Friday, March 28, 2008

My Blueberry Nights

"My Blueberry Nights, my first English-language film, is the story of a young woman taking the long way to cross the street to true love. In order to understand how she might travel from one ocean to the other, I took that long journey myself, not once but three times - three different routes from New York to Santa Monica...Mile after mile, the view outside my window and the music from the car stereo synced in unexpected ways to give me my first glimps into the landscape of Elizabeth's heart. These trips not only shaped the story of MBN, but the soundtrack as well."
-Wong Kar Wai, producer

On April 1st, the film My Blueberry Nights will premier and the soundtrack will hit the street. Since I've only listened to the soundtrack, I can only share a few tidbits about the film that I know. First, it stars Norah Jones in her big screen debut (and the soundtrack includes a brand new song from her, The Story, which she wrote specifically for the film and which opens both the movie and the soundtrack) as the film's main character, Elizabeth. Jones/Elizabeth has just gone through a painful break-up and is heading across the country on a soul searching expedition, all the while dealing with her own heartache and inner pain. Having driven cross country myself in search of a change, I can somewhat empathize with that desire.

Even without knowing any details of the movie's plot, the soundtrack itself does a great job of conveying that melancholy longing which seems to define Jones' character. It's got a just-on-the-cusp of tragicness to it, a feeling of being on the edge of tipping into despair. There's a mix of material here, some new (like the Norah Jones track as well an another from Hello Stranger), some from fairly recent releases (two Cat Power tracks and one from Amos Lee), an obligatory soundtrack cover (Cassandra Wilson covering Neil Young's Harvest Moon), some instrumentals (three from Ry Cooder, a harmonica version of Yumeji's Theme from Chikara Tsuzuki, and the Central American flavored Pajaros - all of which give it a Tarantinoesque Kill Bill feel to it), and some classic R&B/soul tracks from Otis Redding, Mavis Staples, and Ruth Brown. Here's the full track listing:

1. Norah Jones - The Story
2. Cat Power - Living Proof
3. Ry Cooder - Ely Nevada
4. Otis Redding - Try A Little Tenderness
5. Ruth Brown - Looking Back
6. Ry Cooder - Long Ride
7. Mavis Staples - Eyes on the Prize
8. Chikara Tsuzuki - Yumeji’s Theme
9. Amos Lee - Skipping Stone
10. Ry Cooder - Bus Ride
11. Cassandra Wilson - Harvest Moon
12. Hello Stranger - Devil’s Highway
13. Gustavo Santaolalla - Pajaros
14. Cat Power - The Greatest

I'd love to tell you that the album ends on an upbeat note, but it doesn't. Looking for something to contemplate your life with? Give this soundtrack a spin.

Visit the soundtrack's MySpace page and the soundtrack's label Blue Note Records.

1 comment:

Indie_dinosaur said...

This film looks fantastic – great cast and a beautiful soundtrack!!