Richard Kelly is the man. Not just because he'll be here all this week, posting as a guest editor for MTV Movies Blog. It helps, sure, but we're talking about the guy who made "Donnie Darko" here. And "Southland Tales." Isn't that enough? Not for Kelly it isn't. His latest brain-twisting tale, "The Box," hits theaters on November 6. And he has a dynamite week of content planned for y'all, so sit back and enjoy!
October 28, 2009
WHERE THERE'S SMOKE THERE'S ARCADE FIRE
On the night of September 20, 2007 - my producing partner Sean McKittrick and I went to see the now legendary Arcade Fire show at the Hollywood Bowl. My assistant Jeff Culotta (who has since been promoted to a production executive at Darko Entertainment) had arranged a meeting backstage with the band.
I considered them to be one of the most promising rock bands on the planet. Everyone in Hollywood had been courting them to contribute music for their films, but they had declined every single offer - save for one song they had licensed to the "Six Feet Under" soundtrack many years ago.
After the show we were escorted into the VIP beer garden. I was introduced to Win Butler - and I immediately felt like I was in the presence of a legend-in-the-making. I nervously tried to pitch him the story for "The Box" (opening from Warner Bros. on November 6!) then handed him a copy of the script along with a CD of Bernard Herrmann's score for "Vertigo" as inspiration.
I didn't expect to hear back for awhile, but sure enough -- the next day -- Win called me. He and his wife Regine Chassagne had a strong emotional response to the screenplay. We had a hopeful conversation, that they might have a window in 2008 to do this as a side project after the Arcade Fire tour.
We kept in touch over the next several months. And in March 2008, I had a very rough cut of the film to send them.
So began the long courtship and eventual collaboration with Win Butler, Regine Chassagne and their equally brilliant collaborator Owen Pallett (of the band Final Fantasy) - who officially became the composers of the score for "The Box."
They also brought in their frequent collaborator Markus Dravs into the fold - which solidified the complete four-person team. Markus had worked as sound engineer on the past two Arcade Fire albums, as well as the most recent Coldplay album with Brian Eno.
Off to Toronto I went in October of 2008 to witness four days of strings, brass and percussion recorded at the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) - it was one of the highlights of my entire career seeing these musicians at work.
We ended up with more than 80 minutes of music that is as much a character in the film as Norma, Arthur or Arlington Steward. The music is in many ways the heart and soul of the picture.
I look forward to audiences discussing the music as part of the theatrical experience - I believe the music alone is absolutely worth the price of admission.
And today . . . I am happy to unveil an exclusive clip from the movie for you here on the site.
You can hear more of the score and check out other cool stuff we've put together at The Box official film website: