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“Remember Me” is unique among the Best Original Song nominees. Its love theme is central to Pixar’s “Coco,” helping pay tribute to Día de los Muertos as a unifying bridge for Mexican families. Sung in two very different styles, however, the song is also very personal to its composers, the Oscar-winning husband and wife team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (“Frozen”).
“It was really healing,” said Anderson-Lopez. “Bobby lost his mom in August and we did an ofrenda [collection of objects] with all of our relatives that we’ve lost in October. We sat around and told stories. It was a different kind of grieving then the kind you do at a funeral because it was joyful. We made it feel like she was with us and all of my relatives.”
Lopez’s mother was fortunate to hear “Remember Me” after it was composed. In fact, it was played at his grandmother’s funeral prior to his mother’s passing as well. And since the opening of “Coco,” Anderson-Lopez has received several Twitter responses thanking her for the song and how it’s helped them get over their grief.
Their participation began with director Lee Unkrich’s pitch. He asked the songwriters to compose a song “that in the beginning of the movie we hear one way and means one thing, and then we hear it later as the song was meant to be,” said Lopez.
“We loved that idea because it didn’t sound like anything we’ve ever heard in a movie before where a song played so crucial a role to the story and the emotion of the film,” added Lopez. “And we were eager to write it but first we had to learn more about the music.”
Taking a Mexican Deep Dive
First the couple visited the Yucatán and were given a crash course in the many different styles and genres by consultant Camilo Lara. In particular, they were introduced to such ’30s icons as Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete, who were the inspiration for Benjamin Bratt’s Ernesto de la Cruz.
“The history of Mexican music was almost like a college course here in our forties, way, way out of college,” said Anderson-Lopez. “We were introduced to mariachi, banda, jarocho, peteneras.”
Coming up with Two Versions
“Remember Me” appears as both a joyous celebration (sung by Bratt’s de la Cruz) and as a lullaby (sung by both Gael Garcia Bernal’s Hector and Anthony Gonzalez’s Miguel). But Lopez needed to write the melody for the lullaby before they could tackle the grand, ranchero-style showstopper.
“Bobby sat down to write it the next morning after we heard some of the beautiful Mexican standards and came up with this melody in his boxer shorts,” Anderson-Lopez said. “And I asked him to play it into my phone because I had to go into Manhattan for a rehearsal. So I took the Voice Memo and played it on the F train and wrote the lyric to the melody between Brooklyn and mid-town Manhattan. The lullaby version was a real easy one to write because I know how horrible it is to leave your children because you have to go do something far away for music, and it came from a very personal place.”
But then they needed the song to work note for note for the bigger version. “We re-envisioned it as an uptempo, mariachi tune. We even did an little orchestration with trumpets and violins,” said Lopez.
Songwriter-composer Germaine Franco came in “and brought an authenticity and vibrant color to the mariachi version,” said Anderson-Lopez. “It was so fun because they do a version of ‘Remember Me’ in all the regional genres we learned sprinkled throughout the movie. I’ve never seen that before. It’s a wonderful, little musicology lesson. It’s also really amazing how they were able to show a complicated family from the past and healing it. That seems to be part of the zeitgeist right now with ‘This Is Us.’ These family stories begin long before we’re born and being reconnected is a really good idea. And we were excited to capture that with ‘Remember Me.'”
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‘Collateral’ Trailer: Carey Mulligan Is a Pregnant Detective in Political Thriller From ‘The Hours’ Writer David Hare
After a string of successful period dramas like “The Great Gatsby,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” and most recently “Mudbound,” Carey Mulligan was ready for something contemporary. “I wanted to play a character who is alive right now, not 100 years ago,” Mulligan said of her latest television project, a four-part series for the BBC titled “Collateral.” Written by renowned playwright and David Hare (who penned the script for Todd Haynes’ “The Hours”), “Collateral” is a fast-paced political thriller that takes place over four days.
Mulligan plays Kip Glaspie, a practical and ambitious detective who has no qualms breaking rules to get the job done. Set around the fatal shooting of a pizza delivery man, “Collateral” follows the repercussions of one murder. Naturally, the series features performances from plenty of top English actors, including “Doctor Who” stars John Simm and Billie Piper.
Hare approached Mulligan about the series while the actress was starring in his West End play, “Skylight.” She was interested, but told him she was six weeks pregnant.
“He was totally happy and said he didn’t see why Kip couldn’t be pregnant,” Mulligan told the BBC. “He barely changed a thing and only added two references to the pregnancy in the entire show. We just put a bump in and got on with it and as my real bump grew we just took away the fake bump. I love that because pregnant women don’t go around all day clutching their bellies, they are working women and they just get on with it.”
Watch the trailer for “Collateral” below.
“Collateral” premieres February 12 on BBC Two.
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Community Change, Inc. runs a digital project on David Walker and David Walker’s Appeal:
We’re a diverse group of folks who studied David Walker and his role in the anti-slavery struggle during a Black history seminar series in Boston. We were struck by the fact that, despite his pioneering contribution to ending slavery in the United States, Walker is so little known and publicly recognized. We decided that must change.
- To raise up David Walker. We want to ensure that David Walker’s work and his timeless message of unity and liberation reach a wide audience, and particularly young people. We hope that eventually students throughout the country will be as familiar with David Walker as they are with Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and other heroes of the Black freedom struggle.
- To honor David Walker by building a public memorial to him in Boston, Massachusetts. Walker spent his most influential years in the city. Yet he is commemorated only by a small plaque on the one remaining wall of a house in Beacon Hill where he and his family had once lived. Even his likely gravesite in a South Boston cemetery is unmarked. We believe David Walker is a national hero who deserves a statue or some other dedicated memorial of his own. And we’re raising the money to make that possible.
Meanwhile, we are doing what we can to raise his profile. We have updated the Wikipedia entry on David Walker, and we have established this website. The site – and the project as a whole – serve as a living memorial to David Walker and a celebration of his life and work.
Read a review of the project by Jeffrey McClurken here.
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Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ Is Getting Way More Expensive: Budget Now Estimated Over $140 Million
Martin Scorsese is spending a ton of money for his new gangster movie, “The Irishman.” Multiple sources confirm to Deadline that the budget has skyrocketed past the $140 million mark as principal photography nears its end and the movie’s lengthy post-production process is set to begin.
Part of the reason the movie’s budget continues to climb is because of the de-aging process Scorsese is using to make star Robert De Niro appear decades younger during certain portions of the film. “The Irishman” tells the true story of mobster Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who carried out more than 25 hits and was allegedly involved in the death of mob boss Jimmy Hoffa. The film is framed around an older Sheeran looking back on his life, and De Niro plays all iterations of the character.
Scorsese will be working with VFX company Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) during post-production. The company is famous for using the same technology on David Fincher’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”
“The Irishman” made news a year ago when it was announced Netflix would be producing and distributing. A major reason Netflix reportedly got involved was because Scorsese needed at least $100 million to make the film, a budget the director’s longtime distributor Paramount wasn’t willing to risk. Netflix agreed to a $125 million budget, which includes Scorsese’s estimated $10-15 million payday, but the more expensive shoot and the money needed for the VFX is sending the cost north of $140 million.
At this rate, “The Irishman” could very well become Scorsese’s most expensive production. The record belongs to “Hugo” right now with a budget north of $150 million. “The Irishman” has already exceeded the $100 million production budgets of “Gangs of New York” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” plus the $110 million it cost to make “The Aviator.” The film is expected to be released by Netflix sometime in 2019.
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