Friday, September 21, 2007

Across the Universe, or How I (heart) the Beatles + Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor's Across the Universe.
Now, for those of you who don't know anything about it I've put here the trailer so you can see for yourselves what it's about. In a few words it is a 1960s-set Beatles-musical. Sounds a bit weird? Yeah. Pretentious? Please, of course it does - when does a movie I like not get labeled pretentious?
In any case, it is a bit in the vein of Moulin Rouge (the first scene follows along the same tradition of 'let me tell you the story about a girl') - pop music turned on its head in the midst of an otherwise simple boy-meets-girl storyline. And let me tell you, some psychedelic scenes in Across the Universe, leave you thinking that Absynthe Kylie Minogue fairy bit in Luhrman's masterpiece isn't all that weird after all (look out for Bono singing 'I am the Walrus,' Salma Hayek [as a nurse] multiplying in front of your eyes as she coos 'Happiness is a Warm Gun,' and an 'interlude-like' trip with gigantic puppets, a ringmaster, blue people and all).
But the beauty of Across the Universe is the music: hearing Hey Jude coming very organically out of the movie; or listening to a sombre and (lesbian) sad version of I want to hold your hand; and even a beautiful cast rendition of Because is an experience that mixed in with Taymor's crazy filmic antics makes the movie worthwhile. It's not a pitch-perfect movie, and it might make a better soundtrack than a movie but the 'trip' is worth its while. Where else will you see Strawberry Fields Forever underscored by Jim Sturgess making strawberries bleed? That's what I thought...
All that said, I loved it. Every minute of it. Made me smile, made me laugh (can't say it didn't make me cringe at times, cause it did) but it was a great film and I highly recommend it for any Beatles fans.
P.S. I am officially in love with Jim Sturgess' voice and I think it makes him TEN TIMES more attractive than he actually is. Hearing him sing All my Loving was one of those moments that made me wish he had been singing it to me...

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