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Vidal Sassoon Movie features Mark Eitzel and members of The National and Arcade Fire

04/26/2010
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Vidal Sassoon The Movie, Craig Teper's revealing and inspirational portrait of one man who revolutionized hairdressing, features a soundtrack produced by David Spelman, with music by American Music Club's Mark Eitzel, The Jam, Noel Coward, The Loving Spoonful, Jesse Harris, Gustav Mahler, and post-rock chamber ensembles Clogs (featuring guitarist Bryce Dessner of The National), Redhooker, and Arcade Fire side project Bell Orchestre.

The film, which will have its premiere at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival on April 23, follows Bumble & bumble founder Michael Gordon as he sets out to document Vidal's life in a book to be released later this year. The film spans 80 years of Sassoon's life - from a London orphanage, to the Israeli Army, the floors of his salons, and his knighting by Queen Elizabeth II.

David Spelman, the film's music supervisor, explains "Craig Teper is a director with sophisticated and very hip musical taste. He knew exactly what he wanted this score to accomplish. Our music had to tell the audience that there is important stuff going on, not just fluff; that there's gravitas in Vidal Sassoon's life. I think that most filmmakers, in making a picture about hair, would have focused on glamour and pretty girls. This film has those elements, but the post-rock, minimalist soundtrack communicates that there is also a more serious core."

"From the start I wanted music to be one of the film's main characters, as much as the people we interviewed, the pop art graphics we employed or the visual style," says Teper. "To this end, I had cut the film to a temporary score that was a mix of very rigorous minimalist and classical music. This conveyed the level of gravitas that I felt Vidal's influences and achievements deserved, but it left me feeling cold. I wanted a fresh approach to the same material and as soon as I conveyed this quandary to David Spelman, he began streaming a whole world of minimalist music performed by rock musicians from his MacBook. It was a huge ah-ha moment. After we replaced our temp music in the film's opening scene with Redhooker's Animus, it was an 'F-Yeah' moment."

"What was really fascinating," recalls Teper, "Is that going down the road of post-rock music led us in new directions with the rest of the score. David assembled some crack ensembles of jazz and rock players who came to the studio to create popular music from the 30's to now. It was a great joy to record a gypsy jazz tune after breakfast and then find that the group was blazing through psychedelic freak rock for Vidal's Rosemary's Baby haircut by dinner. Ultimately, our choice to apply a modern arrangement to Gershwin's classic 'S Wonderful,' came out of the same mold. If rock guitarists can make great classical music, then why couldn't an indie rock crooner like Eitzel transform a standard? Through David's approach, we ended up with exactly the kind of timeless, distinctive soundtrack I'd dreamed of when planning the film."

"It was an absolute honor to work on this amazing film about one of the great icons of the 60's" said American Music Club's Mark Eitzel. "The experience of recording this music was one of the best things to happen to me this year. David Spelman brought together the best musicians in New York to fill in my arrangement for George Gershwin's ''S Wonderful' and the result is amazing."

More about the Vidal Sassoon The Movie: www.vidalsassoonthemovie.com


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