Inside Llewyn Davis - black and white header

When Joel and Ethan Coen were assembling their new film Inside Llewyn Davis, they realized the film posed a unique challenge: their script featured a lead character who needed to be able to play and sing just as well as he had to act, and there are other side characters who need to be able to play and sing as well. The brothers lucked out with Oscar Isaac, who turned out to be a more than competent musician in addition to being an actor of no small skill.

Three new featurettes talk about the creation of the film specifically with respect to the music — one features music producer T-Bone Burnett discussing the creation of the song ‘Please Mr. Kennedy,’ which features Isaac, Justin Timberlake, and Adam Driver. One focuses on finding Isaac and working with him, and is backed by a lot of early rehearsal footage. The last is about finding some of the supporting cast, including Timberlake and Carey Mulligan. Read More »

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Inside Llewyn Davis - Oscar Isaac and Justin Timberlake

More than in most of the Coen Brothers films, the music of Inside Llewyn Davis is essential to the story. Character facets are revealed through the songs various musicians play, and the actors’ musical performances are as essential as their dramatic turns.

The SoundWorks collection has turned its attention to the film to create a video in which production mixer Peter Kurland and re-recording mixer Greg Orloff talk about the practical aspects of capturing and presenting the performances. Then there’s a long interview with the film’s music producer T-Bone Burnett, who discusses his work with the Coens. Read More »

Inside Llewyn Davis - Oscar Isaac and Justin Timberlake

All movies have soundtracks. Some of them have really good soundtracks. Very few of them have soundtracks so exceptional, they’re able to inspire a concert and a subsequent documentary of their own. But leave it to the Coen Brothers to be that exception.

Their latest film Inside Llewyn Davis centers on a musician (Oscar Isaac) struggling to make it on the folk scene in ’60s New York. To complement that premise, T Bone Burnett has produced a killer soundtrack filled with performances by Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Marcus Mumford, Punch Brothers, and more.

All of them plus a few more famous friends (including Joan Baez, Colin Meloy, Patti Smith, and Jack White) got together for a benefit show in New York City this fall, and Showtime is now releasing that one-night-only concert as a documentary. After the jump, check out a trailer for the network’s Another Day, Another Time, plus another new clip from the movie itself.

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Stream the ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ Soundtrack

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T Bone Burnett has worked with Joel and Ethan Coen on the musical component to the brothers’ films a few times, starting as a “musical archivist” for The Big Lebowski, and most notably acting as producer for the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack. That album became a hit in its own right, and there’s reason to expect that Burnett’s contribution to the Coens’ new film, Inside Llewyn Davis, will find a similarly warm reception.

The film is out on December 6, but you can listen to the soundtrack now. I’d understand wanting to wait to hear the music until the film opens, especially for the songs performed by star Oscar Isaac, but in reality the record stands on its own. There’s a mix of folk songs and traditional tunes here, and it’s a lovely set of tunes.  Read More »

Hunger Games fans expecting a sweeping, quirky score to their film from a living legend are going to have to settle for a melodic, theme-driven musical accompaniment from one of the best in the business. Tomato to-mot-o. Amazing composer Danny Elfman was originally scheduled to score Gary Ross‘ adaptation The Hunger Games but, due to scheduling conflicts, he’s been forced to take his four Oscar-nominations and move on. He’ll be replaced by the eight Oscar-nominations of James Newton Howard, which could actually be a good thing. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Bowling shirts and bathrobes packed the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City Tuesday night for a cast reunion and screening of The Big Lebowski, in honor of the film’s limited edition Blu-ray release. On hand to discuss the beloved cult classic were musical archivist T-Bone Burnett and stars Jeff BridgesJohn Turturro, Julianne Moore, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, each of whom walked on stage to thunderous applause and much yelling of quotes from the film.

Organized by Universal Studios Home Entertainment in conjunction with Lebowski Fest, the evening kicked off with a spirited Q&A hosted by Entertainment Weekly writer and Lebowski superfan Clark Collis before moving into a full-length screening of the cult classic. And yours truly was there in the middle of it all, guzzling watered-down White Russians and singing along to “The Man in Me” with the best of them. Check out video and higlights from the event after the jump. (Spoilers follow if you’ve never seen The Big Lebowski, although if you’ve never seen The Big Lebowski, I’m surprised you’re still reading.)

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Danny Elfman and T-Bone Burnett are set to team up to score The Hunger Games, Gary Ross‘ adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ dystopian YA novel. Burnett will also produce songs for the soundtrack, as the film’s Executive Music Producer. I probably don’t need to tell you that this is an impressively high-profile collaboration (but I will anyway) — Burnett is an artist and producer with 40 years of experience and 12 Grammys to his name, while Elfman is a four-time Oscar nominee for his work on Men in Black, Good Will Hunting, Big Fish and Milk. The Hunger Games will mark the first time Elfman and Burnett have worked together. Read more after the jump.

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oscar_headerGriping about the arbitration of those Oscar folk at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences seems to be a rather popular sport, and one in full season right now. For some reason, the most frequent complaints seem to revolve around the terms of admission to the music categories.

You may recall the hubbub when Johnny Greenwood’s music for There Will Be Blood was denied eligibility, or when the song Falling Slowly from Once was challenged. The song was ultimately allowed to compete after AMPAS deemed it had been initially conceived for the film despite appearing elsewhere before the film was completed. This year’s victims would appear to be Karen O, T Bone Burnett and Brian Eno. What do all of these people have in common? They’re from the world of pop music, not specifically film composition. Surely somebody will cry “Prejudice!”?

Of course, it’s not that simple because the scores for the latest Harry Potter, The Blind Side, Bruno and Funny People have also been scratched off the list this year – though I suppose the involvement of sometime pop musician Jason Scwhartzman in the Funny People score wouldn’t go unnoticed.

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