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Tarynssexyppaper - The 2007 musical film Across the...

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1 The 2007 musical film Across the Universe combines approximately thirty four compositions by The Beatles with an original plot involving love and life during the 60s. Written by Julie Taymor, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, and directed by Julie Taymor, the movie begins with the meeting of a young Liverpool immigrant, Jude (Jim Sturgess), and a rowdy college student Max (Joe Anderson) as well as his sister Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood). It progresses with the introduction of other key characters through the love story of Lucy and Jude as well as the political issues of the civil rights movement, the Vietnam war, and war protesting. The original score was developed by Elliot Goldenthal who is also Julie Taymor’s partner. Their collaboration produced an award nominated film that incorporates The Beatle’s music, as well as many Beatles references, in a creative way to portray the romance and political drama of the film. The political issues presented in the movie correspond to much of the band’s political concerns during original composition and actual problems faced during the 1960s. Throughout the movie the songs match the images that depict the political tension and conflict that many people had to face during the 60s. The first distinct example of this comes within the first portion of the movie when Lucy receives a letter that her boyfriend has been killed in Vietnam. At this time a young black boy begins to sing the song “Let It Be” in a gospel cover. His voice starts out as a dramatic source until the scene switches to him in the middle of a riot. Along with the calming music, he creates a sense of innocence during the destruction in the visual images of the riot. This is a civil rights riot and as bombs and guns go off and fire burns in the streets the boy soothly sings the lyrics trying to create a sense of peace. The scene then cuts to a funeral procession as an actual church choir picks up the song and is singing at the funeral of the boy. The organ chords emphasize the scene and give an impression of sorrow as well as peace in death. This implies the boy was killed at the riot and sends a message along with the song of a feeling of helplessness in the situation as well as a need to come to terms with what was going on in the world. As the choir continues to belt out the song the film cuts to images of Lucy’s boyfriend’s military funeral. Both parallel death and destructiveness with the war and riots, which foreshadow what is to continue to happen throughout the decade. It was appropriate for the funeral scenes of the movie to have “Let It Be” as their theme. Paul McCartney wrote this song for his mother Mary, who died when he was 14. McCartney had had a dream in which his mother same to him with “words of wisdom” and it had brought him peace, which inspired him to compose the song to make a statement about leaving problems behind and moving on in life. 1
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This essay was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course MUS 119A taught by Professor Hall during the Winter '08 term at UCSB.

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Tarynssexyppaper - The 2007 musical film Across the...

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