The Great Gatsby: music is a highlight
5/11/2013 7:30:00 AM
The Great Gatsby is a perfect escape film. It’s so highly stylized, it’s a wonder just to watch it - and in 3D no less! It is filmmaking at its finest. And one of the most compelling parts about it is the music. Although the story is set in the Roaring Twenties the music interspersed atmospherically throughout is by contemporary artists: Jay Z, Florence and the Machine, and most notably, Lana Del Rey.
Her stunning “Young and Beautiful” will be released for the first time on the film’s soundtrack (May 7th) and is the single. For me, it was the most moving part of the film.
“Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?” the haunting lyrics beckon. ”Will you still love me when I got nothing but an aching soul?”
In a review by Idolator: “’Cinematic’ is a word that people throw around a lot when talking about Lana Del Rey’s music, which makes sense, given that her entire artistic identity is a loving pastiche of a lot of movie references — and fittingly, her big soundtrack song for a big Hollywood movie packs all the sweep and grandeur of a classic film, warm and nostalgic and sadly beautiful. Frankly, it makes us feel a lot of things.”
Based on the great American novel by F Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby takes place in Long Island in the 1920s at the mansions of two very wealthy people. Tom Buchanon (Joel Edgerton) described as one of the wealthiest people in the US at the time, and Jay Gatsby, (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is also very rich.
Writer/Producer/Director Baz Luhrmann is no stranger to interpreting great works, having successfully taken on Shakesphere’s Romeo and Juliet where he also directed Leonardo DiCaprio. About the music in the film, Luhrmann told the Los Angeles Times: "F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel is peppered with contemporary music references specific to the story’s setting of 1922. While we acknowledge, as Fitzgerald phrased it, ‘the Jazz Age,’ and this is the period represented on screen, we—our audience—are living in the ‘hip-hop age’ and want our viewers to feel the impact of modern-day music the way Fitzgerald did for the readers of his novel at the time of its publication. Now there’s another form of African American street music — hip hop — that speaks in exactly the same way to our lives.”
Luhrmann used the contemporary music in an effort to be faithful to the book and the epoch and also to make the story accessible for a new generation, to create a cultural weave. His collaborating with ground-breaking artist and executive producer on the film, Shawn “JAY Z” Carter—was an integral part of this weave. Another credit on Jay Z's resume is curating the 2-day festival Made in America that debuted in Philadelphia last Labor Day weekend, and comes to our town again this year.
Screenwriter Craig Pearce explains, “We wanted to allow people to feel what it would’ve felt like to live in that incredibly modern time, when the world was being born and everyone was so young and so beautiful and so drunk and so crazy and so rich and living like that,” “We wanted it to feel exactly how it would feel to us to be going to the most amazing nightclub in the world and driving the fastest car you’ve ever driven. We had to make some decisions early on about what music we’d use, and how to present the story using music.”
Author Fitzgerald himself included over 70 popular songs in his writings, including the 1922 number one hit “Three O’Clock in the Morning” in Gatsby.
The soundtrack is available now and here are the tracks/artists:
1. 100$ Bill - JAY Z
2. Back To Black - Beyoncé x André 3000
3. Bang Bang - will.i.am
4. A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got) - Fergie + Q Tip + GoonRock
5. Young And Beautiful - Lana Del Rey
6. Love Is The Drug - Bryan Ferry with The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
7. Over The Love - Florence + The Machine
8. Where The Wind Blows - Coco O. of Quadron
9. Crazy in Love - Emeli Sandé and The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
10. Together – The xx
11. Hearts A Mess - Gotye
12. Love Is Blindness – Jack White (a U2 song)
13. Into the Past - Nero
14. Kill and Run – Sia
The Great Gatsby opened Friday. It’s rated PG-13
2.5 hours long
All photos here courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures