EXCLUSIVE: Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the recording of one of the more popular ditties in the Coen brothers‘ film. Inside Llewyn Davis Executive Music Producer T Bone Burnett chimes in about penning the lyrics and melody of “Please Mr. Kennedy” and sending it to the Coens for their take. Check out Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver recording the song live in the studio — the version that ended up in the movie about an early-’60s folk singer in Greenwich Village:
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In this video, directors Joel and Ethan Coen explain how their collaboration with T Bone Burnett created a musical sound that was as important as dialogue in capturing the early ’60s folk music scene in Inside Llewyn Davis. Here, they explain how they and Oscar Isaac pulled it off in the CBS Films release. I had the opportunity to moderate a panel in Deadline’s Contenders Event last month. After Burnett and Isaac got done explaining the keys to recreating the sound of an emerging musical movement, Isaac got up with his six string and memorably performed Green, Green Rocky Road, a song from the film. It was certainly a highlight of an event full of them.
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T Bone Burnett explains to Mike Fleming why finding the right person with both musical and acting abilities to star in Inside Llewyn Davis was an almost impossible task until Oscar Isaac walked into the room. Isaac showed off his talent as he performed live for the crowd of AMPAS and Guild members at Saturday’s Deadline CONTENDERS event. CBS Films devoted its panel to the Coen Brothers movie which won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It opens December 6, just in time for some consideration for Oscar (yes, we mean both Isaac and that little gold statuette).
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Deadline’s sold-out award season kick-off The Contenders unspooled Saturday at the Wallis Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. Take a look at our special guest panelists from this year’s crop of Oscar hopefuls from The Weinstein Company, Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate, Focus, CBS Films, Paramount, Fox Searchlight, Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics, Walt Disney Pictures, Universal and Dreamworks Animation. Click through for the updated gallery:
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Joel and Ethan Coen have a ton of Oscars and other awards on their shelves, but the duo is fairly elusive when it comes to touting themselves and their work. So it isn’t exactly surprising that they’d never agreed to a Telluride Film Festival tribute, until this year. And the only way — a smart and entertaining one as it turns out — to lure them here was to wrap it around the use of music in their films and in particular the remarkable work they do with T Bone Burnett, who is getting equal treatment with the Coens here at the tribute shows on Friday night and this morning. The trio received the Festival’s much-prized Silver Medallion last night from their friend Barry Sonnenfeld right after a lively musical performance of Coenesque tunes by a group called The Americans and a half-hour of superbly-chosen clips from the T Bone-infused films The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou, The Ladykillers and their latest, Inside Llewyn Davis, a grand prize winner at Cannes and set to open in December via CBS Films. It is also playing here this weekend.
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A 35-minute onstage conversation followed the Medallion presentation which was placed on a chain around their necks. “I’m feeling like Mark Spitz,” joked Ethan about the latest award they have received. As I said in Cannes, this film, set in the folk singing scene of the early ’60s, is one of their best. Needless to say, it has great music in addition to a terrific cast including star Oscar Isaac, who should be a contender for awards (along with a scene-stealing cat). In fact one of those “stolen scenes” was an extended sequence with Isaac forced to carry the cat through New York City after he dashes out the door of his apartment. As with the other clips shown, it really demonstrates the power of music in the films of these iconic filmmakers.
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