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Don’t you love hearing amazing success stories? Here’s one for you:
This is the independent movie to beat all other independents. It was made for a measly $150,000 (no, I didn’t forget any zeroes), and went on to make $10M in limited release in the Unites States alone…
Numbers aside, this movie is incredible. It’s pegged as a modern day musical, but I wouldn’t go that far. No one breaks out into random song and choreographed dance, but there is a lot of singing in the movie; about 60% of screen time, as a matter of fact!
This is the story of an Irish Guy, stuck in a rut and wanting nothing more than to earn a living as a musician. Enter an immigrant Girl with an affinity for the piano and a voice to match. Together, they make stunning music, and make you fall in love with them all at the same time.
I have watched this movie three times in the last two weeks, downloaded its soundtrack about ten minutes after watching it for the first time (and listened to it a minimum of 60 times since then, some songs more than others), and plan to watch and sing along to it for years to come.
What’s really extraordinary about this movie is that these are not actors, but real musicians. The director (John Carney) was setting up to make this movie and asked his friend, Glen Hansard, to write some music for it. After John heard the music, he realized that no one was going to be able to pull those songs off like Glen; he’d rather have a great musician who was an okay actor, than a great actor who was an okay singer. And it really paid off. After that came Marketa Irglova, a friend of Glen’s, and a fellow musician. Together, they are able to wend one of the most heartwarming and beautiful movies I have seen in a long time.
Here is the song Falling Slowly, sung by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova:
Definitely worth a watch… and believe me, once you hear the soundtrack, you’ll never get it out of your head...!
Kyle W. Kerr
It’s probably the worst kept secret these days that I am in love with the movie Atonement.
In the movie, there is one of the most amazing tracking shots I have every seen; a five minute long shot through complete and utter chaos… there are soldiers marching, singing, fighting, shooting horses (obviously, they didn’t really shot them… but it looks incredibly realistic!), and pretty much just going stir crazy all over the place. It’s a right miracle that they were able to pull it off in one go.
I am posting two clips below. The first is the actual scene from the movie. I honestly don’t know how long this clip will be up for, so you should check it out while you have the chance. The second clip is a little piece on how they created the shot.
(The behind-the-scenes Dunkirk footage runs the first five minutes of this video.)
Again, I can’t stress how amazing a movie this is. It is being released in more theatres every day, so check your local theatre for show times.
Kyle W. Kerr
So, this weekend I…
I was intrigued when I first learned that they were making this movie. Ever since Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl came out a few years ago, I have liked most of the roles that Johnny Depp has taken on… Willy Wonka, J.M. Barrie, Jack Sparrow, and now Sweeney Todd. So, I knew I had to see it when it came out. And I wasn’t disappointed, at ALL.
I have only recently gotten into musicals, and have enjoyed the likes of Rent and Hairspray, and Sweeney Todd was well up to par. It has such a singable soundtrack, and the cinematography and acting were definitely grade A all around. I’ve also come to appreciate the brilliance that is Helena Bonham Carter since her role as Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix earlier this year. (Other Potter alum who make an appearance in Todd include Alan Rickman, who plays Severus Snape, and Timothy Spall, who plays Wormtail.) Newcomer Ed Sanders as Toby is delectably adorable, with one of the cutest little kid British accents ever!
There is almost no way I can do any justice to this movie with a simple review; just know that it was amazing and you should see it. Make sure you see it while it’s in theatres, though, because it’s really a sight to see. You need to experience it twenty feet high with theatre surround sound. Stephen Sondheim’s score and lyrics are some of the juiciest I’ve heard in a long time, as well as some of the funniest. I’m including the lyrics to my favorite song on the soundtrack, A Little Priest, below.
A Little Priest
That’s all very well, but what are we going to do about him?
Later on, when it’s dark, we’ll take him to some secret place and bury him.
Oh yeah, of course we could do that. I don’t suppose he’s got any relatives going to come poking around looking for him.
Seems a downright shame…
Seems an awful waste…
Such a nice plump frame
Nor it can’t be traced.
Business needs a lift,
Debts to be erased,
Think of it as thrift,
As a gift …
If you get my drift …
Seems an awful waste.
With the price of meat what it is,
When you get it,
If you get it—
Good, you got it.
Take, for instance,
Mrs. Mooney and her pie shop.
Business never better, using only
Pussy cats and toast.
Now a pussy’s good for maybe six or
Seven at the most.
And I’m sure they can’t compare,
As far as taste—
What a charming notion,
Eminently practical and yet
Appropriate, as always.
How I did without you
All these years I’ll never know!
Think about it.
Lots of other gentlemen’ll
Soon be coming for a shave,
For what’s the sound of the world out there?
What, Mr. Todd,
What, Mr. Todd,
What is that sound?
Those crunching noises pervading the air?
Yes, Mr. Todd,
Yes, Mr. Todd,
Yes, all around—
It’s man devouring man, my dear,
And who are we
To deny it in here?
These are desperate times, Mrs. Lovett,
and desperate measures are called for.
Here we are, hot out of the oven.
What is that?
Have a little priest.
Is it really good?
Sir, it’s too good,
Then again, they don’t commit sins of the flesh,
So it’s pretty fresh.
Awful lot of fat.
Only where it sat.
Haven’t you got poet
Or something like that?
No, you see the trouble with poet
Is, how do you know it’s
Try the priest.
Lawyer’s rather nice.
If it’s for a price.
Order something else, though, to follow,
Since no one should swallow
Anything that’s lean.
Well, then, if you’re British and loyal,
You might enjoy Royal
Anyway, it’s clean.
Though, of course, it tastes of wherever it’s been.
Is that squire
On the fire?
Mercy no, sir,
You’ll notice it’s grocer.
More like vicar.
No, it has to be grocer—it’s green.
The history of the world, my love—
Save a lot of graves,
Do a lot of relatives favors…
—Is those below serving those up above.
So there should be plenty of flavors…
How gratifying for once to know—
—that those above will serve those down below!
What is that?
Finest in the shop.
Or we have some shepherd’s pie peppered
With actual shepherd
And I’ve just begun.
Here’s a politician—so oily
It’s served with a doily—
Put it on a bun.
Well, you never know if it’s going to run.
Try the friar.
Fried, it’s drier.
No, the clergy is really
Too coarse and too mealy.
Yes, and always arrives overdone.
I’ll come again when you
Have Judge on the menu.
Have charity toward the world, my pet—
Yes, yes, I know, my love—
We’ll take the customers that we can get.
High-born and low, my love.
We’ll not discriminate great from small.
No, we’ll serve anyone—
We’ll serve anyone—
And to anyone
Here’s the song in the movie… I don’t know how long these will be up for, so definitely take a look at them while you can! Almost all of the song sung by Johnny and Helena...!
Definitely take the time and see the movie. And download the soundtrack while you’re at it… you’ll be singing it for years to come. Already five days later and I can’t get it out of my head (not that I really mind)…!
Kyle W. Kerr