Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In the Making of NINE [4/10]

He adds: “Working on NINE with Rob Marshall and John DeLuca was the most life-giving, inspiring and welcoming experience of my creative life. They are meticulous, they are brilliant and the simply inspire changes for the better.”

Yeston also had a chance to hear his re-imagined and re-worked score recorded by a 50-piece orchestra conducted by the film’s music supervisor, Paul Bogaev, who also worked onCHICAGO. “It was thrilling to hear the music go from a smaller Broadway ensemble to a big orchestra,” Yeston confesses. “The music is richer, fuller, sweeping in its treatment. It’s the experience of a lifetime to hear my music like this and I’m enormously grateful.”

Sums up Harvey Weinstein: NINE is a timeless masterpiece. Inspired by Fellini, one of cinema’s most profound auteurs, it is given a new life by the dramatic film writing of Tolkin and Minghella and the dynamic staging of Rob Marshall and John DeLuca. Nobody can stage sexier or more exciting numbers than Rob—and teaming up with this tremendous cast, he has put together something we’ve never experienced before. I can’t think of a better filmmaker to bring this story to the screen.”

02. FOLIES BERGERE: Rob Marshall Calls “Action!” on NINE

“The film version of NINE is a complete re-invention. It is so wholly unique to the vision of Rob Marshall that it became its own journey creatively,” says producer Marc Platt (WICKED), a veteran of both film and Broadway. “While it is true in essence to the Broadway musical, NINE the movie has become very much its own thing. It keeps in mind the essence of what made us all fall in love with the original material—its spirit and voice—but then Rob made it his own. His NINE is a wonderful fantasy that deals with real ideas and emotions.”

Rob Marshall is no stranger to fusing Broadway classics with cinematic verve, which he did with CHICAGO. As a six-time Tony Award® nominee for such shows as CABARET and KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, his stage acumen is well known, but he is just as highly regarded as a filmmaker, most recently bringing Arthur Golden’s bestseller MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA to life on screen, and garnering multiple Oscar® nominations.

Platt continues: “Rob has a unique background for this story in that he came from the world of the theatre as a dancer and choreographer, made the leap into directing for the theater and then became a film director. NINE is a film about a filmmaker, about the cinema and about creating, and Rob is a creator, so it was personal for him. He’s a man who understands cinema, its history, its academics, the technical aspects of directing a film, and the aesthetics. He also comes from the world of musicals—he grew up in that world, he understands how music moves narrative along. He understands how to integrate seamlessly the elements of music and dance, storytelling and design. In, that sense the movie NINE is the perfect marriage of director to material.”

02. GUIDO'S SONG: Guido Contini and His Women

At the heart of NINEs drama is the artistic journey of Guido Contini, the suave, sensual,Fellini-like Italian film director who is universally hailed as the world’s greatest filmmaker—yet suddenly finds himself in a desperate search for inspiration for his next movie. He gets lost in his stormy relationships with a sea of beautiful women—who each seduce and confound him, spark his memories and open up his imagination to new possibilities, pushing him into the dream-like zone where creativity happens.

The role calls for a keen intelligence and simmering sexuality underscored by an unraveling sense of artistic vulnerability, and the surprise casting placed two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in the part.Day-Lewis has been called the most gifted actor of his generation, disappearing completely into the skin of an unforgettable array of screen characters, including his recent Oscar®-winning turn in the California oil epic, THERE WILL BE BLOOD—but he has never been seen dancing or singing in a film before. Nevertheless, Day-Lewis threw himself into the role with his prototypical intensity—even learning fluent Italian, in order to inhabit the character completely.

Maury Yeston, who has seen quite a range of actors take on the role of Guido, was impressed with Day-Lewis’s absorption into the role, but also his undiscovered ability to entertain as a singer. “It turns out that Daniel is a gifted singer and always was, but we just never knew it,” Yeston remarks.

Says cinematographer Dion Beebe of Day-Lewis’s departure performance: “There’s an intensity to the performance, but there’s also a lightness, a sense of humor and irony. Guido is a man whose world might be collapsing, but his mind is always ready to fly off into fantasy.”


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