When a music video opens with credits I am immediately put off. Usually it’s 7 minutes of pretentious carbage displaying inflated egos and bad acting. Michael Jackson mastered the “long music video” with Thriller, but no one else has since. (Including Michael Jackson. “Ghosts” anyone?) And I think we are really in trouble when they stop being music videos and become short-films. So all this did not bode well when I heard 30 Seconds To Mars weren’t in the business of making videos anymore but short-films. Great. Well, they have always been quite a visual band in the past and at least they’ve got a movie star for a lead singer so maybe this could work. And hurrah! It does! “Kings and Queens” opens with a grand shot of a blazing sunset onto which black figures on bicycles contrast across the screen. A ragtag group of what look like streetperformers, bikers and other vagabonds speed through nighttime Los Angeles, passing landmarks on the empty haunted streets of the City of Angels. The band shots are from high above the city looking down from Mulholland and downtown LA glitters like the Emerald City that it is. And I think that’s why this short-film succeeds. It lets the city take the lead.