Saturday, December 31, 2011

Worth a look back: The Birth of Benjamin Button


I must have had Brad Pitt in this year's Oscar contender Moneyball on my mind. Somehow or other I ended up renting the bonus materials for The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons. I probably thought my son, a young filmmaker would be interested. IF you loved the movie based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story AND you like going behind the scenes and seeing how films are made, you have got to see the bonus materials for the movie. I rented them through Netflix  - completely separate from the film, it's a 2 and a half hour documentary, entitled The Birth of Benjamin Button that had me glued to the couch. It  takes you through every aspect of the movie from the initial idea to adapt F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story in 1988 to it's premiere in December of 2008. A twenty year process that covers script problems, extensive, elaborate, magical CGI work, exquisite musical score by Alexandre Desplat and so much more. It was really mind-boggling and breath taking and nothing like those cheesey E Hollywood celebrity things. It was, as my son who watched it with me said, 'extremely educational'. And absolutely amazing.

If you can't manage the entire piece, do check out the session with Desplat who has been very much in film news these days. The composer for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close , Ides of March, Tree of Life. last year's winning film The Kings Speech, Carnage, two Harry Potter movies and many more is clearly so passionate and an absolute genius. He's been nominated several times for Academy Awards, and is eligible again this year with Extremely, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part One, and Ides of March. Need further proof - the Golden Globes has snubbed him this year! -here's a 15 minute clip of the music he created for the film plus some stills if you need something to look at.

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