Across the Universe more than just a jukebox period piece

CanWest News Service
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Across the Universe is a musical set in 1960s America and filled with some of the most recognizable songs in 20th century pop music - but its creator stresses that its much more than a jukebox period piece.

Across the Universe is a musical set in 1960s America and filled with some of the most recognizable songs in 20th century pop music - but its creator stresses that its much more than a jukebox period piece.

Yes, its set in the 1960s, but have things changed? asked director Julie Taymor. It didnt feel like we were just (making) a nostalgic piece.

The film, about a dockworker named Jude (Hey!) who comes to America searching for his father and winds up in love with a girl named Lucy (in the Sky, etc.), chronicles one of the most evocative, psychedelic, wild, tumultuous eras in American history - from the Detroit Riots to the Vietnam War - all set to the songs of the Beatles.

Its a story of the 1960s through contemporary eyes, said Taymor.

This meant that Vietnams contemporary equivalent, Iraq, was on the casts collective mind during filming.

Star Evan Rachel Wood, sporting a lime green dress, recalled during the filming of the Let It Be funeral scene, in which an American flag is folded over the coffin of a soldier killed in Vietnam.

I just broke down. I could not hold it in.

Taymor said that while filming a peace march scene in New York, complete with Bring Our Troops Home signs, the residents wanted to keep the signs after filming wrapped up.

Though none of them were classically trained, the three lead actors at the press conference all have some musical experience: Wood started out in musical theatre in North Carolina when she was four; Jim Sturgess, who plays Jude, was in a band that split up a month before he was cast; and Joe Anderson, who plays Lucys brother, has a mother who was a musical theatre actress. The film also has cameos from Salma Hayek, Eddie Izzard, Joe Cocker, and Bono (Ive always thought: Lets see Bono act, said Taymor.)

Taymor said that about 90 per cent of the film was shot live - meaning the actors sang on set, and were did not simply have their voices dubbed by a studio recording. And while filming, Taymor came to some conclusions about the Beatles songs themselves.

Theyre such girl songs, said Taymor of the groups early catalogue. I do the believe the Beatles were channelling 15-year old girls back then.

Taymor recently screened the film for Paul McCartney. She said he liked it.

Organizations: Beatles, Detroit Riots, Let It Be

Geographic location: America, Vietnam, Iraq New York North Carolina

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments