This is a summary of what happens in the movie Linear by Anton Corbijn, which is based on all the songs off No Line On The Horizon. Basically he took the songs and created a movie with each of the songs being a different section. There’s no sound in the movie other than the songs.
The first song is Unknown Caller, which is a black and white view of Paris at night, various scenes. We know it’s Paris because the opening shot is an overview of the city and we see the Eiffel Tower off to one side. Otherwise it could be any generic city. It’s basically an artsy video, kind of boring really, waiting for something to happen which never does. Get used to that feeling.
Next comes Breathe, which starts with a bang when a motorcycle cop knocks his cop bike to the ground then sets it on fire. The rest of the song is wasted though, as we spend the entire time just watching the bike burn. It ends with the cop getting on his own motorcycle, so we realize he doesn’t have a thing against bikes, maybe just against the police. As Winter plays, they finally turn on the color, and we see the cop (ex-cop?) going on a road trip. We know it’s a road trip, and we know he’s making progress, because the film keeps showing road signs with Bordeaux getting closer each time. Otherwise it’s a lot of pictures of roads, with snapshots of the stuff beside the road, making me wish I could go there and see some of it for real.
He stops for a rest in White As Snow, laying on his bike and looking at the sky before falling asleep (I don’t know how he didn’t fall off the bike while sleeping). Amazingly the clouds come together to form a map of Africa, is it magic or is he dreaming? We get a little fancy with No Line On The Horizon, this time they hired a helicopter to follow him down the road for a bit. Then he gets hungry in Fez/Being Born, so he stops at a cafe where he eats while the girl working there chews her nails and watches him eat. Wow, exciting stuff here.
Magnificent sees the two of them watching U2 perform the song on the tv in the cafe, which lends a surreal air as the color on the tv is messed up. Stand Up Comedy shows a weird angle as he is back on the bike, it’s either some kind of fisheye lens or a reflection from the bike itself, I can’t tell which. But it ends with another road sign, showing he is in Spain now. Get On Your Boots is in some kind of nightclub, where he has a drink and watches a woman dance, then goes and looks through a peephole at women in mustaches dancing. I’m really missing something here, I don’t get the point of this at all.
Moment Of Surrender goes back to black and white, this time walking through the town, down various alleys. Is this supposed to be a comparison to Paris at the start? After a whole lot of mood shots, where he stands and leans against walls for a while, he ends up at the beach, where he lays down to sleep. He wakes up in Cedars Of Lebanon, where he sits on the beach for a while, then sees a convenient rowboat which he gets in and starts rowing to Africa.
Now I haven’t told you anything you couldn’t have read yourself, except maybe how boring it all is. It’s apparently very artsy, like I said, but I guess I don’t get most of it. The idea of the guy leaving his life and heading back to Africa, not sure how interesting that all is. It’s certainly not made interesting by the movie.
My rating for Linear: 2 / 10