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All You Need Is ... This DVD!

February 8, 2008 - Phyllis Sigal
A few months ago when doing one of those silly email surveys, the question asked, "Rolling Stones" or "Beatles"?

Well, I answered Rolling Stones. I love Mick and his buddies. My friends used to call me in eighth grade when the tune "Angie" came on the radio; I had to stop everything to listen. Then, when I got to see the Rolling Stones in concert in 1975 at the Cleveland Stadium, when Mick sang that song (to me, of course), I practically fainted into my seat.

But, ask me this week, and I'll likely say "Beatles."

Why? Because I'm totally obsessed with the movie, "Across the Universe," which is chock full of Beatles songs and imagery and allusions.

My favorite line: Sadie to her friends, Jude, JoJo and Max: "Where did she (Prudence) come from?" They answer, "She came in through the bathroom window." Some may see that as cheesy, but in the context of the movie, it was great!

I saw the film at Towngate, and what a film it was. Now, some Beatles die-hards don't appreciate others' interpretations of Beatles' songs. I, on the other hand, enjoy the creativity. I even enjoy the elevator renditions ... sort of. Frankly, I just love the sound of the songs. I like to be reminded of them, even in Musak. It puts the original song into my head for a moment.

The musical film was directed by Julie Taymor, who I mentioned a few weeks ago in my blog about "The Lion King." She was responsible for the puppetry in the stage play.

Again, I'll just say she's amazing. "Across the Universe" was about as visual as it gets; beautiful, creative displays of animation and puppetry. It has been nominated in the costume design category for the upcoming Academy Awards. It also was nominated for Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy in the recent Golden Globe Awards, and has been nominated for a Grammy for best compilation soundtrack album.

The DVD was released in early February, just days after the Towngate showing. I saw something on the news about the fact that on the release date, the film was somehow beamed to the brightest star, Sirius ... "across the universe." Clever.

Also available is the soundtrack, of course, as well as a deluxe soundtrack.

Anyway, along with beautiful visuals and great music, the story is interesting as well. It's about Jude who travels to Princeton to find his father. He meets up with preppy Max, and the two move to the Big Apple. There, they meet Sadie and JoJo and Prudence (dear, Prudence). Max's sister, Lucy, joins them and becomes immersed in the anti-war movement of the 1960s, as Max is sent off to Vietnam. And Jude and Lucy fall in love.

Keep your eye out for cameos of Joe Cocker, Bono, Salma Hayek and Eddie Izzard.

Listen closely for the fun allusions to Beatles lyrics.

It's really .... "something."

Go rent it ... buy it ... see it ... hey, don't let me down. ...


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