Jonathan Levine interview

“Music inspires you to keep making images,” director Jonathan Levine says. The director of The Wackness50/50, and the new Seth RogenCharlize Theron rom-com, Long Shot, constantly finds himself inspired by music. Whether he’s writing or thinking of the mood for a movie, music is on his mind. His love for music was evident from the start of his career with The Wackness, but his movies that followed have been packed with songs that fit just right.

With Long Shot, he was mostly inspired by music with a “nostalgic bittersweet” feeling. Even if some of those bands and artists that influenced him didn’t land a spot on the soundtrack, like Bon Iver or David Gray, they were instrumental in Levine thinking of the bigger picture. In the case of the Long Shot, he wanted to create feelings of nostalgia, so the soundtrack has the likes of The Cure, Boyz II Men, Bruce Springsteen, so basically artists Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) and Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) grew up listening to. Even those big names, though, don’t even begin to cover all the heavy hitters in the movie’s soundtrack, which also features Frank Ocean’s “Moon River” and Aretha Franklin’s cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

Recently, Levine talked to us all about music in his latest film, as well as the music that shaped his taste, songs he’s used and wants to use in movies, his obsession with Springsteen, and more about the music a part of both his career and life.

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Blinded by the Light Trailer

Even though the summer is chock-full of blockbusters, there are some indie treasures that will be vying for your attention this season, and one of them was quite the sensation at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

Based on Sarfraz Manzoor’s acclaimed memoir Greetings from Bury Park, the film Blinded by the Light tells the true story of how one Pakistani British teen (newcomer Viveik Kalra in a breakthrough performance) takes solace in the inspirational tunes of Bruce Springsteen. Clashing with his family, persecuted in the streets, and outcast at school, The Boss is the one thing that keeps this kid going strong. Watch the Blinded by the Light trailer below. Read More »

springsteen on broadway review

Netflix’s Springsteen on Broadway brings Bruce Springsteen‘s wildly popular Broadway show to your home, providing one of the year’s best pieces of entertainment. For almost 3 hours, the Boss treads the boards, telling the story of his life in-between performances of some of his best songs. It’s nothing short of a sensation.

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springsteen on broadway trailer

As a big Bruce Springsteen fan, I coveted tickets to the Boss’ big Broadway show. Unfortunately, but understandably, the ticket prices were a bit out of my price range, and the show sold out quickly anyway. But since Bruce is a man of the people, he’s bringing his show to everyone with Springsteen on Broadway, a filmed performance set to hit Netflix next month. Watch the Springsteen on Broadway trailer below.

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Springsteen on Broadway - Bruce Springsteen

Fans of American music icon Bruce Springsteen will soon be able to Spring-stream his one-man show on Netflix. Read more about when you’ll be able to catch The Boss’s Springsteen on Broadway on the streaming service.

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Bruce Springsteen harry potter song

Bruce Springsteen is a Harry Potter fan. Perhaps the boss isn’t a Potterhead, but he enjoyed reading J.K. Rowling‘s stories to his son, Sam, enough to want to go out of his way and write an original song for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The song, titled “I’ll Stand By You Always” (which is definitely the title of a Bruce song), was rejected by Warner Bros. and never released, but after all these years, it’s now available for your listening pleasure.

Below, learn more about the Bruce Springsteen Harry Potter song.

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harry-potter-photo

Who has the gall to turn down the Boss, you ask? None other than Harry Potter. Bruce Springsteen has revealed he wrote a song for the franchise during its early days. Unfortunately, the Academy Award-winning musician’s personal ballad went unused, but he still hopes we’ll hear it in a theater one day.

Below, learn more about the scrapped Bruce Springsteen Harry Potter song.

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one thinged guy
Bruce Springsteen has received so my praise for his song “The Wrestler” (which was created for Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler) that he has decided to follow-up with a sequel titled “One Thinged Guy”. Of course, this is actually a parody created by OverthinkingIt.com. Watch the music video after the jump.
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Bruce Springsteen’s The Wrestler on iTunes

As you probably know, Bruce Springsteen wrote a beautiful original song for The Wrestler, which plays during the film’s ending credits. The song, self titled “The Wrestler”, is now available for download for 99 cents on Apple iTunes. Thanks to Tim at FilmTalk for the tip. I’ve included an excerpt from my Toronto interview with director Darren Aronofsky below, where he talks about how they got Bruce to do the song:

Peter Sciretta: Can you talk a little about the music of The Wrestler. You have Slash doing guitar riffs for Clint Mansell’s score, and you have Bruce Springsteen… How did you pull that one off?

Darren Aronofsky: Well, Bruce Springsteen did the film for one reason. And it had nothing do with me. In fact, to be honest, I met with Bruce, and he’s heard of me, which is very flattering, but he had never seen any of my work. He did it for one reason and that was that he did it for Mickey. He’s a friend of Mickey’s. He’s a tremendous fan of Mickey’s and when he heard about this film, he felt that this was something that Mickey’s been looking for for years. So he wanted to help, and that’s the only reason he did it. And he did it for basically nothing.

Peter Sciretta: That’s awesome.

Darren Aronofsky: Purely out of love for Mickey. And so I can’t wait for him to see the movie because Asbury Park is in it and I think he’ll be psyched.

Peter Sciretta: Oh, I’m surprised he hasn’t seen the movie. You listen to that song and it’s so dead on…

Darren Aronofsky: He actually put more effort into it. He read the screenplay which is probably harder than watching the movie. He read the screenplay, knew it and basically just pumped it out. It’s a beautiful song. As Mickey says, rock stars love him, and so he got Axl [Rose] to close a deal on Sweet Child of Mine. It was really fun rediscovering all that old Hair metal and finding a place for it in the film. And then Clint did a very subtle job in this movie, as compared to what we’ve done in the past. The film really didn’t call for a big score and what I really admire about what Clint did with the help of Slash is that they did very very very subtle work.

The Wrestler hits theaters in Los Angeles and New York today. Take a look at the full release date roll-out schedule to see when the film is coming to your city.

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Bruce Springsteen in The Wrestler

The reason why Darren Aronofsky‘s The Wrestler has the un-popular position of closing the Venice Film Festival, is because the film is waiting on a new song written and performed by Bruce Springsteen. The song was written for the closing credits and is also titled The Wrestler. Aronofsky calls the song “beautiful” … “wonderful acoustic piece”.

“Makes me choke up every time i hear it,” Aronofsky writes on his blog. “He really captured the spirit of the film and Mickey [Rourke]’s character in the piece.”

It has already been reported that Slash (formerly from Guns and Roses) provided some guitar on Clint Mansell’s score.