way” is done with a mix of medias, including paper cut outs, computer graphics, and traditional animation.
The video opens on a street scene where the street has a name, “Get Out of Your Own Way” is painted onto the street. We zoom in to a building to see a woman looking at the American flag out of her window, and crying. We then switch to a “doll house” of seven different rooms. The first we see has the Ku Klux Klan with torches under a rainbow. The next room is the president in the White House as the Ku Klux Klan walks past. The next room is U2 performing against a Vertigo style video wall. The next room is some members of the Ku Klux Klan carrying brief cases, and going home from work on the subway, and we see in the next room them arriving home. There is also a stairway in a room with a Fingaz’ poster of a skeleton, and another room with the Songs of Experience cover silhouette.
The video then moves through a series of scenes, with one scene turning into the next. This includes a scene of groceries on fire (including “Liberty Crackers”), a scene of a rat on a wheel, a woman becoming a skeleton, a group of nine international children holding hands around the world, a vacation ad for “Get Out of Your Own Way” which shows a beach with a refugee child washed up on the beach (a reference to the death of Alan Kurdi), and scenes of an animated band performing, hundred dollar bills burning, a fist turning into a peace symbol and back again, a return to President Trump in the White House. We next see a scene of a Yin Yang symbol being separated by building of a wall, and then we look out a window on the wall to see a rainbow forming over mountains, when we zoom back into the wall it is older, covered in graffiti and in disrepair, with fires burning around. The video finishes with some colourful patterns, a scene of the white house from outside, a scene of planes flying, a sunset over water, and finally an artwork on the outside of a small building, and then a look into the sky.
Broken Fingaz commented “The video addresses the current political situation: 2017 for us was the year fascists worldwide felt confident enough to raise their heads again, encouraged by Trump and other world leaders, who use people’s fear to build more walls and segregation. The song is both a personal letter and a clarion cry to the global situation, and in the same way, we’ve combined our psychedelic pop style with political imagery; shot entirely analogue, using paper cut and stop motion animation techniques in collaboration with Adam Albo, who edited the video.”
The band also commented that it “ Was a pleasure to work on this one, as we got complete creative freedom from the band, they explained us their idea of the song and asked as to do whatever we want, and saw it for the first time only when it was finished. We would like to dedicate this video to Tinoki and to Ru.”
Some things that may not be noticed at first in the video:
- Throughout the video there is an image of a man and a woman kissing. This image is a stylized image of a scene from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life.
- On the first street scene, on the right side of the street (on the drug store / bakery) there are two big signs with Hebrew letters, they read Broken and Fingers. “אצבעות שבורות” (Thanks Daffi)
- The city scene that opens the video has a truck labeled U2. The truck has the license plate “BRO 3421” which is partially a reference to the musical electronic due 3421 from Haifa, Israel.
- The bakery is called “BREADA”, and an advertisement for a beer called “Fight Back” is nearby.
- A tag (name in graffiti) on the right says “UNGA” under the “7/11” building sign, this is one of the members of Broken Fingaz.
- The building we see on the left as the video starts has a note above the door “It’s Not a Place” and a skeleton over the door. This building is seen again at the end but the sign now has been replaced with the American flag, the skeleton painting is gone, and there is now a billboard with some art out front. A Christmas tree can be seen in the window and the building next door has a sign that says “Get out of Your Own Way”
- The poster on the right of the street that reads “The Forest Has Been Removed” and showing a burning man was part of a Broken Fingaz exhibit in London called “Shmiracles” between Broken Fingaz member Unga and London based artist Pakal.
- Between the building with the “It’s Not a Place” sign and the next building we can see an alley with posters covering the wall, these are the handbills from the “American Soul” video.
- On a billboard nearby we can see a sliced up finger (broken finger…), this is a common image in Broken Fingaz work, and could be seen in the “American Soul” video as well. In December 2016 they had one of these green fingers produced as an earthenware sculpture, sold in limited numbers.
- Below the finger we can see a billboard of the food we will see in a later scene.
- On a billboard across the street there is an ad for “Fingaz Magic Ink”. A similar ad was seen on Broken Fingaz website in August 2017 painted on a real building with some of the crew hiding their faces. The seal on the bottle says “Originators and Improvers” and contains a person dropping ink onto their tongue, and on the other side is a series of squares that say “BFC” (Broken Fingaz Crew) and the sign also says 2017 Seattle. The original wall was painted in Seattle on August 4 with five of these bottles, each painted so they show a different angle of the bottle, beside a sign that said “This product is not available in your region”.
- The tags near the ink billboard includes one that says “KIP” one of the members of Broken Fingaz.
- A sign at street level says “There is a moment in life where a soul can die”, a lyric from “American Soul”
- A sign on the side of the building says Keren Dun (Live) – Keren is a musical artist from Israel, and Broken Fingaz have done artwork for her releases.
- Below the Keren Dun sign is a sign for “Cence” another musical artist from Haifa, Israel also part of the Broken Fingaz family having worked with them on the EP Ghostbuzz, a musical EP. Next to his name is “Besk” also an artist who worked on Ghostbuzz.
