Sunday, August 1, 2010

number one

this weekend: 'Across The Universe'

written by Julie Taymor, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais

directed by Julie Taymor

this perfect. there isn't one thing i would add or take out of it. to say that, is a lot for me; even some of my other favorite films i would change a few things, but not Across The Universe. no way, no how.

it goes without mentioning, that this is my utmost favorite film. ever.

Across The Universe is so wonderful in the fact that the film's story is based off of The Beatles' songs and music. literally. every character is named after a song or line of a song, the structure to how things occur comes from lyrics and beats and takes place during The Beatles' reign between 1965 and 1969.

this film is what made me fall in love with the greatest band of all time and The Beatles are now my most favorite musical artist as well.

some background info on the beginning of the film, courtesy of wikipedia -

'The story begins in Liverpool, England with a young shipyard worker named Jude (Jim Sturgess), who asks the camera if "anyone wants to hear his story all about the girl who came to stay." ("Girl"). Against the wishes of both his mother and his girlfriend, Jude enlists in the merchant navy and travels by ship to the United States of America ("All My Loving"). He jumps ship in New Jersey to search for his American G.I. father, whom he has never met and who does not know Jude exists.

He befriends a Princeton student, Max (Joe Anderson), a rebellious and eccentric young man from a privileged background. When Max goes home for Thanksgiving, bringing Jude with him, Jude meets Max's younger sister Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) ("I've Just Seen A Face"). After a heated argument with his parents about his future, Max drops out of college and moves to New York City, accompanied by Jude. They become roommates in a bohemian enclave in Greenwich Village, where they share an apartment with others, most notably Sadie (Dana Fuchs), their landlady, who is an aspiring singer. Other residents include Jojo (Martin Luther McCoy), who arrives from Detroit, Michigan after the death of his younger brother during the 12th Street Riot ("Let It Be") ("Come Together"); and Prudence (T. V. Carpio) a young woman who has hitchhiked to New York City from Dayton, Ohio, and recently escaped an abusive boyfriend who lives in a nearby apartment.

After Lucy's boyfriend, Daniel (Spencer Liff), is killed in Vietnam, she goes to New York City to visit Max before she starts college. Romantic relationships develop between Lucy and Jude ("If I Fell"), and between Sadie and Jojo, while Max visits the Army draft board and cannot avoid recruitment ("I Want You (She's So Heavy)").'

again, i don't want to give TOO much away if you haven't seen this - but when it came to writing my own views about this, i'd come up with way too many uses of words like amazing, beautiful, wonderful, lovely, brilliant, stunning, colorful and inspirational. it's so hard not to overuse those words. so instead, i think i'll keep it as simple and basic as i can; just showing you images in order of how the film progresses and as simple of a commentary as i can.
^this is one of my favorite scenes; jim sturgess is so endearing.
^'let it be' taking place during some of the riots right before the vietnam war begun. i can never watch this scene without weeping; the voices are SO powerful and just break your heartstrings.
^where you first get introduced to prudence, singing an acoustic, more slow version of 'i want to hold your hand', which i honestly like more than the original.
^this scene is just before the madness of the anti-war movement started.

^ATU is beyond visually stunning, it needs it's own word for beautiful. the symbolisim of the drafted soldiers carrying the statue of liberty, on their backs, is brilliant. that image, to me, is something every american should see and think about for a good long moment.
^'dear prudence', one of my favorite Beatles' songs.

^where drugs really start to set in into the lives of the main characters and they go on an acid trip with Dr. Robert whom is the film's referance to Ken Kesey. (read more on the ever-interesting Kesey HERE.)
^after their trip into the rural countryside with Dr. Robert, they take a visit to Mr. Kite, played wonderfully by Eddie Izzard. i love how everything Mr. Kite says is going to happen - in his song - happens at the end of the scene (when you watch a movie over twenty times, you notice these odd little things, haha.)

^lovelovelove this moment in the film. julie taymor said that if she'd had her way and the studio wasn't vying for a PG-13 rating, that when all of the characters were laying in the field, she would've had them all be naked. she grew up in that time and said that a lot of things, like that simple little moment, could've been more accurate if it were rated R.

^as jude become more and more obsessed with his relationship with lucy and drawing different versions of her. jim sturgess didn't draw any of the art featured in the film, they hired one, but still, i love the beauty of it all. especially the one above of 'passing through' representing lucy's slow dissapearance into the anti-war movement and out of jude's life. and the strawberry art, oh my goodness...

^ gorgeous and it's so simple, yet speaks so much when you watch the film.

^like here, when both jude and max sing 'strawberry fields forever'; in my opinion, representing all the bodies max saw while in vietnam and how a lot of americans were 'living is easy with eyes closed' at the time. i think this took place around '67/'68 when the anti-vietnam-war rallies just started. in the behind the scenes videos, taymor tells of how they shot joe anderson on a green screen and actually projected jim sturgesss' face onto anderson's, live; which is pretty cool, haha.

^helter skelter; i could care less about manson and so on and so forth - i love this song.

^all you need is love; symbolizing The Beatles' rooftop performance, by yes, in a cliche way, doing a rooftop performance at the end of the film - like in the end of The Beatles' career. Still, the last moments of Jude and Lucy just looking at each other, just looking with tears and true emotion in their eyes is so beautiful, my heart actually skips a beat when i think about it.

while the film didn't gross much or get a TON of critical acclaim, it'll always be my favorite, the number one on my best films list. it's of those movies you never get tired of and want to tell everyone about and get hit with so much inspiration every time you watch it and and and and...

IT'S PERFECT AND AMAZING AND WONDERFUL and you should watch it this week. you won't regret it.

(watch the special features too, they're so great and give you more detail and info on some things that might have been not as important or vague when you first saw it.)

lots of love,
- L


  1. That movie looks amazing! I've heard about it and have always been intrigued. With your wonderful write up it definitely makes me want to watch it now.

    Yay! And thanks for being my 200th follower. I will definitely set up my giveaway idea now too ;) You're lovely.

    And I do hope you are able to join the swap. I really love them!

  2. This is my favorite movie! I'm glad you love it so much too!

  3. i love this film so much.
    when theyre in the bowling alley is so amazing :)

  4. oh Jude, yes, Jude...I am going to marry him

  5. OMGosh!!!! I lovelovelove this movie too! Sadly, I was introduced to it ONLY the beginning of this year, but I loved the way you've described the movie. Awesome post! When I first watched it, I fell in love with Jude! So lovely how they collaborated the gist of art and The Beatles together, so beautifully.

  6. I was actually listening to the soundtrack as soon as I looked at your blog haha. I have to agree with you; this is my favourite film. :D

  7. I love this movie. When I first saw it the songs were in my head for a few weeks... and when I forgot them, one of my friends gifted me the soundtrack. :)

  8. I LOVE Across the Universe!! The soundtrack is amazing!! I like Prudence's version of I Wanna Hold Your Hand better, too.


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