By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

David Lowery On Music

“Daniel Hart, who’s written the score to all of my films, has a band called Dark Rooms. And while we were doing the score for ‘Pete’s Dragon,’ he was also beginning to record songs for his next record with his band. He played that song for me one morning and I just became obsessed with it. I couldn’t stop listening to it; I was just driving around LA listening to it constantly, and it was right in early days of developing the project. The script existed, but we were just starting to put the pieces together, and I went into the script and just wrote the song into the script. It became the emotional centerpiece of the movie. It felt exactly the way I want the movie to feel.

“There’s sort of a hopeless longing to his vocals in this song. It’s very, very sad, and we feel this sense of desperately reaching out for something you can’t quite grab. Those emotions are what this movie was all about. I felt that he had already accomplished what I wanted to do with this movie with that song, and the best thing I could do was to just, you know, borrow it, and let the song lend those qualities to the movie at key moments.There’s a lot going on there. It’s as rich and as beautiful and transportive as any film I could ever hope to make. Once we had that song in there, Daniel knew that the score would be incredibly vital. He felt that the rest of the score should play upon that song. So every piece of score begins with an element from that song. Whether it’s a little piece of the strings, or a little bit of the vocals, every piece of the score is based on that song. And from there it goes off into completely different directions.”
~ David Lowery On Music

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“The sad and painful truth is that pretty much everyone in this town knew who Harvey was. I have had long talks with my most liberal friends. Did we know he was a rapist? We didn’t. But did we know that for decades he has been offering actresses big careers in exchange for sexual favors? Yes, we did — and make no mistake, that is its own kind of rape. And did we all — or did any of us — refuse to do business with him on moral grounds? No. We ALL STAYED IN BUSINESS WITH HIM. I have never done business with Harvey but I can tell you with certainty that I would have — because I was recently approached by a film festival he sponsors. They asked me to submit my short film for their consideration and I did it without thinking twice. I am a dyed-in-the-wool feminist and a vocal one at that. So why didn’t I think twice? Because this entire town is built on the ugly principals that Harvey takes to an horrific extreme. If I didn’t work with people whose behavior I find reprehensible, I wouldn’t have a career.”
~ Showrunner Krista Vernoff

From AMPAS president John Bailey:

Dear Fellow Academy Members,

Danish director Carl Dreyer’s 1928 film “The Passion of Joan of Arc” is not only one of the visual landmarks of the silent era, but is a deeply disturbing portrait of a young woman’s persecution in the face of the male judges and priests of the ruling order. The actress Maria Falconetti gave one of the most profoundly affecting performances in the history of cinema as the Maid of Orleans.

Since the decision of the Academy’s Board of Governors on Saturday October 14 to expel producer Harvey Weinstein from its membership, I have been haunted not only by the recurring image of Falconetti and the sad arc of her career (dying in Argentina in 1946, reputedly from a crash diet) but of Joan’s refusal to submit to an auto de fe recantation of her beliefs.

Recent public testimonies by some of filmdom’s most recognized women regarding sexual intimidation, predation, and physical force is, clearly, a turning point in the film industry—and hopefully in our country, where what happens in the world of movies becomes a marker of societal Zeitgeist. Their decision to stand up against a powerful, abusive male not only parallels the cinema courage of Falconetti’s Joan but gives all women courage to speak up.

After Saturday’s Board of Governors meeting, the Academy issued a passionately worded statement, expressing not only our concern about harassment in the film industry, but our intention to be a strong voice in changing the culture of sexual exploitation in the movie business, already common well before the founding of the Academy 90 years ago. It is up to all of us Academy members to more clearly define for ourselves the parameters of proper conduct, of sexual equality, and respect for our fellow artists throughout our industry. The Academy cannot, and will not, be an inquisitorial court, but we can be part of a larger initiative to define standards of behavior, and to support the vulnerable women and men who may be at personal and career risk because of violations of ethical standards by their peers.

Yours,
John