- The painting seen at the bottom left of the building at the end of the street is a mural Broken Fingaz painted in Haifa called “Fingaz Railways – Broken Borders – The Fertile Crescent Route”. Paintings also show “Pain” and “This is a Dream” both frames from the “American Soul” video.
- The top of the building the woman is in uses the “American Soul“ logo from the previous video and says “Came here looking for American Soul”, at street level there is a poster that says “This Country is to Me”, a lyric from “American Soul”.
- The woman looking out her window has a mirror behind her in which we can see the flag, she also has a U2 poster, and a Broken Fingaz poster in her home. On her table she has the image of the man and woman kissing in a picture frame. (Or perhaps its a photo wearing the same top as it appears to be daylight.)
- The woman has a poster for MLK from the “American Soul“ video with a line that says “This is a Dream” below the table.
- The heart that can be seen early on can also be seen on Jesus behind his sash, but on fire.
- Larry Mullen’s drum kit is on a riser that says “Experience” and the drums have the Yamaha symbol.
- Bono is wearing his round purple glasses.
- The milk on the table of food has a “Missing” image on the side with a picture of Donald Trump.
- The crackers on the table are “New” Liberty Crackers and we see Liberty starting to crack, and a beer bottle called “Fight Back” advertised in the opening street scene can be seen on the table.
- The soap on the table is also labeled “Fight Back”, the can behind it is labeled, “SPAM”.
- The short round container is labeled “Bite Back” and eventually becomes a rat on a roller.
- In the ‘dollhouse’ the image of the man and woman kissing is a poster, as is a skeleton with the text “INGAZ” above the stairs.
- The subway car poster is based on an artwork by Broken Fingaz that shows a nude woman reclining and a green man strategically placed, part of the “Journey Galactiko” show sometimes called “Not Again”. It was also produced as a tapestry and used in the “Soft” group show in Los Angeles in October 2016.
- The Ku Klux Klan family room has a painting of the woman looking out her window a the American flag on one wall. The other painting (pink on green) is based on an artwork by Broken Fingaz as part of the “Journey Galactiko” show titled “Welcome Back”, that shows two naked bald men linked in arms and moving in a circle that was sold as a print in August 2017.
- Both the baby and the woman at home have hoods hanging up by the door.
- The image of the young refugee washing up on the vacation beach contains the slogan “If I could I’d make it alright”. The boy is a reference to Alan Kurdi, a 3 year old Syrian refugee whose body was found on a beach.
- At the end of the video another tag can be seen that says “ASFE”, who is a friend of the Broken Fingaz group.
- The lady in the Louis Vuitton hijab on the walls in the opening street scene, the wall separating the Yin Yang, the graffiti on the wall, and the tiger are all used in Broken Fingaz artwork “Celebrating 50 Years of Occupation (1967-2017)” posted at the end of 2017 and done up to look like a package of stickers.
- The tiger repeats through much of Broken Fingaz work quite often with flames or lightning coming out of its mouth, but sometimes pictured lazing about, sometimes with wings, and sometimes cut in half like the fingers in the opening scenes. The tiger appears often in art by crew member Tant. Skeletons also repeat through much of their work, as do people in bright unnatural colours, and rainbows have appeared before.
This video by Broken Fingaz was teased on their social media accounts where they shared the image of the burning hundred dollar bills on January 12, 2018 as an animated gif, with a note that said “New video coming very soon..”
U2 at this point potentially have three full videos for “Get Out of Your Own Way”, this video, the first released, was released in full on January 18, 2018, and could be purchased on iTunes as of January 19, 2018. But prior to that there were two other videos filmed.
On October 5, 2017, after performing in Mexico City, U2 filmed a video on a rooftop in the city. The video was filmed by Jonas Åkerlund and features the band at dusk performing the song. The video was first officially teased on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on December 11, 2017 but has yet to be released in a longer version. The second version of the video that we know about was filmed when U2 performed at Trafalgar Square on November 11, 2017. The band handed out various protest signs to the outdoor audience to hold up during the filming, and told the crowd it would be used for a future video. This footage was teased on January 5 and January 9 on different social media platforms. Like the video from Mexico it has yet to be released. We are told a second version of the video should be released in conjunction with the bands performance at the Grammy Awards, possibly next Friday, or the following. The band is expected to perform “Get Out of Your Own Way” for that awards show, and the song is being pushed at Modern Rock Radio the week of January 16, 2018 as a single.
Additional Screen Captures
Directed / Design by Broken Fingaz
Editing and Post-Production: Adam Albo
Photographers: (Bangkok): Yona Preminger (London) Will Edgecombe (Haifa) Matan Sivan, Nil Choen, Yaara Agnon, Fima.
Models built by: Roni Adler, Sai Alon, Kip.
Assistants: David, Asfe, Tommy, Cha Caspi, Viki, Machlin, Bar, Manel, Molly, Phil, Teddy, Amit, Gavriel.
Big Thanks to: Shai, Sharon, Quimb, Ale, Rami, Holly, falafel Sachtein.